The atmosphere of Anchorage is relaxed. There is less of a feeling of urgency than in many other metropolitan centers. Perhaps it is the majestic beauty of the mountains, or the profusion of flowers throughout the city or the pink and lavender light that reflects on the winter snow that consistently draw the attention of resident and visitor alike away from the press of business at just the right moment and toward the true heart of Anchorage.
Anchorage sits on a high bluff at the base of the Chugach Mountains along the coast of Cook Inlet in south central Alaska. It is as far north as Helsinki, Finland, and as far west as Honolulu, Hawaii. Protected by the mountains and warmed by Japanese currents of the Pacific Ocean, Anchorage has a temperate, maritime climate. Spring through fall, Anchorage's climate is similar to San Francisco's spring weather, with temperatures that can reach into the 70's with an average of 65 degrees.
Winters bring snow with high temperatures dipping into the 20s, creating a climate very much like ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains, Canada, or Europe. Low humidity also contributes to Anchorage's comfortable climate.
The Chugach, Kenai, and Alaska ranges can be seen from Anchorage. Mount McKinley, 130 miles north of downtown, can also be seen on clear days. This 20,320-foot peak is the tallest mountain in North America.