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The dramatic location of this sprawling Alaskan city, between mountains and saltwater, means adventure is always nearby.

Anchorage sits between mountains and saltwater in a setting that is hard to improve upon. “And they haven’t,” a cynic might say of the state’s largest city. True, this municipality of 300,000 (its sprawling boundaries make it nearly four-fifths the size of Delaware) will not win any urban-planning contests. But you do not come all this way for architecture tours or adventures in molecular gastronomy. You come to Anchorage for Alaska, and to meet the welcoming Alaskans: both are sui generis, outsize and unforgettable. Home to the railroad, a ship terminal and what may be the world’s largest seaplane base, Anchorage is a great place to settle in for a weekend and to use as a jumping-off point for adventures near and far.

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Alaska North America United States Anchorage