Travel Assignment Destination: Anchorage, Alaska

This could be your most favorite travel assignment ever

Many people think of a short vacation in the 49th state, but most don’t consider working and living there. There’s so much to see and do that you really need more than a week to appreciate everything Alaska has to offer. Go Healthcare Staffing has openings in Anchorage that offer competitive pay and a chance to experience a very unique community.

We’ve put together a fantastic TRAVEL GUIDE to help you consider Anchorage as your next assignment destination. Read on to learn why you won’t regret traveling to America’s last frontier.

What to know:

  • With a 2022 population of 292,545, Anchorage is known as Alaska’s “big city,” it offers a good mix of urban living with all the amenities of a mid-sized metropolitan area.
  • With its spectacular natural beauty, endless recreational opportunities and abundance of wildlife, you have access to plenty of adventure. Drive a little outside of the city and there’s camping, rafting, kayaking, hiking, biking, fishing and skiing in country that still feels wild and untouched.
  • The city is a melting pot of people of diverse backgrounds offering a chance to experience a community of unique cultural opportunities. More than 100 languages (English and Spanish are at the top) are spoken in the Anchorage School District and overall, Anchorage sits in the top 15 percentile for diversity in the U.S.
  • Anchorage, Alaska has no sales tax. You’ll see fewer add-on costs at the register and save some money.
  • Anchorage is cold, but perhaps not as cold as you may expect. Winters are actually milder than those of noted cold-weather metro areas like Minneapolis and Chicago. See temperatures by month here.
  • The Anchorage People Mover public buses are a reliable and inexpensive local transportation option featuring an up-to-the-minute bus tracker and ticketing app. Anchorage also has Uber and Lyft, as well as taxi companies.
  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport has nonstop flights to several U.S. cities and also operates America’s largest and busiest floatplane base.

What to do:

Residents enjoy numerous festivals throughout the year as well as music, galleries and cultural events that are sure to entertain everyone.

Trolley Tours (https://anchoragetrolley.com) Hop on a historic and scenic 15-mile tour of Anchorage. Alaskan guides will share history, family stories, and explore Anchorage’s past and present.

The Writer’s Block Bookstore and Cafe (https://writersblockak.com) is a community gathering space for Anchorage’s art-loving residents. Poetry and live music are performed at the bookstore, which doubles as a beer and wine bar.

Anchorage Museum stocked with historical photographs, art, and cultural and historical heritage items. The museum also offers ongoing events and attractions.

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a one of the most beautiful coastal trails in the nation; the trail gently winds along the coast 11 miles from downtown to the chalet at Kincaid Park.

Anchorage Folk Festival is a toe-tapping good time featuring free public performances, workshops, jam sessions, and a banjo competition.

Alaska Beer Week this annual celebration of craft beer in Alaska involves a rotating schedule of samplings, pairings, tastings, and other hops-fueled fun.

Fur Rendezvous is an Anchorage tradition since 1935 includes a carnival, parade, snow sculpture competition, fireworks show, dog sled races, and more. Known locally as the Fur Rondy, these festivities lead up to the start of the Iditarod dog sled race.

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race dovetails with the end of Fur Rendezvous and features some of the world’s best dog teams and mushers flock to the Mushing District in the heart of downtown Anchorage.

Summer Solstice Festival – On the longest day of the year, Anchorage gets 22 hours of functional daylight and everyone gathers for big celebrations, classic events, and a huge dose of outdoor fun. From hiking and biking to concerts and festivals there’s something to enjoy at every turn.

Downtown Days turns the downtown area into one big celebration in conjunction with Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s Summer Solstice festivities. Events offer artists, musicians, and other performers, transforming the entire city into a party.

Girdwood Forest Fair – Since 1975, the festival takes place in early July every year at the fairgrounds and features Alaskan artists, hand-crafted items, exotic foods and entertainers from all over Alaska.

Bear Paw Festival – The Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce presents the annual Bear Paw Festival where the whole town turns out for a weekend filled with fun for all ages including the best-known Slippery Salmon Olympics. Other popular events include the Running of the Bears, Teddy Bear Picnic, a classic car show, parade, carnival rides, and the I-Did-A-Duck Race, a rubber duck regatta.

Alaska State Fair is Alaska’s largest event is a showcase of giant vegetables, concerts, contests, rides and food. The fair spans 14 days, across three weekends in picturesque Palmer, approximately one-hour north of Anchorage.

There’s even more here.

Where to dine:

Menus include everything from king crab, halibut, and wild salmon to other surprising Alaska food specialties, whether fished, farmed, or foraged. Great dine in and take-out selections await your stay!

The Fancy Moose – This local favorite on the shores of Lake Hood serves pub-style fare including fresh Alaska seafood and craft beers. Live music seven nights a week, with TVs for sporting events. Featuring award-winning seafood tacos, the famed bison burger and the only lakeside dining in town.

Carousel Lounge- Your friendly neighborhood dive bar since 1957! Pool, darts, music, karaoke, friends and fun.

The Broken Blender- Offers late lunch, dinner and late-night dining and drinking. Local/national acoustic music every Friday and Saturday with weekly burlesque, poker and trivia.

The options are endless in this city, we couldn’t possibly list them all. For an amazing list of eateries and dining in the Anchorage area, click here.

Best coffee and such:

Travelers keep a busy schedule, we know some great coffee always comes in handy.

Steam Dot Coffee & Espresso Lab- Food & Wine magazine selected Steam Dot to represent Alaska in their list of the best coffee shops by state. Their Espresso Lab is their ‘mothership’ where they sell and serve hand-crafted coffee. They sell a range of coffees from their shop, including berry, lemon zest, dark chocolate and caramel flavors.

Dark Horse Coffee Co- family-owned and run coffee shop has been in operation for more than ten years and is renowned for its much sought-after oatmeal. They have a certified barista on the staff and serve organic food with their heritage coffee.

Side Street Espresso- This espresso bar opened more than 25 years ago and is an eclectic montage of mementos, chronicling life in Anchorage over the past quarter of a century.

Find details on a dozen more caffeine choices here.

Where to workout:

Stay looking and feeling your best, with the energy travelers need for long shifts.

Figarelle’s Fitness– empowers you to get stronger and feel more confident. Precision Nutrition certified coaches also work diligently to help navigate the confusing world of fat loss with results.

Crossfit Alaska– provides a strength and conditioning program that consists of combinations of weightlifting, cardio and gymnastics. Aims to improve personal capacity in the ten general physical skills: cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

Anytime Fitness– With 24/7 access to more than 4,700 locations worldwide, you’ll joining the most convenient gym on the planet.

Capital Fitness– This private personal training studio offers unique exercise programs written up exclusively for each client to meet their individual goals. Also offers nutrition counseling and kids’ classes.

Body Renew Alaska– Offers state-of-the-art equipment, daily fitness classes, and certified personal trainers. As well as a full locker room, sauna, showers and massage services.

Planet Fitness– Anchorage, Alaska features three Planet Fitness locations.

In addition to names you’ll recognize—Target, Cabela’s, Kohl’s, Walmart, Home Depot, and REI—you’ll also uncover plenty of local Anchorage businesses to patronize.

Where to shop:

Anchorage Market– Alaska’s largest open-air market is open from mid-May to mid-September, you’ll find 200+ vendors selling locally made crafts and art. Offers free and lively entertainment, great food, and a fun atmosphere.

Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall– Find all your favorites in this Simon Mall enterprise. The five-level shopping center has more choices that anywhere in Alaska with over 110 stores ranging from jewelry to electronics to apparel.

Where to live:

Where to call home is a personal choice for travelers and the commute to your assignment is certainly a consideration. We’ve highlighted a few areas below and more information can be found here.

Rogers Park- Just a short commute to the heart of Anchorage’s business district, Rogers Park is close to several schools, restaurants, shops and entertainment options. A great pick for convenience and availability of amenities.

Downtown Anchorage- Perfect for those who crave city life with easy access to all that Anchorage has to offer. Downtown Anchorage offers waterfront views of the Knik Arm, as well as plenty of green space.

South Addition- Enjoy a more suburban feel, many walkable streets and easy access to several parks with sports fields, nature trails, and a lagoon that you can kayak in the summer or skate on in the winter.

Huffman-O’Malley- Residents cite the area’s neighborly feel, where everyone knows and looks out for each other while offering amenities like shops and restaurants. More suburban than urban, which can to those who want more green spaces in their lives.

Portage Valley- Perfect if you prefer more of a wild, untamed setting where the population is just over 200. However, Anchorage is just over an hour away by car.

Rabbit Creek- The homes in the quiet neighborhood of Rabbit Creek tend to be larger and sit on bigger parcels of land with stunning views.

Turnagain- This family-friendly neighborhood in west Anchorage features strong public schools and easy access to plenty of outdoor recreation activities, also sits close to the Ted Stevens International Airport.

Eagle River- About a 20-minute drive from downtown Anchorage this quiet choice away from busy city life. With nearby forest trails, lakes, and picturesque views, amenities are only a five-minute drive away.

Ready to go?

There’s so much to see and do in Anchorage, take a look at the official visitor’s guide here.

Then reach out to the team at Go Healthcare to explore your next assignment.

We’ll find the perfect match for you to enjoy all that Alaska has to offer, while working at a rewarding assignment at a local hospital. Need more reasons to apply? Hear what our travelers have to say and why Go Healthcare is a top-rated staffing firm for RNs.