Port of Anchorage Aerial View
Photo by: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Creative Commons

Most of the major cities in Alaska started out as fishing and mining camps, but not the city of Anchorage. After the US government acquired Alaska from the Russian Empire, the administration started to work on modernizing the once barren lands of Alaska. The sudden rise in population, due to the Alaska Gold Rush and other industries establishing bases in the area, made modernization of the area a need. The Alaska Railroad was one of the government’s projects and Anchorage’s Ship Creek Landing was selected to be the main headquarters for the project. It didn’t take long for a “tent city” to rise up by the mouth of Ship Creek and along with this growth came the increase in population in the form of aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Anchorage of today is recognized as the largest city in the state of Alaska with more than 40% of the state’s total population residing in Anchorage. You would think that with a large percentage of Alaskan residents living in the area much of Anchorage’s natural wildlife would be taken down in favor of modernization, but surprisingly this isn’t the case with Anchorage.

Anchorage’s natural settings play an important role in their tourism industry. As one of the major cities, Anchorage is just like any urban center complete in modern amenities except it’s completely surrounded as well by the natural wilderness with the likes of mountains, valleys, glaciers, fjords, and even volcanoes decorating the backdrop.

Anchorage is especially alive during the winter with lights decorating the entire downtown. Some of the most popular winter events include the Iditarod Sled Dog Race and the Irondog Snowmobile Race. The summers in Anchorage are popular to visitors because of the cool maritime climate. Flowers are in full bloom during the summer season, hence Anchorage’s nickname “The City of Lights and Flowers.”

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