When one visits Anchorage one should not expect New York, LA or other such cities. Anchorage is on the edge of the frontier so it is that type city. Anchorage is a very young city and only really developed after oil was struck in the 70s. Anchorage has many high quality restaurants with lots and lots of sea food. The downtown restaurants such as Simons, Sullivans and Phillys are all good high end restaurants. However there are many smaller great places downtown, Orsos, Snow City to name a couple. When one vists Anchorage you will find the same name brand hotels as anywher else. For goodness sake, pick out a smaller localy owned hotel and find out about the real Anchorage.
The large hotels are staffed by paid employees, in the summer most of them are from the lower 48 and no nothing about Anchorage or Alaska. Pick one of the smaller locally owned ones such as Anchorage Downtown Hotel, Americas Best Value Inn-Downtown, Dukes or the Voyager. All of these are locally owned and operated and all the owners are on site and can tell you more about Anchorage and Alaska than any guide book.
orget about the rental car, leave it in the parking lot, get out and walk about Anchorage, meet the people, smell the flowers and you will enjoy your stay. You can go to the chain hotels and sit in your room anywhere. Also this is a city on the edge of the wilds, so expect a little dust here and there, expect the midnight sun to shine in your window, expect the geese and sea gulls to make noise and expect to see a moose wandering about. Anchorage is a wonderful city enjoy it.