This is the biggest mall in Anchorage, and Alaska for all that matter, it's where Alaskans shop for everything! They have a Gap Store, an Old Navy Store, cellular kiosks, food joints, a movie theatre, ice skating rink your basic mall...
New Sagaya's was my another home. They do have two locations in Anchorage, City Market at 13th West Avenue and Midtown at 3700 Old Seward Highway. The latter one was right close to my work, so I spent a lots of time there picking up the lucnh and drinking some good Kaladi Coffee.
There is also Yamato Ya, a sushi restaurant in the same buildning and then L'Aroma, a nice special delicatess cafeteria. Plus of course, the Kaladi Brother's coffee stand. Yum.
What to buy: Fresh Alaskan Seafood (among others Copper River salmon!), ethnic cuisine, specialty foods, gourmet grocery, fresh produce, and choice meats.
The seafood section is great. No there is no smell, everything is fresh there. You find also Finnish cheese from here! As well as Finnish liqorice. Yummy yum.
I always enjoyed the Fresh rolls as well as Portobella mushroom soup. And you'll never know who you will meet in this place.
What to pay: Alaska King Crab is very pricy for example but then some good take-away is only 3 $.
When you are tired of the crowded tourist traps that sell trinkets that you will probably never use or wear after your Alaskan trip is over, then you need to visit Style of Russia. This is appropriately acclaimed as one of the most beatiful gift stores in downtown Anchorage.
Style of Russia is eye-candy. Everything is beautiful and beautifully displayed. Don't be fooled - it isn't a museum (although it can appear that way). The items are treasures and are GREAT in price - especially if you have any experience with what other stores sell Russian-made items.
What to buy: Once you get past wanting everything at Style of Russia, then you can get to serious shopping. They have musk-ox shawls from Siberia that are so inexpensive, you'll wonder what the catch is. There is no catch - they are beautiful and elegant.
Love art? You will want to consider a beautiful hand-painted lacquer box.
Love teapots and teacups and dishes? Style of Russia has the finest porcelain imagineable from St. Petersburg, Russia.
Want something inexpensive? They have that too! A wonderful and fun collection of Russian nesting dolls ranging from the EXTREMELY collectible (like a 50-piece doll) to fun small dolls that cost only a few dollars that are great as gifts for children and friends.
What to pay: When you purchase from Style of Russia, you will be paying pennies on the dollar for what the item is worth and almost guaranteed less than any other store that sells Russian items is pricing their items at. You can walk away with real treasures for relatively nothing.
We have been members of Costcos Warehouse for years. We've been in Costcos all over the world: Hawaii, Scotland, and now Alaska.
Most Alaskans take regular journeys to Costco, where you can find all of your food needs, digital photo (one hour) developing for .14 cents/ photo.
We got our gas here whenever we could, as it was consistently the best price around, plus the 4% refund they give to the Costco Amex card holders.
What to buy: If you will be RVing throughout Alaska, do yourself a favor and be prepared to be "self contained" food-wise as food shopping is more difficult as you get to the more remote places... plus it costs more because of the transportation needed to get the food to remote areas.
If you are a Sam's Club member, they have one of those, too, on Old Seward Highway near Dimond Center Mall. You'll find the WalMart there, too... across the street... with the lovely Chugach Mountains as it's background.
Downtown Anchorage is a souvenir-shopper's mecca. From tailored Eskimo mukluks to "Made in China" junk, these stores sell it all. But who knows? You may even see someone famous - I ran into Weird Al Yankovic in a souvenir shop near the bus terminal!
What to buy: One particular Alaskan product that you're not likely to find elsewhere is qiviut, or musk ox hair, which is 80 percent warmer by weight than wool. Scarves, hats, and gloves made from qiviut are, of course, pricey, but if you can afford it, worth more than their weight in gold when winter settles in.
The only place in Anchorage to find a collection of department stores. There's a JC Penney and a Nordstrom here, the only one in Alaska. Its worth a stop if you're stranded in Anchorage due to weather, or waiting for your plane flight home.
Many visitors to Alaska want an ULU which is a rounded blade with a handle used in food preparation. You will see them on display at most gift shops, and they can range from basic models to fancy art work with carved handles. Many of the gift shops carry ULUs made at the ULU factory. So why not just go there and pick out the one that you like.
What to buy: Buy an ULU. They come in many price ranges and have a cutting bowl. But beware: You can not take these on the airplane. It is best to ship them home. They come in a convienent shipping box with "From" and "To" areas lined waiting for your addresses.
They also have other gifts, including "Yummy Chummies" or pet treats made from Salmon.
The ULU Factory is located near Ship Creek which was the original townsite of Anchorage.
What to pay: They start at $20 and go from there.
I prefer Cook Inlet Books for souvenieers, but most locals like Title Wave. It is a huge, new age kind of bookstore with both new and used titles, lots of places to sit and read, and even a coffee shop. It is a bit too big for my tastes, but it is very popular.
When you enter, you can get a map of the store, or ask at the information counter.
Across the street is another used bookstore with a catchy name "Twice Told Tales" which I haven't visited yet. Worth mentioning as we are in a place with a catchy name.
What to buy: While travelling, it is always good to have a book, for some quiet time, or to relax after a busy day. Choose something that you will enjoy.
This big mall, located in South Anchorage is a place where you can spend a whole day with your family. There is skating place, gym. tanning salon, lots of shops, restaurants and even hotel.
There is a big big GAP as well as Old Navy, which are the places that I like to visit when being in Anchorage. Many of restaurants ar elocated on basement floor, but try to hot cup in upstairs. It was a good good experience and even it was very full, the service was incredible nice.
5th Avenue Mall is very very nice mall just in downtown. This 5-story mall has fancy shops among big names; Nordstrom, Gap, JC Penney, Banana Republic etc...
I do like this mall, because it is easy to reach by walking and there are good refresment places, such as Nordstrom Coffee Shop (nice views) and Fruit Bar upstairs (delicious smooths).
There is also a small special store, which sells everykind of Iditarod-stuff. That is a great place visit.
What to buy: There are lots of tourist shops in Anchorage and occassionally you may find something nice from there, but don't buy overpriced postcards, Alaska t-shirts etc or nuggets. it is just waste of money, special if they are made in China. Concentrate more native arts and jewelry, there are lots of good nice shops along 5th and 6th avenue.
What to buy:
Here are a pair of dance fans that I bought at the ANMC gift shop from an artist from a village near Bethel. I've used these as traditional dress during Yupi'k dance.
You can see the handle is woven grass. The white fur comes from the ruff/beard that are on caribou. These dance fances are decorated with felt and beads.
What to pay: $150 US
Artists from around the State of Alaska have their work on consignment.
What to buy: Baskets and hot pads made from grass are popular buys. It takes hours, and hours to create these designs. The woman who created this piece has relatives in Goodnews Bay a little north of Dillingham. The sea grass in Platinum and Goodnews is known for it's strength and beauty.
What to pay: You're bound to find some beautiful artwork and handicrafts without paying a middleman whose specific goal it is to make money on tourism.
Basically, there are several Alaskans who are required to go across the peninsula on the few non-rainy days and take pictures of all of the state's top attractions. They do this so that the travel brochures show all the sights that would make a prospective tourist want to visit, and so that tourists who have spent time and $$ within the state can show their friends what they would have seen had the sun been out during their vacation. Seriously though, postcards are cheap (10 cents apiece mostly) and have the most incredible snapshots that only professional equipment could capture.
What to buy: Other than postcards, pick up some Moose Munch and a couple of cans of whoop ass. But don't feed either to small children!
Meet Klondike Charlie, a real Alaskan Character. He carves glacial woods. We met earlier in the day and he is just a fun guy, full of stories and jokes. Other artists have their work displayed here and there is something for everyone.
What to buy: Charlie personalized one of his carvings for me, but there are lots of crafts to choose from. Whatever is to your liking.
What to pay: All price ranges.
This was just a fun store with all kinds of neat things to discover. Furniture, pillows, handbags, pens, all wild looking and fun.
What to buy: We didn't buy anything, but that is why they call it shopping and not buying.