Intro to Alaska hotels and accommodations
Hotels in Alaska
Most of the accommodation in Alaska inevitably caters to the wilderness-seeker, with mountain-slope lodges or wood cabins in unspoiled forest clearings. Expect dramatic vistas of mountains, glaciers, and the sea from the comfort of your room in most Alaska hotels. Many also focus on ensuring you can get the most of that landscape too, whether it’s winter sports, water-based activities like kayaking or whale-watching, or hiking the hill trails. The main cities provide luxury accommodation options too. From here you can mix the diverse pleasures of shopping, museums, and wildlife-watching, all in the space of a single day.
Things to see in Alaska
Undoubtedly, it is the untouched beauty of the landscape that brings most people to Alaska, with its top attractions showcasing America at its wildest and most exciting. The Tracy Arm Fjord is one of the most popular spots, with its glaciers and waterfalls tumbling into the seas near the state capital, Juneau. In these waters, icebergs, whales, and seals compete for attention. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the state’s biggest national park, with several of the highest mountains in the U.S. It also is home to the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark, with its wonderfully preserved timber buildings and abandoned mines. Denali is the most monumental of the Alaskan mountains: a 20,000-foot peak that forms the centerpiece of the Denali National Park. The human landscape of the state is no less fascinating—you can discover Russian churches, amazing museums like the University of Alaska Museum of the North, and the fabulously carved monuments of Ketchikan’s Totem Heritage Center.
Where to stay in Alaska
Anchorage has the largest number of hotels in Alaska. Its luxury hotels here make a great base for exploring fantastic museums and cultural attractions—or as jumping-off points for adventures in the surrounding wilderness. Great winter sport action can be had nearby, with some of the best ski resorts in Alaska just south of the city. Further north is Fairbanks, a great place to stay in the winter, when the sky is lit up by the Aurora Borealis. Accommodation in the state capital, Juneau, is perfect for those wanting to see the spectacular landscapes from the sea or from the air, with boat and helicopter cruises popular here.
How to get to Alaska
Some towns in the Southeast Panhandle, such as Haines, Skagway, and Hyder, are connected to the U.S. interstate road network via links through Canada. But as the most remote state in the U.S., reaching your hotel in Alaska can often be an adventure in itself. Anchorage is best served by commercial airlines, with Fairbanks also having good air connections. The combined ferry and rail link of the Alaska Marine Highway System provides a wonderfully scenic route into Anchorage from Washington. To reach smaller communities, however, you’ll need to rely on local air buses or boats.