Destination Guides

The Anchorage Market Guide for Alaska Visitors (2024)

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Once called the Anchorage Saturday Market, the “Anchorage Market” is a weekly open-air market and beloved institution for Anchorage locals and visitors alike. Each weekend, vendors from around the state set up their stalls to sell their wares, which range from wild to wonderful.

I’ve long been a fan of the Anchorage Market and used to visit several times each summer with my family while growing up in the Anchorage area. I also made sure to bring Mr. V to explore with me on his first visit to Alaska back in 2017. In the past few years, the Anchorage Market has changed substantially – including its location – which has made for a very different experience; I made sure to plan a visit during my August 2021 trip and have updated this post accordingly based on my experience.

Anchorage Market Guide Hero

As of 2024, the Anchorage Market has changed again – and it’s for the better! I’m excited to share the updates for this year in the post below, to help you plan your visit.

If you’re curious about how to visit the Anchorage Market, or whether it’s worth it, I’ve shared all the details below, as well as my opinion on whether this should be a must-visit during your time exploring Anchorage.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Dena’ina Ełnena people. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

This post was originally published in September 2014, and was recently most updated in March 2024.

2024 Anchorage Market Dates & Details

For summer 2024, here’s what you need to need to know:

  • After a few years in the parking lot of the Dimond Center, the Anchorage Market has moved back to its downtown location at 225 E Street for the 2024 season!
  • The Anchorage Market will take place on weekends from May 11th through September 8th.
  • Saturday hours are 10am to 6pm and Sunday hours are 11am to 5pm.

Downtown Anchorage is a classic grid system with east-west numbered avenues and north-south lettered streets. Using that system, the Anchorage Market is located on E Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

This is where the market used to take place when I was growing up, and where it was located through 2019; it’s so much more convenient than the other location, and I’m really excited that it’s back downtown since it’s so much easier for visitors to find.

Additionally, pro-tip, if you’re visiting during the window of the Alaska State Fair (August 16 to September 2, 2024), the Anchorage Market is usually about 50% smaller during this time as many vendors take the opportunity to set up their stalls at the Fair during those busy weekends.

What to Do at the Anchorage Market

The Anchorage Market is so much more than just an opportunity to browse the stalls and see kitschy souvenirs. While it’s a bit harder to reach now, you’ll be well-rewarded as you have the opportunity to get the kinds of souvenirs your friends and family will love – and which will spark great memories when you see them in your home.

But in addition to souvenir shopping, there’s more to do at the Anchorage Market…

Ultimate Souvenir Shopping

If you’re in Alaska or even just Anchorage for a short time, such as before/after an Alaska cruise, the Anchorage Market is the perfect spot to grab souvenirs from your trip. Here are some of the top Alaskan souvenirs you can find at the Anchorage Market:

  • Antler/horn, bone, and wooden carvings. Artists create beautiful carvings of Alaskan scenes and animals that range in size from mantlepiece displays to pocket-sized tokens.
  • Ulu knives. In addition to the nearby Ulu Factory (down the hill near the Anchorage Train Depot), you can find beautiful hand-made Ulu knives in the Market. These traditional kitchen items are a perfect gift for the cook in your life.
  • Alaskan art and photography. Paintings and photography are common souvenirs on display at the market; you’ll find some of Alaska’s most talented artists come to sell their works at the Anchorage Market. Personally, I enjoy seeing the northern lights photography and have invested in a set for my own home.
  • Alaskan food products. Local honey, produce, and meat products are available for purchase. Try some fresh Alaska cherries in the middle of summer, or buy smoked salmon or reindeer to bring home and enjoy after your trip.
  • Fur products. If you are not morally opposed to fur products, you can get great ones at the market. These are sold in accordance with Alaska law regarding the harvesting of furs based on animals, and are usually sold by Alaskan Native companies or individuals.

Enjoy Live Music

Throughout the day on Saturdays and Sundays, bands and artists perform on the main stage near the 3rd Ave./E St. entrance to the Market. These bands range from local youth rock bands to traditional Alaskan music performances, and are free to enjoy.

You’ll also find some musicians and other artists who set up in empty stall spaces and perform (busk) during the Market. These artists often have music for sale or accept tips; others are just playing to add pleasant music to the air.

Eat Local Foods & Try Local Flavors

As you hopefully already know from reading elsewhere on my blog, Anchorage is full of great places to eat. The Anchorage Market is no exception.

You can find a huge range of distinctly Alaskan casual food options, from salmon quesadillas to Halibut fish and chips to elk and bison burgers. There are also great ethnic food options from around the world, including Hawaiian, Pan-Asian, and Russian/Eastern European.

By far my favorite food at the market are the corn fritters with honey butter. I’m not sure where the corn fritter tradition in Alaska originated, but the crispy dough balls are deep fried and served with a sweet/salty butter that melts perfectly over them.

How Long to Spend at the Market

In my experience, you can spend anywhere from 2 hours to a half-day at the Anchorage Market. I recommend showing up in mid-morning, and staying through lunchtime (2-3 hours). The best plan is to walk through the market once or twice, then head back to the stalls where you found objects you might want to buy. Making your purchases at the end will mean you don’t have to carry them the whole day as you walk around, and you’ll find exactly what you want to purchase.

Is the Anchorage Market Worth It?

To be honest, I’m not as enthusiastic in my endorsement of the Anchorage Market as I once was. This is for several reasons:

  1. The new location is just so much less convenient for visitors; I usually only recommend it for those I know will have access to a rental car.
  2. The new location is also less inspiring; the previous downtown location was surrounded by buildings and had city, mountain, and Cook Inlet views. Now it’s in a mall parking lot.

My most recent experience was also colored by the fact that there were fewer vendors than I expected (due to the Alaska State Fair, which I already mentioned!), and I didn’t get my corn fritter fix. I have to be honest that it was disappointing and that makes me less likely to recommend it. There are so many great things to do in Anchorage, this is one good one – but your interests may inspire you to do other things, and I don’t think you’re really missing out.

I hope that helps you decide whether you want to visit the Anchorage Market this year, and what you need to know if you decide you do! Have any other questions about visiting the Anchorage Market as a visitor? Let me know in the comments below!

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.