Anchorage is located south of Fairbanks and north of Seward along Highway 1, near the Gulf of Alaska and Cook Inlet.
The city was established in 1915 as construction headquarters of the Alaska Railroad to Fairbanks. During World War II, it became the U.S. Alaska Defense Command headquarters; in 1942, the Alaska Highway was built as part of the West Coast's defense. A major earthquake in 1964 caused several deaths and extensive damage. Anchorage enjoyed a major boom in the late '60s, when oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay. The Alaska Pipeline was built in the mid-'70s.
Today Anchorage, population 258,782, is the state's largest city and the transportation, communications and commercial hub of the southcentral and western regions. The city is the starting point of the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to Nome. Other attractions are Fur Rendezvous, Earthquake Park and nearby Eklutna Historical Park.
Anchorage is part of the Anchorage, Alaska metro area.