Seaplane Base in Anchorage, Alaska
I've seen a lot of airports, but Alaska's Lake Hood Seaplane Base in Anchorage is truly unique. With 800 takeoffs and landings each day, it's the busiest seaplane airport in the world.
Watching the plane traffic here is a popular spectator sport--and it's free! Two narrow channels link Lake Hood to nearby Lake Spenard, with one channel used for takeoffs and the other for landings. There's a parking lot on the takeoff side, with picnic tables set up right alongside the channel.
Seaplanes start their takeoffs on the lake, then speed down the channel toward the observation area. When they thunder past, they're so close, you can see the pilots' faces!
The action here is continuous. Even as one plane takes off, water streaming from its pontoons, you can hear another revving up down the line. Lake Hood is part of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on South Frontage Road, 3 miles southwest of the city's central business district.
To learn more, call the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-907/ 276-4118.