If you're looking for wild beauty on your next vacation, consider Alaska's largest city. It costs a bit more to access this remote destination than other cities on the list, but once you’re here, you’ll find it’s very easy on the wallet.
The city sits on the Cook Inlet and offers access to nearby mountains like Chugach and Talkeetna, where the hiking trails are beautiful, bountiful and free to access. Also free here? The fascinating Alaska Native Heritage Center, open-air Anchorage Market and unique Alaska Trooper Museum, where you can learn about how law enforcement operates in this remote corner of the world.
Probably the coolest thing you can do is view the Northern Lights, often visible from the middle of August through April. There are countless tour options for visitors, depending on your goals, and they’re pretty much all worth the relative splurge.
Embrace winter in Anchorage, and you'll have endless activities, including flightseeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, skiing, fat tire biking and ice fishing. And lest you think this rugged city lacks culture, it’s also home to a surprisingly good symphony and opera company.