Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Eagle River, Anchorage

  • Published 2022/06/09

Eagle River, Alaska, is found within the municipality of Anchorage.

It’s about an hour’s drive from the state’s most populated city.

Many of the exhilarating activities and tourist attractions in Eagle River emphasize nature, animals, and outdoor life.

When you realize Eagle River, Alaska, provides fresh air, thrill, and indoor and outdoor activities, it’s difficult to resist its charm.

Hiking routes and community programs are available for explorers.

The most popular trails in Eagle River feature breathtaking landscapes.

Here are the best things to do in Eagle River, AK:

Go Trekking at Eagle and Symphony Lakes

Aerial view of eagle lake along Eagle and Symphony Lakes trail

Bartosz Koszowski /

One of the most remarkable ways to discover Alaska’s outdoors is to hike the trails near Eagle and Symphony Lakes.

It’s a relatively simple trek that becomes more challenging near the finish as the terrain becomes more rugged.

After going over a lot of rock formation from a long-ago slide, you’ll arrive at two lakes on opposite sides of a lateral moraine.

The calm waters of Eagle lake along Eagle and Symphony Lakes trail

Mark A. McCaffrey /

These are Eagle Lake, with a beautiful aquamarine hue, and Symphony Lake, with a milky green tone.

The color difference between the lakes is astonishing.

You may go for a day trek or organize an overnight trip and camp next to the lake.

Words are inadequate to describe its splendor since it’s one of nature’s most magnificent treasures.

The waters of symphony lake along Eagle and Symphony Lakes trail

Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Order Italian Specialties at the Pizza Man

Stop by Pizza Man, a family-friendly restaurant specializing in handcrafted pizza and other Italian specialties.

This restaurant mixes the comforts of home with the flavors of Italy.

The result is a welcoming, relaxed setting with delicious cuisine and entertainment for adults and children.

Pizza Man has become a local favorite for almost 42 years and offers authentic Italian meals, free delivery, and attentive service.

Enjoy Pizza Man Lunch Specials, including your pick of a 30-item salad bar or homemade soup, and check out their 37 beers on tap.

Reconnect with Nature at the Eagle River Nature Center

Scenic view of Eagle River Nature Center

Jay Yuan /

Founded in 1995, the Eagle River Nature Center is part of the Chugach State Park.

The center enables people to reconnect with nature while also learning about the facility’s various features.

There are several programs, each tailored to the needs of different age groups.

Lake observation deck at Eagle River Nature Center

Jon Manjeot /

You can join year-round docent-guided hikes.

Likewise, the center brings youngsters together with naturalists to discover more about the environment through hands-on activities.

The nature center also promotes trail races, sightseeing, and storytimes about the numerous creatures living in the neighboring state park.

A trip to the Eagle River Nature Center is a must-do on your Alaska vacation.

Trees along Eagle River Nature Center's forest

Jon Manjeot /

Order a Nice Cup of Joe at Jitters

Jitters is a welcoming and laid-back cafe where you can relax and sip a delicious cup of coffee.

This cafe first opened its doors in 1994.

The cafe provides a friendly environment for customers to meet friends, unwind, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and breakfast and lunch.

You can try Kaladi Brothers Coffee at the cafe, which includes two specialty roasts exclusive to Jitters.

These are Jitters Blend and the 25th Anniversary Blend.

They roast these blends fresh every day.

Stop by for your morning coffee or chill with pals after work.

Spend the Day at Arctic Valley Ski Area

Arctic Valley is a famous family-friendly ski area near Eagle River, Alaska.

Riders and aerial skiers will love the place.

Enjoy skiing in the wilderness and the comfort and safety of a well-maintained ski resort.

Arctic Valley is typically quiet and safe in terms of family appeal, making it simpler to keep watch on children.

Locals recognize it as a community ski hill.

The area remains famous for outdoor activity even after the chairlift stops running in the spring.

Besides skiing and snowboarding, the area provides a range of kid-friendly activities and other options like hiking and berry picking in the summer.

It’s the most memorable way to finish off the weekend!

Enjoy the View at Mount Baldy

The view from Mount Baldy's summit

Hans_The_Moose /

The grandeur and majesty of Mount Baldy will enchant tourists.

Mount Baldy, named after its bare summit peak, is a popular hiking and exploring destination.

The path begins from the base and ascends for around 12 kilometers to the peak.

A few steps near Mount Baldy's summit

Showcase Imaging /

It’s a somewhat challenging hike that can become a little steep near the finish.

However, people with minimal hiking experience can manage the hike.

You’ll meander through a dense canopy of trees and shrubs throughout the climb until you reach more rocky terrain halfway through.

Once you reach the summit, you’ll find spectacular sights of Eagle River Valley and the surrounding hills.

Hiking up Mount Baldy

Hans_The_Moose /

Try Delicious Sushi at Jimmy’s Sushi

Do you want to eat a delicious seafood meal in Eagle River, Alaska?

Jimmy’s Sushi serves some of the most sumptuous sushi in the neighborhood.

Jimmy Zhou, the executive chef, has been a sushi chef for almost twenty years.

Before founding his restaurant, he worked at various Anchorage restaurants, earning a reputation for incorporating talent and quality into his food.

You can see his talent in action as he transforms fish into delicious art, making fantastic sushi platters that everyone will love.

Enjoy Jimmy’s Sushi and the whole Asian dining experience, featuring authentic Chinese and Thai food and many more.

Shop at Twisted Sisters’ Quilty Pleasures

Are you looking for unique items to bring home as gifts?

Three sisters opened the Twisted Sisters’ Quilty Pleasures shop.

Their mother fostered each of her daughters’ uniqueness, creativity, and craftsmanship.

These three ladies joined together to turn their love for quilting into a livelihood.

You’ll acquire fantastic souvenirs and gifts, such as comforters, coverlets, and bedspreads, all lovingly created.

The boutique is an exciting and entertaining place to visit in Eagle River.

See the Spectacular Barbara Falls

The gorgeous Barbara Falls

Jon Manjeot /

Barbara Falls is a hidden jewel of Eagle River, Alaska, that flows into a tiny canyon.

Travelers will know they’ve arrived when they hear the little-known waterfalls’ deafening roar.

Cascades near the base of Barbara Falls

Jon Manjeot /

Hidden away in a ravine where the river plunges around 25 feet, Barbara Falls breaks into two channels as it crashes onto an immense stone formation.

Barbara Falls is open all year.

It’s just as spectacular in the summer as it does in the winter.

Water rushing from Barbara Falls

Jon Manjeot /

Relax and Dine at Tinker’s Rainforest Deli

Grab breakfast, lunch, and beverages such as smoothies and coffee at Tinker’s Rainforest Deli.

Tinker Berson opened Tinker’s Rainforest Deli in October 2005.

Tinker prepares the most excellent coffee, freshly baked bread, and minimal processed items.

Tinker wanted a kid’s menu and an option for consumers to make their own hot or cold sandwiches.

Try their fresh salads, fruit smoothies, and breakfast at any time of day.

Appreciate the Scenery at Mount Magnificent

What can make your Eagle River trip more exciting?

Go for a hike at Mount Magnificent.

Mount Magnificent gets its name from the view from the summit.

From Chugach State Park to the Eagle River neighborhood, you’ll see a 360-degree view of your beautiful surroundings.

The trek takes three or four hours, from and back, covering over five kilometers.

The trip will be well worth it once you reach the summit.

On a clear day, you might even see Denali and even the Alaska Range.

Try Different Beers at Odd Man Rush Brewing

Odd Man Rush Brewing started in September 2015 as a small local craft brewery in Eagle River, Alaska.

Three homebrewers who share a passion for brewing and hockey started the company.

After considerable support and favorable feedback, their hobby has developed into a full-fledged brewery.

Their beers express their craft brewing philosophy, creating both traditional and innovative ales to show off their ingenuity and enthusiasm for brewing.

The beers in Odd Man Rush Brewing range from smooth, hoppy IPAs to deeper, robust porters and stouts.

They also like experimenting with new seasonal beers.

Visit Odd Man Rush Brewing and appreciate the small pleasures in life, such as delicious beers.

Visit the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center

You can find an Olympic-size ice rink, a new multi-use turf field, and a two-lane walking/jogging track at the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center.

The center provides a wide range of activities to help you & your family stay active.

They provide hockey, fast skating, figure skating, and their popular Learn To Skate programs to ice aficionados.

Kids will enjoy soccer, football, and baseball there.

Adults can also play pick-up.

The Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center provides a secure atmosphere for your walking or jogging journey to health.

You’ll love the place, whether you’re training, recuperating from an accident or surgery, or simply trying to be more active and healthy.

Don’t forget to swing by the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center, one of the well-known tourist spots in Eagle River.

Grab a Snack at Garcia’s Cantina & Cafe

Since 1985, Garcia’s Cantina & Cafe has been locally owned and run.

Joel and Brian, the owners, worked as dishwashers at the restaurant years back before finally owning it.

This restaurant has become their second family, drawing fantastic guests.

Many families have grown up drawing, eating chips and salsa, or doing laps around the restaurant, including the Garcia’s.

They provide fresh cuisine to Eagle River, prepared from scratch each morning, whose ingredients come from local producers wherever possible.

Garcia’s Cantina & Cafe hosts live music for a banging time every Thursday and Friday night.

Create Memories at Alaska ATV Adventures

Tourists and locals highly recommend visiting this place.

Alaska ATV Adventures are enjoyable for all ages.

Anyone can join guided four-wheel trips to discover Alaska’s breathtaking scenery, hills, lakes, and animals.

You may ride the ATVs through some of the most tranquil, unknown areas, allowing for an unforgettable experience.

The length of the ATV adventure depends on how long you want to stay outdoors and what you want to see or do.

Tours might last anywhere from three hours to a whole day.

Mix your ATV tour with a kayak, a quad, or a fly-fishing excursion.

Make valuable memories with friends and family at Alaska ATV Adventures.

Enjoy a Camping Trip at Eagle River Campground

As a relatively large suburb, there’s a lot of reason to explore the many outdoor areas that Eagle River brings.

The Eagle River Campground is one of these destinations, offering opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and all of its glory.

Located within the Chugach State Park, this beautiful campground offers a stunning view of the thick forest and breathtaking mountain ranges.

The Eagle River Campground features different campsites for various campers, including an area for tents and RVs.

You can also rent a cabin if you want something more secure.

The natural scenery makes it the best place for a camping trip—you can also enjoy other activities such as birdwatching, trekking, and getting lost in the beauty of nature.

Learn About the Importance of Wolves at Wolf Song of Alaska

Wolves and other wild canids are important to the Alaskan wildlife scene.

The Wolf Song of Alaska is a nonprofit organization that runs an educational center and sanctuary that aims to educate locals and visitors about the importance of these wild animals and to preserve them.

The center’s dedication to preserving and conserving wolves and other Alaskan wildlife is a testament to what can be done when people are passionate about protecting the environment.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the sanctuary and learn everything about these magnificent creatures—from their behavior, habits, and natural habitats.

Wolf Song of Alaska also hosts various educational programs and workshops that further enhance the understanding of these wild animals and their importance.

So, if you’re interested in animals—particularly in conservation and ecology—check out Wolf Song of Alaska during your visit to Eagle River and see how passionate and caring these people are about wildlife.

Spend Some Reading Time at Anchorage Public Library

Take a break from your Eagle River escapade and take advantage of all the books and learning opportunities the Anchorage Public Library has in store.

The Anchorage Public Library is one of the best destinations for people looking to unwind while reading a good book.

The library features an extensive selection of books in various genres, a wide assortment of magazines, and multimedia materials such as audiobooks, music, and movies.

Visitors can also use the library’s free Wi-Fi, public computer access, and study rooms.

The Anchorage Public Library hosts various events and programs throughout the year, including book releases, author talks, kids workshops, literary contests, and book clubs.

Buy Books at the Book Shelf

Sometimes, reading a book in the public library isn’t enough.

Maybe you’re looking to buy books to take home instead.

If that’s the case, head to the Book Shelf, a locally-owned bookstore in Eagle River, Anchorage.

This charming bookstore mainly sells used books—the store features a wide selection of books from different genres.

The store is known for its friendly and knowledgeable staff, who are always happy to accommodate visitors in finding the perfect book for their reading preferences.

Apart from used books, they also serve a small selection of new releases and stationery, gifts, and souvenirs to take home.

So whether you’re looking for a children’s book, a classic piece, or a local history guide, the Book Shelf has something in store for you to discover.

Relax and Unwind at Homestead Lounge

There’s no better way to enjoy a chilly night in Eagle River than by heading to one of the many pubs and enjoying a night out with friends.

With that said, the Homestead Lounge is the most popular destination for nightlife in Eagle River, offering a cozy and comfortable atmosphere that is perfect for a night out.

The lounge bar is well known for its extensive selection of signature cocktails, craft beers, and delicious bar snacks and appetizers such as burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

On Friday leading to the weekend, visitors can enjoy soothing live music performances from local artists.

Whether you’re looking for a fun night out with friends or a romantic spot for a date with your loved one, the Homestead Lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy the local nightlife while surrounded by friendly locals.

Final Thoughts

You can find shopping, restaurants, and leisure in Eagle River, a central economic hub in Alaska.

Overall, the lovely sights, hike trails, and unique attractions make for a memorable trip.

Eagle River is a lovely tourist destination with plenty of activities for people of all ages.

Get ready for a memorable and adventurous trip of a lifetime in Eagle River, Alaska!

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