Welcome to the BIG WILD city of the North. It is also the Gateway to Alaska. Anchorage began as a Alaska Railroad work camp in 1915. Now about 270,000 people live here and it is home for 42% of the State's population. Yes, Mildred, we do have a Walmart (actually three!). We also have several Home Depots, Lowe's, shopping malls, and lots of nationally franchised eating places – including MacDonalds. But, sad to say, no Waffle House or Cracker Barrel.
The city is huge – 1,961 square miles, or roughly the size of Delaware. Six mountain ranges are visible from Downtown, including Denali in the Alaska Range. Denali is the tallest mountain in North America at 20,300 feet. There are also 60 glaciers within 50 miles of our city.
Anchorage is similar to most mid-sized cities. However, the difference is when you try to leave town. There are only two roads out of town! To the West of Anchorage is Cook Inlet which leads to the Pacific Ocean. On the East are the imposing Chugach Mountains. The road south throws you immediately into the wilderness as soon as you leave Anchorage. The road north passes through some wilderness and within an hour it is all wilderness.
It is not unusual to see Moose, Beluga whales and Bald Eagles in Anchorage. Bear sightings are not unusual either, although the city is safe. www.anchorage.net
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