Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city with a population of 260,000. Located near the end of Cook Inlet, Anchorage sits in a bowl surrounded by the Chugach Mountains and the Turnagain and Knik Arms.
The major growth of Anchorage began in 1917 with the construction of the Alaska Railroad headquarters. This continued in spurts until the late 60’s with the implementation of farming, military facilities and the discovery of oil, including construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
The 9.2 earthquake on the Richter scale on Good Friday, 1964, redefined much of coastal Anchorage. The underlying clay composition changed which caused significant landslides. Although ranked as the strongest earthquake in North American history, the number of deaths recorded was 131.
The 70’s and 80’s brought an economic boom to Anchorage. Construction and population rose due to oil company offices and the earlier growth of Anchorage brought new business interests to the “Last Frontier”.
The majority of people visiting Alaska will have the opportunity to explore Anchorage. It has facilities similar to any mid-sized city in the United States. Visitors can discover the history of Alaska and Anchorage at the Alaska Native Heritage Center and the local museum. Downtown Anchorage has many storefronts offering souvenirs and local art for all types of collections.