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Anchorage, officially designated as the Municipality of Anchorage, is Alaska's largest city, although not its capital. Despite what many people would guess, Anchorage is not one of the coldest American cities. With winter temperatures averaging -15°F (-8°C), Anchorage falls far behind larger cities, such as Fargo, in the continental USA. Snowfalls vary from year to year, with winters featuring very little snow and others featuring record-breaking numbers.
Anchorage is a popular tourist destination because of its incredible natural parks and untouched nature. The city itself is set against a background of blue mountains that take the breath away as soon as they are spotted. Together with oil extraction and military bases, tourism is the most important industry in Anchorage. The Point Woronzof Park, also known as Seven Hills Ski Park, is Anchorage's best backcountry skiing center, and an amazing place to spot moose, lynxes, and foxes. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is an even more impressive sight, since it features a nursery to care for orphaned bears, moose, and caribou.
One of the most impressive natural sights in Anchorage is the Ship Creek Salmon Viewing area, where visitors can marvel at the sight of over 200,000 salmon jumping their way up the dam on their way to the ocean. The viewing area is open to everybody and is sight not-to-be-missed.
There are five museums in Anchorage, all of which somehow deal with history. The Wells Fargo Alaska Heritage Library & Museum is a repository of the state's most important historical and cultural documents, while the Anchorage Museum of History and Art is a tribute to the last 100 years of Alaskan history. The Oscar Anderson House Museum is the first house to ever be built in Anchorage. The wood construction, restored to its original glory, is a wild view into Alaska's past.
Downtown Anchorage is a modern, hip area full of restaurants and with an interesting and varied nightlife. Captain's Cook monument stands at the end of the city, at Resolution Point, and offers a great background when set against the setting sun and the Port of Anchorage.
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