Where to Stay in Alaska: 7 Top Towns + Hotel Guide

If you wondering where to stay in Alaska to make the most of your dream trip to the Last Frontier State? You have got to the right place!

Alaska is a bucket list destination for many and honestly, it’s not hard to see why! Boasting a wide variety of wildlife, diverse landscapes, and native culture it’s one of the best places to visit in the world, let alone the United States.

However, it’s not an easy state to travel around as there are lots of areas that are only accessible via the Alaska Marine Highway System. Many of the more touristy areas are accessible by road which makes things easier, but generally, the majority of the state is very remote!

To help you decide where to stay in Alaska I’ve put together this very comprehensive guide that covers the best towns to visit in Alaska. I’ve separated this guide into 7 different towns; each of which offers something unique whether that be wildlife or native culture. I’ve also selected the best hotels for each town so you don’t have to spend hours researching! This gives you more time to plan the ultimate Alaska itinerary!

If you’re wondering where to stay in Alaska then let’s take a look at the best towns for you to visit…

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Where to stay in Alaska

Where to Stay Alaska Overview

TOWNBEST FORBEST ACCOMMODATION
AnchorageBest place to stay for first-time visitors, Alaska culture, for a short visit to Alaska | Great for familiesHyatt Place Anchorage-Midtown
FairbanksWhere to stay in Alaska for Aurora Borealis, winter sports, and enjoying hot springs | Couples love it!Aurora Villa
ValdezBest place to stay to enjoy glaciers, wildlife spots, waterfalls, and hikes House on the Rock B&B
SewardBest town in Alaska for marine wildlife, hiking, Kenai Fjords, and Resurrections Bay | Great for familiesBear Lake Lodgings B&B
Denali National Park Where to stay in Alaska for wildlife watching, hikes, camping, and adventure activities Grande Denali Lodge
TalkeetnaOne of the best places to stay in Alaska for adventure activities and flightseeing tours Willow Cabin
JuneauBest place in Alaska to see whales and wildlife, glaciers and hikes | Great destination for families and couplesSilverbow Inn Hotel & Suites

Where to Stay Alaska: 7 Best Towns + Top Hotels

ANCHORAGE: Best Place to Stay in Alaska for Culture

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska and is often where people enter the country if traveling by air! It’s thought of as ‘the gateway to nearby wilderness areas and is where many people choose to base themselves when visiting the state.

You’ll also find it relatively easy to get around the surrounding area as the city has public bus links and a train station. There are plenty of rental services around too if you’re planning to rent a car which I’d definitely recommend.

This city offers a spectacular mountain backdrop and easy access to nearby hiking trails but you’ll find plenty of other things to do in Anchorage too! Not only that but this city is known for its incredible culture and is home to the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Anchorage is also the perfect destination for foodies as you’ll find plenty of awesome restaurants and bars in town. So, if you’re wondering where to stay in Alaska then this city may be the perfect place for you!

BEST FOR:
  • Learning about Alaska’s culture
  • If you’re looking to base yourself in one location
  • First-timers especially as there’s so much to do in the area!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE ANCHORAGE:
  • The city offers a striking mountain backdrop
  • Great public transport links which are handy if you’re not planning to rent a car
  • Plenty of fantastic hiking trails nearby
BEST ATTRACTIONS IN ANCHORAGE:
  • The Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • The Anchorage Museum
  • Anchorage Market
  • Flattop Mountain
  • The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
  • Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum
  • Trolley Tours of the city
  • Here you will find a complete guide to Best Things to do in Anchorage
BEST HOTELS IN ANCHORAGE:

Best Overall | Hyatt Place Anchorage-Midtown

$$$ | 3 Stars | Swimming Pool | On-site Restaurant

This hotel is in a fantastic location as it’s close to a variety of awesome attractions. You’ll also benefit from an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, fitness center, and bar. Breakfast is available here too!


Where to stay in Anchorage

Good Value |  Lake Front Anchorage

$$ | 3 Stars | Stunning Lakefront Location | On-site Restaurant

The Lake Front Anchorage is in a beautiful location and offers a free shuttle service into Downtown Anchorage. There’s also a restaurant and bar on-site where you can try Alaskan cuisine.


Mid-Range | Hotel Captain Cook

$$-$$$ | 4 Stars | Sea-View Rooms | On-site Spa & Wellness Center

The Hotel Captain Cook is located in Downtown Anchorage. Boasting excellent facilities, modern rooms, and incredible views, it’s one of the best options in the city! You’ll also be in a great spot for exploring Anchorage.


best places to stay in Anchorage, Alaska

House/Cabin | Nunaka Valley Cottage

$$ | Two-Bedroom House | Sleeps 4

Nunaka Valley Cottage is a great option if you’re looking to stay in a cabin! Boasting a garden, private parking, an equipped kitchen, and a BBQ – this place has a lot to offer!


FAIRBANKS: Best Place to Stay in Alaska for the Northern Lights

If you’re looking to stay in a more remote city then Fairbanks is one of the best options!

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Fairbanks ranging from incredible museums to dog sledding schools. Not only that but there are many awesome day trips you can take from the city too. One of these is the iconic drive-up to the Arctic Circle sign!

However, the number one reason to stay in Fairbanks is the Northern Lights. This city is one of the best places in the world to spot the Aurora Borealis as it can be spotted 243 days of the year here! The Aurora season runs from August to April and during this time, the Northern Lights can be spotted four out of five nights.

You’ll also get to experience the midnight sun if you visit here at the right time of year. For these reasons, Fairbanks is one of the best places to stay in Alaska!

BEST FOR:
  • If you’re looking to spot the Northern Lights
  • Experiencing the Midnight Sun if you stay here between April and August
  • Winter activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing
WHY YOU WILL LOVE FAIRBANKS:
  • There are so many fantastic places to visit!
  • You can take day trips to the Arctic Circle, the North Pole, and the Chena River State Recreation Area
  • Fairbanks is full of awesome food options and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from
BEST ATTRACTIONS IN FAIRBANKS:
  • The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center
  • Museum of the North
  • Pioneer Park
  • Trans-Alaska Pipeline Viewpoint
  • Georgeson Botanical Garden
  • Fairbanks Ice Museum
  • Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station
  • Here you will find a complete guide to Best Things to do in Fairbanks
BEST HOTELS IN FAIRBANKS:
Bucket list Alaska

Best Overall | Aurora Villa

$$-$$$ | Beautiful Mountain Views | Condo Hotel

Aurora Villa has amazing mountain views and a great location to catch the Northern Lights. The condo hotel offers modern decor and equipped kitchen, and it is a great location for quiet and relaxation.


what Alaska is known for

Good Value | Northern Sky Lodge

$-$$ | Shared Lounge Area | Family rooms

If you’re traveling on a budget then this is the best option for you! Offering comfortable rooms, shared kitchen, dining, and living room facilities. Breakfast is available.


Mid-Range | Pike’s Waterfront Lodge

$$ | 3 Stars | On-site Restaurant | Sauna

This gorgeous lodge overlooks the Chena River and is a fantastic option if you’re looking to stay in Fairbanks. If you decide to stay here you’ll benefit from an on-site restaurant, fitness center, and sauna.


House/Cabin | Hilton Hideaway

$ | Two-Bedroom Apartment | Sleeps 5

Hilton Hideaway is a very budget-friendly property, especially when the cost is split between five people. It offers a garden area, free private parking, a kitchen, and helpful amenities such as a washing machine.


VALDEZ: Best Place to Stay in Alaska for Glaciers

Valdez is another popular destination in Alaska and honestly, you can’t visit the state and not explore this beautiful city. Nestled between the iconic Prince William Sound and the Chugach Mountains, Valdez has to be one of the most scenic cities in Alaska (which is saying a lot!).

Although it’s only small, you’ll find endless things to do in Valdez so make sure you allow plenty of time to explore if you choose this place as your base. Not only are there lots of attractions to visit in the city but there are also plenty of hiking trails nearby. On these trails, you’ll get fantastic views of the surrounding area and you might even get to spot bears and moose!

Valdez is surrounded by areas that you can visit on a day trip too but it’s the cruises here that often steal the spotlight. These cruises offer you the chance to spot glaciers and a variety of wildlife so it’s no wonder that so many people head to Valdez. So, if you’re wondering where to stay in Alaska – Valdez is a great option!

BEST FOR:
  • Taking a cruise out to see the nearby glaciers
  • Wildlife-watching as bald eagles and sea otters can be spotted right from the harbor
  • Hiking as there are plenty of awesome trails in the area!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE VALDEZ:
  • Breathtaking views all around you!
  • The variety of things to do and see
  • Endless wildlife-watching opportunities
BEST ATTRACTIONS IN VALDEZ:
  • Heading out on a Wildlife Boat Tour/Cruise
  • The Solomon Gulch Hatchery
  • Valdez Old Town
  • Valdez Museum
  • The Valdez Glacier
  • Kayaking on Valdez Lake
  • Valdez Harbor
  • Here you will find a complete guide to Best Things to do in Valdez
BEST HOTELS IN VALDEZ:
where to stay in Valdez

Best Overall | House on the Rock B&B

$-$$ | 5 Stars | Continental Breakfast | Common Room Area

House on the Rock B&B is just a 5-minute drive from the waterfront so it’s in a great location. Every room is Alaska-themed with cozy furnishings and plenty of amenities. This includes free WiFi and a TV.


where to stay in Valdez, Alaska

Good Value | Keystone Hotel

$ | 2 Stars | Continental Breakfast | Free WiFi

Keystone Hotel is great for people visiting Alaska on a budget. With a striking mountain backdrop, a free airport shuttle service, and a great location – it’s the perfect option for shoestring travelers.


best places to stay in Valdez

Mid-Range | Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn

$-$$ | 3 Stars | Panoramic Harbor Views | On-site Restaurant

Boasting panoramic views of Valdez Harbor, an on-site restaurant, and a fitness center, this place has a lot to offer. There’s also a convenience store, a bar, and a beauty shop at the Inn!


SEWARD: Best Place to Stay in Alaska for Wildlife Cruises

If you’re heading to Alaska for the wildlife (which many people do) then I’d recommend staying in Seward! As it’s quite out of the way it’s not the place where you want to base the whole of your trip but you’ll definitely want to stay here.

Nestled between Kenai Fjords National Park and the Kenai Mountains, this charming port city is one of the bucket lists of Alaska. You’ll also be treated to spectacular views of Mount Marathon which is the city’s backdrop.

With its bustling harbor, fantastic hiking trails, such as the incredible Exit Glacier Hike, and charming art galleries, this breathtaking place has something for everyone. You won’t be short of things to do in Seward but the main reason people visit is to head out on a cruise. From here, you get easy access to Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay.

On these cruises, you can spot a variety of wildlife including humpback whales, harbor seals, orcas, sea otters, and sea lions. If you keep your eyes peeled you might also spot bald eagles, puffins, and mountain goats as you cruise by! As you can see Seward is one of the best places to stay in Alaska for keen wildlife watchers.

BEST FOR:
  • Wildlife cruises in this area are home to plenty of marine life
  • Outdoor lovers as there are lots of awesome hiking trails nearby
  • Glaciers – the iconic Exit Glacier is just a 15-20 minute drive from the city
WHY YOU WILL LOVE SEWARD:
  • It’s the ‘gateway’ to Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay
  • Plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities
  • There are tons of activities that you can do ranging from kayaking to glacier hiking
BEST ATTRACTIONS IN SEWARD:
  • Alaska Sea Life Center
  • Cruises of Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay
  • Exit Glacier
  • Seward Harbor
  • Seward Community Library & Museum
  • Mount Marathon
  • Bear Creek Weir
  • Here you will find a complete guide to Best Things to do in Seward
BEST HOTELS IN SEWARD:
where to stay in Seward

Best Overall | Bear Lake Lodgings B&B

$$$ | Stunning Lakefront Location | Sun Terrace

This B&B offers a scenic location and is the best option if you’re staying in Seward. Offering incredible views of the lake, a sun terrace, and a tasty breakfast – you’ll get a lot for your money!


best places to stay in Seward

Good Value | Seward Adventure Lodge

$$ | Great Location | Shared Lounge Area

Seward Adventure Lodge is perfect for budget travelers! The rooms and spacious and modern, and there’s a shared lounge area where you can relax. You’ll also be in a great location for exploring Seward.


where to stay in Seward, Alaska

Mid-Range | Sauerdough Lodging

$$-$$$ | 3 Stars | On-site Restaurant | Free WiFi

Saurdough Lodging is in a fantastic location as there are plenty of awesome attractions nearby. They offer a variety of studios and apartments and each one is kitted out with all the amenities you need!


best places to stay in Seward, Alaska

House/Cabin | Tiny Home

$$$ | One-Bedroom Holiday home | Sleeps 2

 This unique tiny home is close to Downtown Seward and is the perfect option if you’re looking for a place to yourself. Offering mountain views and a fully-equipped kitchen, this place has everything you could need!


DENALI NATIONAL PARK: Best Place to Stay in Alaska for Wildlife

No trip to Alaska is complete without visiting Denali National Park! It’s one of the most popular national parks in the world, let alone the state due to its wildlife-watching opportunities.

This is the main reason that people visit as Denali is home to Alaska’s Big 5; bear, caribou, Dall sheep, moose, and wolves. If you’re lucky, you might get to spot all five. However, I’d recommend staying here for a couple of days as the park is so vast that you aren’t guaranteed to see anything as they as wild animals…

The park covers an astounding 6 million acres and the majority of this is just remote wilderness. From the alpine tundra to the towering Alaska Range, you’ll find a wide variety of dramatic landscapes here. This includes Mount Denali (or Mount Mckinley) which is the highest mountain in North America.

To protect the national park visitors can only drive up to Mile 15 of the Denali Park Road and then you’ll need to hop on a bus tour to explore the rest! These buses only run during the summer months though so just keep that in mind! Make sure you check everything you need to know before you visit Denali National Park.

BEST FOR:
  • Wildlife-watching as Denali is home to Alaska’s Big 5
  • Keen hikers as there are endless trails for you to tackle – just make sure you pack bear spray!
  • Photography as Denali offers a wide range of dramatic landscapes
WHY YOU WILL LOVE DENALI NATIONAL PARK:
  • Endless wildlife-watching opportunities
  • Plenty of fantastic hiking trails ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous
  • Lots of awesome adventure activities to get involved in
BEST ATTRACTIONS IN DENALI NATIONAL PARK:
  • Denali Park bus tour
  • Denali Visitor Center
  • Husky Homestead
  • Eielson Visitor Center
  • Wonder Lake
  • Flightseeing tours
  • The endless hiking trails
  • Here you will find a complete guide to Best Things to do in Denali National Park
BEST HOTELS IN DENALI NATIONAL PARK:
best places to stay in Denali National Park

Best Overall | Grande Denali Lodge

$$$ | 3 Stars | On-Site Dining Options | Panoramic Views

Boasting panoramic views of the surrounding area, on-site dining options, and cozy rooms – Grande Denali Lodge is a great option! It’s situated along George Park’s Highway in McKinley Park.


where to stay in Denali, Alaska

Good Value | White Moose Lodge

$-$$ | 3 Stars | Mountain Views | Free WiFi

White Moose Lodge offers mountain and forest views, and the chance to spot wildlife – including moose! The rooms are cozy and feature a private bathroom, free WiFi, a BBQ, and a flat-screen TV.


where to stay in Denali

Mid-Range | Aurora Denali Lodge

$$ | 1 Stars | On-site Restaurant | Business Center

Aurora Denali Lodge is located in Healy and is surrounded by lush forests. With an on-site restaurant, business center, free WiFi, and private parking – this place has so much to offer!


House/Cabin | Denali Tri-Valey Cabins

$$-$$$ | 2 Stars | Car Rental Service | Sleeps 4

Situated in Healy, Denali Tri-Valley Cabins are the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for some space. They offer a fully-equipped kitchen, free WiFi, a BBQ area, and air conditioning.


TALKEETNA: Best Place to Stay in Alaska for Adventure Activities

Talkeetna is one of the best places to stay in Alaska if you’re looking to try out some adventurous activities! There’s everything you could think of here ranging from zip lines to dog sledding so there’s something for everyone.

However, one of the main reasons to visit this charming town is the flightseeing tours. Many of these tours depart from Talkeetna Airport and they will take you into Denali national park and over the Alaska Range. If you’re lucky, you might get to spot Mount Denali if it’s a clear day.

Even if you’re not looking for an adrenaline pump, there are plenty of other awesome reasons to visit Talkeetna. For starters, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains – including Mount McKinley (Mount Denali). Not only that, but this place is home to lots of historic buildings which can be found along Main Street.

Talkeetna is located halfway between Anchorage and Denali National Park so it’s a great base for exploring the state!

BEST FOR:
  • Adventure activities such as flightseeing
  • Using as a base to explore Anchorage and Denali as the town is located halfway between the two
  • Winter sports including the iconic Oosik Classic Nordic Ski Race
WHY YOU WILL LOVE TALKEETNA:
  • The mountain views from this town are insane!
  • There are plenty of activities and excursions available
  • Talkeetna is full of culture and Heritage as it used to be a thriving gold-mining town
BEST ATTRACTIONS IN TALKEETNA:
  • Talkeetna Main Street
  • Talkeetna Museum
  • Denali Brewing Company and Tasting Room
  • The Hurricane Turn Train
  • Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station
  • The Talkeetna Riverfront
  • Aurora Dora Art Gallery
  • Here you will find a complete guide to Best Things to do in Talkeetna
BEST HOTELS IN TALKEETNA:
the best places to stay in Alaska

Best Overall | Willow Cabin

$$$ | Self-Contained Cabin | Sleeps 6

Willow Cabin is one of the most highly-rated properties in Talkeetna! With a cozy interior, an outside patio area, and an equipped kitchen, this place has everything you could need. You’ll be surrounded by forestry too!


where to stay in Talkeetna, Alaska

Good Value | Susitna River Lodge

$-$$ | Free WiFi | Self-contained Suites

As the name suggests this lodge is situated on the banks of the Susitna River. They offer a variety of gorgeous suites and each one is kitted out with plenty of awesome amenities.


best places to stay in Alaska

Mid-Range | Talkeetna Inn

$$ | 2 Stars | On-site Snack Bar | Free Airport Shuttle Service

Talkeetna Inn is another awesome option! With snug rooms, an on-site bar, a billiards table, and a free airport shuttle service, this place has so much to offer! There’s also a shared lounge area where you can relax.


where to stay in Alaska

House/Cabin | Talkeetna Fireweed Cabins

$ | Garden area | Private Parking

 Talkeetna Fireweed Cabins is another budget-friendly option and moose are known to visit this place from time to time. Inside, you’ll benefit from a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, and free WiFi.


JUNEAU: Best Place to Stay in Alaska for Epic Views

Juneau is the capital of Alaska and one of the most interesting facts about Alaska is that Juneau actually one of the largest cities in the United States by area! Covering an area of 3,108 square miles it’s hard to believe that you can’t access this city by road. You heard right – you can only get to Juneau via plane or ferry.

This is because the city is surrounded by the Juneau Ice Field so creating a road is impossible. Its remote location does mean that Juneau is situated in one of the biggest wilderness areas in the U.S. so naturally, there are plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities.

This city is actually one of the best places to spot wildlife in the world! Wildlife cruises here are popular as you’ve got a great chance of spotting whales, orcas, sea lions, sea otters, and beavers. Other animals that you can spot in and around the city include bears, bald eagles, and mountain goats.

Juneau is considered to be the most scenic capital in the United States and it’s not hard to see why! With its coastal location, towering mountain backdrop, and natural wonders – this isn’t a place you want to miss whilst in Alaska. Lastly, this city is known for its history, culture, and art.

BEST FOR:
  • Whale & wildlife watching
  • Glaciers – the famous Mendenhall Glacier is just a 10-15 minute drive from the city
  • Hikers – Juneau and its surrounding area are home to over 250 miles of hiking trails
WHY YOU WILL LOVE JUNEAU:
  • The city offers breathtaking views with its mountain backdrop and bayfront location
  • Plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities
  • You’ll experience city life but on the “wild side”
BEST ATTRACTIONS IN JUNEAU:
  • Mendenhall Glacier
  • Mount Roberts Tramway
  • Alaska State Museum
  • Mount Juneau
  • Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure
  • Whale-watching cruises
  • Tracy Arm Fjord
  • Here you can find a guide to Top Bucket List in Alaska
BEST HOTELS IN JUNEAU:
where to stay in Juneau

Best Overall | Silverbow Inn Hotel & Suites

$$$ | 3 Stars | Hot Tub | On-site Restaurant & Bar

With an on-site restaurant and bar, a shared lounge area, and a hot tub – this hotel has so much to offer! They also offer a concierge service and have a shared kitchen that guests can use.


Good Value | Juneau Hotel

$-$$ | 3 Stars | Free Shuttle Service | Fitness Center

Juneau Hotel is one of the most budget-friendly options in the city. The suites they offer are spacious and cozy, and you’ll be in a great location to explore. There’s also a fitness center on-site that you can use.


Mid-Range | Four Points by Sheraton Juneau

$$-$$$ | 3 Stars | Scenic Waterfront Views | On-site Bar

This Hotel offers a variety of water-view and mountain-view suites. Each one offers plenty of amenities too! Situated in downtown Juneau, you’ll be close to major attractions including whale-watching tours.


House/Cabin | Kelli Creek Cottage

$$ | Self-contained Apartment | Sleeps 2

Kelli Creek Cottage offers gorgeous sea views from its balcony so is one of the best places to stay in Juneau. You’ll also get reduced prices on tours and the cottage is in a central location.


Where to Stay in Alaska Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has given you a good idea of where to stay in Alaska!

Alaska is the largest state in the United States by far covering an impressive 663,000 square miles. Understandably there’s a lot to see and plenty of fantastic towns to visit so it’s important to choose the perfect base if you’re not planning to do a road trip.

The best way to decide where to stay is simply by thinking about why you’re visiting Alaska, the places you wish to see, and how much traveling you want to be doing! The time you’ve got in the state will also play a big role so just keep that in mind.

If you’re planning a trip to Alaska then here are some other guides that you may find useful:

Best accommodations in Alaska

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