Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, best of alaska
Destinations

Best of Alaska – What to See & Do in the Last Frontier

Alaska is truly the Last Frontier, offering access to picture-perfect mountains, fjords, glaciers and wildlife viewing, from grizzly bears to whale watching. Intrepid travellers can see the best of Alaska and its natural scenery while hiking, fishing, skiing or visiting one of its national parks or plan carefully for the chance to see the Northern Lights.

Breaching humpback whale, best of alaska

Photo| Breaching humpback whale in Glacier Bay, Alaska| GETTYIMAGES – BETTY WILEY

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve highlighted the best of Alaska and the top things to do and see while visiting this vast state. Pack your sense of adventure and start planning your ideal itinerary by choosing which destinations suit your travel style, whether you prefer culture museums or glacier hiking.

Anchorage

Alaska Anchorage Downtown Skyline

Photo| Alaska Anchorage Downtown| GETTYIMAGES – BLUE POPPY

hiking in Chugach State Park near Anchorage, best of alaska

Photo| Backpacker hiking in Chugach State Park near Anchorage| GETTYIMAGES – HAGEPHOTO

Anchorage is Alaska’s biggest city, wedged between 1,500-metre-tall peaks and an inlet full of salmon and whales. Along with various cultural and historical museums, you can explore coastal treks, go moose spotting or hop on a glacier cruise. This family-friendly destination in the U.S. is the doorstep to accessing the best of Alaska, including the state’s top national parks and UNESCO-listed sites.

Top Experiences in Anchorage

 

Where to Stay in Anchorage

Hotel Captain Cook

Hotel Captain Cook, best hotel in Alaska

Photo| Hotel Captain| Provided by ICE PORTAL

Looking to escape the crowds in the U.S.? Hotel Captain Cook boasts stylish rooms facing the Cook Inlet or the Chugach Mountains while Junior Suites add separate living rooms. Alternatively, opt for a Crow’s Nest Suite for a large parlour and access to the Captain’s Deck lounge.

If you’re looking for romance, Crow’s Nest restaurant boasts a fine dining menu and cellar filled with more than 10,000 bottles of wine as well as panoramic city, inlet and mountain views. Also, there’s a classic English pub that serves Italian favourites and a full-service bar.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 170 – USD 450
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 939 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501, United States

Hotel Location

Denali National Park

Denali National Park, caribou in front of Mt.McKinley, best of Alaska

Photo| Denali National Park, caribou in front of Mt. McKinley| GETTYIMAGES – JOHNNY JOHNSON

Dall Sheep at the Polychrome Overlook

Photo| Dall sheep in Denali National Park at the Polychrome Overlook| GETTYIMAGES – DANIEL A. LEIFHEIT

Many travellers claim you haven’t seen the best of Alaska until you’ve visited Denali National Park, which is home to Mount McKinley, aka the tallest peak in North America. Known around the world for its astounding scenery, it offers a diverse landscape of tundra, spruce forest and glaciers. It’s open year-round and a popular destination for hiking through its spectacular wilderness areas.

Top Experiences in Denali National Park

  • See if you can spot local wildlife such as grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou and Dall sheep.
  • Go flightseeing – take in the enormity of the park and its rugged peaks and glaciers from the air.
  • Meet adorable rangers in the National Park Service at the Denali Sled Dog Kennels.

Where to Stay near Denali National Park

Denali Grizzly Bear Resort

Denali Grizzly Bear Resort, best hotel in Alaska

Photo| Denali Grizzly Bear Resort| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Family owned and operated since 1968, staying at Denali Grizzly Bear Resort is a highlight of visiting Denali National Park. Hotel rooms offer furnished decks overlooking the Nenana River, as well as in-room coffee and tea and cable TV. In addition, home-like cabin rentals are available.

Fuel up at the Food Truck Court, pick up snacks at the General Store or take advantage of the tour desk and laundromat. After a long day, relax at one of the campfire circles.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 98 – USD 279
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: Mile Post 231.1 George Parks Highway, McKinley Park, AK 99755, United States

Hotel Location

Seward

Two adults on stand up paddle board (SUP) observe hole melted in iceberg on Bear Lake in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska., best of Alaska

Photo| Two adults on stand up paddleboard on Bear Lake in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska| GETTYIMAGES – JAMES + COURTNEY FORTE

Seward Harbour and Alaska Mountain Range at Sunset

Photo| Seward Harbour and Alaska Mountain Range| GETTYIMAGES – PUTT SAKDHNAGOOL

Highlighting the best of Alaska and its natural beauty, Seward is considered one of the most picturesque destinations in the state. Its historic downtown district features a collection of charming shops and the harbour is like an Alaskan postcard with bobbing boats. Also, the city’s inlet location on the Menai Peninsula offers easy access to the majestic Kenai Fjords National Park.

Top Experiences in Seward

  • See glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield into coastal fjords at Kenai Fjords National Park.
  • Get up close to seals, otters and puffins on a behind-the-scenes tour at Alaska SeaLife Center.
  • Take a boat tour from the busy harbour or watch as local fishermen return with their fresh catch.

Where to Stay in Seward

Harbor 360 Hotel Seward

Harbor 360 Hotel Seward, best hotel in Alaska

Photo| Harbor 360 Hotel Seward| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Harbor 360 Hotel Seward is a premier waterfront hotel in Seward, offering panoramic vistas of Resurrection Bay and surrounding Kenai Mountains. Spacious mountain-view rooms boast satellite TV and mini fridges, while the Deluxe King Harbor Balcony features a private balcony with stunning harbour views.

In addition to a complimentary breakfast, there’s an indoor pool and hot tub, seasonal shuttle service and free Wi-Fi. Also, the hotel is within walking distance of top restaurants, shops and Alaska Railroad Depot.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 104 – USD 294
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: 1412 4th Avenue, Seward, AK 99664, United States

Hotel Location

Skagway

Historic false-front buildings, best of Alaska

Photo| Historic false-front buildings, Skagway, Alaska| GETTYIMAGES – JOHN ELK

The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a narrow gauge railroad between Skagway, Alaska USA and Whitehorse, Yukon.

Photo| The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, Skagway| GETTYIMAGES – BLAINE HARRINGTON III

Set in the Alaska Panhandle, Skagway is a historic city with epic scenery, spectacular hiking trails, and a fascinating Klondike Gold Rush history. Wine and dine at local seafood restaurants, then stop and smell the flowers at Jewell Gardens. If you have the time, plan a trip to nearby Davidson Glacier, Emerald Lake or Pitchfork Waterfalls.

Top Experiences in Skagway

Where to Stay in Skagway

Historic Skagway Inn

Historic Skagway Inn, best hotel in Alaska

Photo| Historic Skagway Inn| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Historic Skagway Inn is a historic bed and breakfast in Skagway, located downtown within the Klondike Gold Rush National Park Historic District. Enjoy its turn-of-the-century ambience and individually decorated rooms named after real women, with some featuring private baths and garden views.

Additionally, the hotel offers complimentary transport to/from the ferry, train or airport as well as a full hot breakfast. Further, its on-site restaurant Olivia serves locally-sourced Alaskan seafood, including delectable dishes such as steamed King Crab legs, Alaskan Halibut cakes and fish and chips.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 164 – USD 226
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 655 Broadway, Skagway, AK 99840, United States

Hotel Location

Juneau

Whale Swimming In Sea, best of Alaska

Photo| Whale Swimming, Juneau| GETTYIMAGES – MARTINA BIRNBAUM – EYEEM

Inside the Mendenhall Ice Cave in Alaska, best of Alaska

Photo| Inside the Mendenhall Ice Cave in Alaska, Juneau| GETTYIMAGES – WU SWEE ONG

A dream for outdoor lovers, Juneau is Alaska’s capital city that can only be reached by sea or air, as it sits on the southernmost point. Its remote location means that you’ll have easy access to the best of Alaska and its natural attractions, including glaciers, waterfalls, fjords and national forests.

Top Experiences in Juneau

  • Marvel at Mendenhall Glacier and explore the ice caves, which are roughly 20 kilometres from downtown.
  • Photograph the dramatic glacial fjord, waterfall and wildlife scenery at Tracy Arm Fjord on a guided cruise.
  • Take a tour of Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure for a glimpse of the region’s lush vegetation.
Raw landscape of Alaska, USA, best of Alaska

Photo| Mendenhall Lake, Mendenhall Towers, Glacier and Mount Wrather| GETTYIMAGES – RANDY QUAYLE

Where to Stay in Juneau

Four Points by Sheraton Juneau

Four Points by Sheraton Juneau, best hotel in Alaska

Photo| Four Points by Sheraton Juneau| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Set in the historic downtown district, Four Points by Sheraton Juneau is a scenic retreat. Spacious rooms feature sea or mountain views, pillow top beds, coffee makers and free Wi-Fi. You can enhance your stay with an upgrade to a Junior Suite, which features a separate sitting area.

Work up a sweat in the on-site gym or watch your favourite team play at McGivney’s Sports Bar and Grill, which offers American cuisine and beers on tap as well as live music. When you’re ready to explore, stroll the Golden Square Mile with shops, restaurants and museums just moments away.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 147 – USD 309
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 51 Egan Drive, Juneau, AK 99801, United States

Hotel Location

Ketchikan

A Block of Fourth Avenue in Fairbanks Along Creek Street, Downtown of Ketchikan, Alaska, United States of America

Photo| Fourth Avenue in Fairbanks Along Creek Street, Downtown of Ketchikan| GETTYIMAGES – ARTIE NG PHOTOGRAPHY

Aerial view, Misty Fjords National Monument, near Ketchikan, southeast Alaska, USA

Photo| Misty Fjords National Monument, near Ketchikan| GETTYIMAGES – BLAINE HARRINGTON III

Ketchikan is a gateway to Southeast Alaska, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy the great outdoors, explore Native American culture or visit the picture-perfect wood-frame houses along Creek Street. In addition to fishing, hiking and kayaking adventures, travellers can visit nearby Tongass National Forest or Misty Fjords National Monument.

Top Experiences in Ketchikan

Where to Stay in Ketchikan

Cape Fox Lodge

Tucked into the hillside on the edge of Tongass National Forest, Cape Fox Lodge boasts beautiful views of Ketchikan. Along with sea or mountain views, in-room perks include blackout drapes, coffee makers and mini fridges. For premium views of the Tongass Narrows, a large living area and spa tub, upgrade to a luxe suite.

Sign up for private tours of the hotel’s native artefacts exhibit or sit by the crackling fire in the lobby, while complimentary shuttle buses are available. The on-site Heen Kahidi Dining room serves Alaskan seafood and bison burgers, while Heen Kahidi Lounge offers a selection of Alaskan beers.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 126 – USD 240
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 800 Venetia Way, Ketchikan, AK 99901, United States

Hotel Location

Homer

USA, Alaska, Kenai Mountains and storm clouds at sunset, best of Alaska

Photo| Kenai Mountains and storm clouds, Homer| GETTYIMAGES – ADAM JONES

A small city on Kachemak Bay, Homer showcases the best of Alaska and its vast wilderness on bear viewing, hiking and fishing excursions. It’s a scenic destination with a long list of things to do, home to quaint shops, art galleries, seafood restaurants and beaches, as well as access to the famed Katmai National Park.

Top Experiences in Homer

  • Spot grizzly bears and other local wildlife in Lake Clark National Park or hit the trails at Kachemak Bay State Park.
  • Explore the Homer Spit, a long strip of land with shops, restaurants and Salty Dawg Saloon.
  • Hire a fishing charter and go halibut fishing, as Homer is the “Halibut Capital of the World”.

Where to Stay in Homer

Land’s End Resort

Land's End Resort, best hotel in Alaska

Photo| Land’s End Resort| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Offering respite for travellers for over half a century, Land’s End Resort is a premier waterfront hotel in Homer. It’s perched on the beach at the tip of the Homer Spit, where you can view whales and sea otters outside your window and wake up to the sounds of the surf. Accommodation includes beachfront homes, luxury lofts and bay view rooms with private outdoor viewing decks.

Visit the on-site Chart Room Restaurant for a seasonal menu of sustainably harvested seafood and Kachemak Bay views. However, for the ultimate relaxation, visit the fitness centre’s sauna, indoor pool and beachfront hot tub.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 109 – USD 199
Guest Rating: 8.4
Address: 4786 Homer Spit Road, Homer, AK 99603, United States

Hotel Location

Glacier Bay National Park

Scenic View Of Lake By Mountains Against Sky, best of alaska

Photo| Glacier National Park, Juneau| GETTYIMAGES – CHAVALIT LIKITRATCHAROEN – EYEEM

 Woman Standing At Lake Against Sky During Winter

Photo| Woman standing in front of a lake, Juneau| GETTYIMAGES – CHAVALIT LIKITRATCHAROEN – EYEEM

A World Heritage Site and top natural wonder in the U.S., Glacier Bay National Park deserves its own spot on our guide of the best of Alaska for its rugged coastline, massive glaciers and whale watching opportunities. You can marvel at the diverse landscapes on guided boat tours, on foot or by ocean kayaking.

Top Experiences in Glacier Bay National Park

  • Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, including salmon, moose, humpback whales, puffins and mountain goats, to name a few.
  • Choose from one of the dozens of hikes along the designed trails, including the easy boardwalk Forest Loop Trail.
  • Try your hand at ocean kayaking to get up close to humpback whales and sea lions.

Where to Stay near Glacier Bay National Park

Halsingland Hotel

Halsingland Hotel sits between the snow-capped peaks of the Chilkat Mountains and beautiful Lynn Fjord waters. Set in Historic Fort Seward, the historic hotel boasts Jeffersonian-style architecture and cosy rooms with Belgian-tile fireplaces and clawfoot tubs.

Complimentary perks include a daily maid service, house-made pastries and locally roasted coffee as well as parking. Little ones will love the three-hectare park across the street, while furry four-legged friends are allowed to stay with a small fee.

Star Rating: 2*
Price: USD 129 – USD 129
Guest Rating: 10
Address: 13 Fort Seward Dr., Haines, AK 99827, United States

Hotel Location

Fairbanks

Aurora at Fairbanks in the night, best of Alaska

Photo| Aurora at Fairbanks| GETTYIMAGES – JINGLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Fairbanks Pioneer Park

Photo| Fairbanks Pioneer Park| GETTYIMAGES – WALTER BIBIKOW

Around 300 kilometres from the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Alaska. Bask in the midnight summer sun as you explore the city’s range of cultural attractions, historic sites and art galleries or enjoy access to the pristine Alaskan wilderness at Chena River State Recreational Area.

Top Experiences in Fairbanks

Where to Stay in Fairbanks

Aurora Villa

Aurora Villa, best hotel in Alaska

Photo| Aurora Villa| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Aurora Villa provides the perfect stage for a snowy escape with a chance to see the Northern Lights. This lavish retreat overlooks the valley and includes a sofa, well-equipped kitchen, flat-screen TV, premium bedding and free Wi-Fi in each unit.

Start your day off right at the complimentary breakfast before venturing outdoors. It’s floor-to-ceiling windows are a big highlight of staying here, offering the chance for private Aurora Borealis-viewing. Large groups and families can book the V Lodge, which can accommodate up to seven guests.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 499 – USD 650
Guest Rating: 8.4
Address: 1110 John Kalinas Road, Fairbanks, AK 99712, United States

Hotel Location

Sitka

Flyfishing guide from Sitka Alaska Outfitters fishing Sawmill Creek, near Sitka, Alaska USA., best of Alaska

Photo| Flyfishing guide from Sitka Alaska Outfitters fishing Sawmill Creek| GETTYIMAGES – BLAINE HARRINGTON III

The harbor in Sitka, southeast Alaska USA.

Photo| The harbor in Sitka| GETTYIMAGES – BLAINE HARRINGTON III

A popular stop on many Alaskan cruises, Sitka is only accessible by air or sea. The scenic city boasts a charming waterfront downtown area as well as a rich history and cultural background best explored in its collection of museums, art galleries and national parks. Hiking and wildlife watching are popular outdoor activities for adventurous travellers.

Top Experiences in Sitka

Where to Stay in Sitka

Sitka Hotel and Restaurant

Sitka Hotel and Restaurant, best hotel in Alaska

Photo| Sitka Hotel and Restaurant| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Overlooking the Sitka Harbor and Crescent Bay, Sitka Hotel and Restaurant is a tranquil Alaskan retreat. Rooms feature ocean and mountain views, as well as flat-screen TVs and mini fridges, with rooms for larger groups available. In addition, all rooms include free Wi-Fi, coffee makers and free breakfast.

When hunger strikes, visit the on-site restaurant for traditional Alaskan delights and locally caught seafood, including clams, crab, shrimp and salmon. Step outside and discover Sitka’s collection of charming stores and inviting restaurants just a short walk away.

Star Rating: 2*
Price: USD 111 – USD 215
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 118 Lincoln Street, Sitka, AK 99835, United States

Hotel Location

See the Best of Alaska and its Unspoilt Landscapes

Holgate glacier, best of alaska

Photo| Holgate glacier, Alaska| GETTYIMAGES – A&J FOTOS

It can be overwhelming to plan a trip to America’s Last Frontier, so we’ve narrowed down the top experiences that showcase the best of Alaska. Start dreaming about your wilderness getaway with the help of our comprehensive guide, which offers a list of top hotels perfect as a home base for your hiking, paddling and wildlife watching adventures.

Which sites do you think showcase the best of Alaska? Let us know in the comments below.

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