Anchorage may connote darkness and sub-zero temperatures, but warm Pacific currents bless it with a milder climate than more frigid towns like Fairbanks. Summer is the most popular time of year to visit the city, but overcrowding is rarely an issue in a town with fewer than 300,000 residents and so much roaming room.
June sees the longest days of the year with a full 24 hours of daylight on the solstice; locals turn out for the Summer Solstice Festival, one of the season’s biggest events, with live music, performances, and an art fair. Temperatures linger in the mid-60s throughout the summer, making Anchorage and its surrounding area a wonderland for light seekers.
The fall is brief in Alaska, and the colors go just as quickly as they come in September. Often, mid-October marks the first snow—and it doesn’t stop until after March. Downtown Anchorage receives approximately 70 inches of snow annually, but Girdwood, a satellite community within the municipality, can receive up to 700 inches.
Though the days in December are mind-frayingly dark, there are at least 12 hours of daylight by February. During that month, one of Anchorage’s most storied festivals, the Fur Rendezvous, takes place; it hosts everything from hockey tournaments to snowshoe softball games. In March, two other events mark the end of winter: the ceremonial start of the Iditarod and The Tour of Anchorage, a cross-country ski race, both great tastes of Alaskans’ wild and gritty spirit.