Summertime sights and sounds in Anchorage

In May, the Alaska Zoo welcomed a black bear cub found orphaned near Valdez.
In May, the Alaska Zoo welcomed a black bear cub found orphaned near Valdez. Photo Credit: John Gomes
It's peak season for Alaska tourism, as thousands arrive via cruise ship or other means to experience the Last Frontier. Nearly 1.9 million travelers arrived in Alaska between May and September last year, according to statistics from the state's Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development and the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

Of course, outdoor adventures are the state's big draw, with visitors seeking to explore its national parks and other natural wonders. But as we've noted recently, cities such as Anchorage have much to offer for the more urban-minded traveler, as well.

This summer, visitors will find a few new attractions of interest in the state's largest city.

• At the Alaska Zoo, visitors will encounter several new residents. In May, the zoo welcomed a black bear cub found orphaned near Valdez and saw the birth of a musk ox. Also in May, snow leopard Malala arrived from New York's Central Park Zoo.

"Being located in Anchorage, the Alaska Zoo has a unique opportunity to accommodate a wide variety of animal species, and we're thrilled to be able to share more about these animals with our visitors," said Alaska Zoo executive director Patrick Lampi.

The Alaska Zoo is home to more than 100 Arctic and sub-Arctic residents from around the world and offers behind-the-scenes Discovery tours and other programming throughout the year, as well as a 24/7 Polar Bear Cam for those unable to make the trip in person.

• The Anchorage Museum is taking advantage of the sunny weather for its slate of events for July and August.

On July 27, for instance, the museum will hold its RuSh Hour concert on the lawn. According to the museum, the free performance, part of the EcoSono Environmental Music and Sound Art Festival taking place in Anchorage from July 26 to 29, will feature "a concert of music performed with the sounds of whales, glaciers, sea life, wind and oceans."

On Aug. 21, the museum will hold Sun Salute: Celebrating the Eclipse on the lawn. During the free event, local astronomers will provide viewing equipment and expertise for the eclipse, which the museum says will be the best the city will see for the next several years.

For more information on the museum's summer programming, visit its website.
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