Adventure awaits in Spenard,
a convenient Anchorage
neighborhood sandwiched between Hood Canal and Midtown.
Rugged outdoor adventure and chic city living combine to create a community with a unique flavor. If you're into the bohemian lifestyle, bicycle parties, and a diverse range of cultural festivals, start your search for some affordable Spenard housing to begin your new journey. Many choose Spenard for its close proximity to some of Anchorage's biggest natural and cultural attractions, but others choose apartments in Spenard for its world-class international cuisine and down-home Alaskan eateries.
Housing part of the city's international airport, this community has grown into one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Anchorage. As you stroll past Korean storefronts in the commercial district while chowing down on Himalayan momos and listening to your neighbors chat in Tagalog, it's easy to see what sets Spenard apart from the rest of the city.
Schools in Spenard
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Restaurants & Nightlife
Take a drive down the historic Spenard Road to find the neighborhood's best eats and local bars. From fast food joints and BBQ roadhouses to Japanese restaurants and organic cafes, Spenard has something to satisfy every taste and budget.
When you're in the mood for some Alaskan comfort food, sit down at the Spenard Roadhouse to try the famous bacon jam burger. Unlike most bacon cheeseburgers, this monster of a burger uses a bacon spread for full flavor. Eat it with a side of super tots, and end your meal with a roasted s'more for a nostalgic treat.
For something a little more adventurous, step into Yak and Yeti to try some authentic Himalayan and Indian dishes. This family-owned restaurant serves up some incredible garlic naan, and the spicy goat curry never disappoints. For a please-all starter, get the Tibetan momos, stuffed dumplings steamed and served with a savory dipping sauce.
When it comes to nightlife, few areas of Anchorage do it better than Spenard, where you find plenty of cocktail lounges, dive bars and even a few nightclubs. You can enjoy dancing and live music at Koot's, but if you really want a taste of Spenard's home-grown nightlife, head to Crossroads Lounge to savor some free hot dogs and soup alongside a whiskey sour or your favorite beer. It may not rest in the fanciest part of town, but locals flock here for the cheap fried sides and friendly atmosphere. Plus, you can't go wrong with free darts and Foosball.
History & Culture
Once open wilderness, Spenard first came into being when Joe Spenard began clearing a road from downtown Anchorage to a large lake for his lumber camp. He built a dance pavilion there to the chagrin of the local forest service, and though it later burned to the ground, the area still serves as a popular floatplane base for the locals. Bars, nightclubs and other boisterous businesses began to spring up in the airport town over the years. Officials tried to tame the neighborhood during the building of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, but a fair number of lively bars still adorn the streets.
From the beginning, Spenard created an atmosphere of fun and entertainment, and you can still enjoy that heritage with the Spenard Jazz Fest, an annual music extravaganza featuring local talent. Residents with a taste for strong brews might also enjoy the annual Beer and Mead Fest held each spring to showcase the fine drafts of Alaska's top distilleries.
Spenard lies just a short drive away from dozens of museums, theaters and other cultural attractions. For a taste of the neighborhood's whimsical artistic side, check out a painting workshop at Blaine's Art before grabbing some art supplies for your own masterpiece.
Spenard's open spaces and low population density make it a dream for vehicle owners, a population that makes up the majority of neighborhood residents. The Walter J. Hickel Parkway gives you easy access to the rest of the city, and free street parking abounds even in the commercial areas. Close proximity to the airport means you can call a taxi service or an Uber driver anytime for a quick ride.
The neighborhood does not offer much in terms of public transportation, but the People Mover buses do make a few stops in Spenard. If you prefer to bike, take advantage of several miles of bike trails and bike-friendly roads like Northwood Drive. Just keep in mind that Anchorage's harsh winters keep bike season short. If you're venturing out on two feet, enjoy plenty of wide sidewalks and basic amenities within walking distance of your new home.
Thanks to its generous spread of grocery stores, cheap entertainment and low-cost housing, Spenard remains one of Anchorage's more affordable options for residents who want to enjoy the beauty of the city without emptying their wallets. You can rent a cozy one-bedroom
apartment here for around $850, a little below average for the city.
Drive down Spenard Road or visit the neighborhood's northern border for a fine selection of boutiques, consignment stores, and outdoor retailers. These thriving businesses await with endless bargains behind simple storefronts and strip malls.
You don't find much in the way of high fashion here, but a few upscale retailers like Fromagio's Artisan Cheese add a touch of rustic luxury to the neighborhood. Stop by Fromagio's to pick up some 10-year-old Hook's Cheddar before ordering an artisan grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.
Browse through an eclectic selection of home decor at GrassRoots Fair Trade Store, a charming boutique selling everything from Cambodian purses to scarves and hand-made jewelry. Shop here if you're looking for that special gift with a story behind it.
When you need to pick up some groceries, step into Mom & Pop's Grocery & Liquor or Stop N' Shop Asian Market. In the summer, you can find fresh produce at the local farmer's market. Just look for the big, white windmill by Koot's to find the bustling marketplace.
With its heavily forested open spaces and small-town atmosphere, Spenard often seems like a park in itself. However, locals still love to visit Sisterhood Park and a treasure trove of other public parks to work out, play with the kids or just sit on a bench to read a good book.
Lying just behind Northwood Elementary School and adjacent to the Spenard Community Recreation Center, Sisterhood Park has been a neighborhood meeting spot since 1980. Watch a friendly ball game on the park's baseball diamond, or let your kids climb on the vintage playground. Feel free to walk your dog around the park, so long as you keep him leashed.
Plenty of bike enthusiasts reside in Spenard, and for good reason. The rustic neighborhood offers miles of paved and primitive bike trails along International Airport Road and several other streets. As you bike along groves of aspen trees, views of the nearby mountain landscape are sure to make for an incredible ride.