Photos: Amazing Alaska

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  1. Mendenhall Glacier

    Located in Mendenhall Valley, the Mendenhall Glacier is a massive glacial system that stretches 120 miles. It is approximately 12 miles long, and 1.5 miles in width at the face. It is located 12 miles from downtown Juneau. (Danny Lehman / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Bald beauty

    A bald eagle dives for dinner in one of the many remote lakes within the Tongass National Forest. With almost 17 million acres, the Tongass is the nation's largest national forest covering most of Southeast Alaska, surrounding the famous Inside Passage. (Ron Sanford / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Scenic adventure

    Experience the panorama of Juneau and the Inside Passage from 1,800 feet above the city on the Mount Roberts Tramway, one of the most visited attractions in Southeast Alaska. (Stuart Westmorland / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Bright nights

    A cruise ship floats on Auke Bay near Juneau, Alaska. The summer sky is still bright at 11:00 p.m. (Bob Rowan / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Flying high

    Take a scenic flight over the 1,500 square mile Juneau Icecap. Flight-seeing tours are the only way to see the glaciers and fields that make up the fifth-largest ice field in the Western Hemisphere. (Lee Cohen / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Awe inspiring

    A humpback whale shows its fluke during a dive while a fishing boat cruises by. Humpbacks may be seen at any time of year in Alaska, but during spring, the animals migrate back to Alaska where food is abundant. Whales seen in Alaska during the summer months are from Hawaii. (Buddy Mays / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska

    Less than 2,000 visitors last year, but almost 500,000 caribou each spring and fall. In other words, the only crowds you’ll experience at Kobuk will likely have antlers and four legs apiece. In fact, this roadless expanse, just north of the Arctic Circle, is so remote that the U.S. Geologic Survey still hasn’t named some of its river drainages. But for those who are prepared for a true wilderness experience, rafting the Kobuk River, hiking the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes or climbing among the Baird and Waring ranges that ring the park can be the adventure of a lifetime. (Tom Walker / AccentAlaska.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Cool city

    A winter view of the Anchorage skyline with the Chugach Range in the background. The Chugach Range forms a 300-mile crescent outside the town of Valdez, Alaska, east of Anchorage. (Robert Olsen / ACVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Majestic mountain

    Denali, North America's tallest mountain at 20,320 feet, is visible from Anchorage even though it's 140 miles to the north. (John Brecher) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Reindeer games

    Mel Leskinen, left, talks as Albert Whitehead walks his pet reindeer Star along 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, Feb. 2, 2005. Half of the nation's population thinks most of Alaska is covered in ice and snow year-round. One out of every eight believe that the 49th state is either a separate country, a U.S. territory, a commonwealth or just aren't sure. Thanks to a poll commissioned by Gov. Frank Murkowski, Alaskans know a bit better the misperceptions Americans have of their neighbors to the north. (Al Grillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Lighten up, moose

    A bull moose with Christmas lights tangled in its antlers rests in a field in Anchorage, Alaska, on Dec. 25, 2005. The lights, which did not seem to bother the moose, could pull off as the he wonders through Anchorage neighborhoods. (Al Grillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Wow, that's a snowman!

    A young boy poses in front of a 16-foot tall snowman in a residential neighborhood of Anchorage, Dec. 24, 2005. Thousands of people trekked to the house to see the creation. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A refreshing ride

    A windsurfer rides the wind as he jumps across waves in the Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage, Alaska on May 18, 2006. (Al Grillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. The Iditarod

    Mitch Seavey mushes past a patch of open water on the Yukon River after leaving Ruby, Alaska on Friday, March 12, 2010 during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Bob Hallinen / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Glacial beauty

    An iceberg from the Portage Glacier is locked in the frozen Portage Lake south of Anchorage, Alaska in this Jan. 6, 2004 photo. The glacier, which is a major Alaska tourist destination near Anchorage's southern edge, has retreated so far it no longer can be seen from a multimillion-dollar visitors center built in 1986. (Al Grillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Artistic awe

    Alaska's favorable climate makes ice carving a popular activity and spectacle for visitors. (Anchorage CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Flight of freedom

    Tom Melius, with the Fish and Wildlife Service, left, Lisa Pajot, second left, and Gary Bullock, second from right, with the Bird and Treatment and Learning Center, and Pat Lampi, with the Alaska Zoo release a bald eagle in Anchorage Alaska Sept. 25, 2006. The eagle was cared for by the Bird and Treatment and Learning Center after it lost its tail feathers and was released after the feathers grew back. (John Gomes / AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Snow-plowed

    Two snowmobiles collide, knocking one rider off, as they race around the track during the Fur Rendezvous Sno-X races in Anchorage, Feb. 26, 2005. The 17-day winter festival includes the World Championship Sled Dog races, dog weight pull, snow sculptures and other events to break up the long Alaska winter. (Al Grillo / AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 11/27/2006 10:58:50 AM ET 2006-11-27T15:58:50

The Performing Arts

What's Playing
The primary arts season begins in the fall and ends in the spring, but in the summer you can catch traveling performers, music festivals and live music at the nightclubs and coffee houses. To find out what's happening, pick up the free weekly Anchorage Press, which is given away in racks all over town. Their extensive event and music scene calendar is online, too, at www.anchoragepress.com. Friday's edition of the Anchorage Daily News has a section called "8" that includes reviews and listing information in grid format.

Buying Tickets
Currently, Ticketmaster (tel. 907/562-4800; www.ticketmaster.com) handles the Sullivan Arena and Egan Civic and Convention Center, and sells tickets at Fred Meyer grocery stores. The Alaska Center for Performing Arts, at 631 W. 6th Ave. (www.alaskapac.org), operates its own ticket agency, CenterTix (tel. 907/263-ARTS; www.centertix.net). The call center and box office in the center should be open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but hours may change.

Presenters
The Anchorage Concert Association (tel. 907/272-1471; www.anchorageconcerts.org) offers a fall-through-spring schedule of classical music, theater, dance, and other performing arts. Whistling Swan Productions (www.whistlingswan.net) promotes folk and acoustic alternative performers in intimate venues. The Anchorage Symphony (tel. 907/274-8668; www.anchoragesymphony.org) performs during the winter season. Anchorage also has lots of community theater and opera, and limited professional theater, including the experimental Out North Contemporary Art House (tel. 907/279-3800; www.outnorth.org), which produces local shows and imports avant-garde performers. Downtown, Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse (tel. 907/274-2599; www.cyranos.org), at 4th Avenue and D Street, is a tiny theater with its own semiprofessional repertory company.

Nightclubs & Bars
For a fun, funny night out, nothing in town compares to Mr. Whitekeys' Fly By Night Club, on Spenard Road south of Northern Lights Boulevard (tel. 907/279-SPAM). The goateed proprietor, a consummate vulgarian, ridicules Anchorage in his crude, political, local-humor musical comedy shows, in which he costars. If you can laugh at dog poop, you'll love it. The summer show is at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; live music follows on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $13 to $21, and reservations are a virtual necessity. The club is smoke-free. They serve good food, too -- dine at the show, not before. (Believe me, I wrote this long before they started using a piece of my writing in one of their shows.)

Blues Central/Chef's Inn, 825 W. Northern Lights Blvd. (tel. 907/272-1341), is dedicated to showcasing the best blues performers available, virtually every night. Major names come through on a regular basis. Shows start at 9:30 p.m. They're also known for their beef.

The most famous bar in Anchorage is the huge Chilkoot Charlie's, at Spenard Road and Fireweed Lane (tel. 907/272-1010; www.koots.com). It has two stages for rock and one for swing and many bars on different themes. The place is huge and full of entertainment, like an adult Disneyland, but can be claustrophobic when crowded, with low ceilings and a dark, roadhouse atmosphere. Moreover, recent well-publicized violence suggests that it is a good place to avoid conflict.

The Movies
A movie at the Bear Tooth TheatrePub, at 1230 W. 27th Ave. (tel. 907/276-4200; www.beartooththeatre.net), is a chance to sit back with a big glass of craft-brewed beer and a plate of nachos or a full dinner -- it feels a lot like watching at home except for the big screen and the other people around you in the dark. (Well, our home is usually a bit cleaner, but our cooking isn't as good.) The films tend to be independent or second run, either campy or deep. The dining choices include gourmet tacos, pizzas, and other hand-held selections. Everything is quite good. They also put on concerts monthly: check the website. And now the fine print. You must arrive quite early to find a parking place, wait in line to get your ticket, find your seat, then stand in line again to order your food at a counter. The staff brings the meal to you in the theater. Even bad movies sell out and it's often a crush.

There are several multiplexes in Anchorage playing all the current Hollywood output; check the sources in "The Performing Arts" at the beginning of this section for listings and reviews. Theaters closest to downtown are the Century 16, 301 E. 36th Ave. (tel. 907/929-3456; www.centurytheatres.com) and the Fireweed 7 Theater, 661 E. Fireweed Lane (tel. 907/566-3328;www.regalcinemas.com).

For a complete listing of what to see and do in Anchorage, visit the online attractions index at Frommers.com.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

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