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The Top Ten Reasons to Remember Anchorage, Alaska

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Anchorage, Alaska is located in the south-central portion of the Alaskan mainland near a shallow harbour called the Cook Inlet. If this makes no sense to you whatsoever, pull out your handy, dandy hand map of Alaska. Don't know what it is? Well, it's simple. Take your right hand and make a ninety degree angle with your thumb and forefinger so it looks a bit like a backwards 'L'. Then, rotate your hand so that your thumb is facing downwards and your forefinger is facing to your right and the back of your hand is facing you. Now poke that fleshy area between your thumb and forefinger, where all of those lines start appearing. That is essentially where Anchorage is. And if you find this too confusing, look up a map of Alaska on any road atlas or in any encyclopedia.

So you know it's in Alaska. You know approximately where it is in Alaska that Anchorage is located, but you have no idea why on earth anyone should care about the city. Well, here are a ten reasons you should care.

  1. If you're from the US, it's quite likely that some of your fish comes from one of its large, monstrous, gigantic, huge, conglomerate... (you get the picture) fishing companies located throughout Alaska and headquartered in Anchorage. Some of the best and freshest seafood comes from up there.

  2. 250,000 or so people live there. Yes, that many people live in an area that's between the size of Rhode Island and Delaware, and they still consider it crowded.

  3. Moose. Nowhere else can you be in the downtown shopping district and see a half-ton animal staring at you while it eats the foliage.

  4. The Iditarod starts in Anchorage every year in February. Come visit to either watch the proceedings or picket the 'cruel race'. It's your choice!

  5. The city receives 22 hours of daylight plus two hours of dusk every day for a good three weeks in the summer, so there's plenty of time to visit the best parks, Mt McKinley (Denali to those in the know), the harbour, and ride the train to Seward. You should also check out the local hotspots like Humpy's Bar, the Moose's Tooth1, the Bear's Tooth Pub (the only cinema/restaurant in town) and even Chilkoot Charlie's (Koot's).

  6. In the autumn through spring months, you can catch an amazing local opera troupe, along with a symphony orchestra that measures up to some of the better orchestral ensembles around the US.

  7. It's one of the few places in the world where anyone can get walrus ivory, mammoth ivory, or the indigenous people's skrimshaw art2

  8. Catch the most beautiful exotic plant life anywhere, all arranged nicely for the tourists to take pictures of. If you look closely, you'll notice the complete lack of native plant life.

  9. Germans! Literally thousands of 'em flock to Anchorage annually to get a look at... Well, most people up here aren't quite sure, but it's generally thought that they must come for the ice and moose. It's quite difficult to walk around downtown Anchorage in the summer and not run into at least one German tourist family.

  10. And finally, the most important reason to think about Anchorage, Alaska is the fact that there is no sales tax!

1Named for a mountain pass up near Ruth's Amphitheater in Denali National Park that supposedly looks like a Moose molar and exhibits one of the best examples of granitic sheeting, if you're at all into geology. It also has the best pizza known to man.2Skrimshaw is an ancient art common in the northern regions that involves carving intricate pictures into whale, mammoth, seal, moose, or any other bone that is available and then rubbing ink into it. It's very beautiful and rather expensive, except near the Arctic regions.

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