Alaska

9 Best Places to Stay in Alaska for the Ultimate Getaway

by Lauren Melnick
Updated October 07, 2021

Best Places to Stay in Alaska
Photo: Airbnb

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Alaska is made for travelers who love the outdoors. Not only is it the largest state — it’s bigger than California, Alaska, and Montana combined, ya’ll — but it’s a natural wonderland and home to 98 percent of the US population of brown bears.

But besides its epic landscapes, an affinity for dog mushing, and its midnight sun phenomenon, Alaska is home to some of the most unique places to stay in the US.

If you’re looking for a getaway to knock your socks off and blow your hair back, here are some incredible places to stay in Alaska that will boost the state to the top of your bucket list.

1. Salted Roots Red Door A-Frame Cabin

Salted Roots Red Door A-Frame Cabin
Photo: VRBO

Why you should stay: A cabin escape perfect for a girls’ trip weekend.

  • Nearest town: Seward
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $280/night

On the beach at Lowell Point, the Salted Roots Red Door A-Frame Cabin is what Alaska vacation dreams are made of. Set in an old-growth spruce forest full of blueberry bushes, the cabin is steps away from the beach and the perfect place to escape into nature while still having modern amenities at your fingertips.

Inside, you’ll find a large downstairs bedroom, a second lofted bedroom upstairs, and a sofa bed to comfortably sleep two people. Whether you’re planning a girls’ trip or a family get-together, you’ll have more than enough room for everyone to enjoy the space and have their privacy.

Downstairs, you’ll find a fully equipped kitchenette, a private deck, and the true star of the show – a modern bathroom with a gorgeous soaker tub begging for a luxury bath bomb, face mask, and a glass of red wine.

When you aren’t inside the cabin, conquer the Tonsina Creek Trail (within walking distance from the cabin), or spend an afternoon kayaking or fishing on the water.

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2. Stunning Anchorage Home

Stunning Anchorage Home
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Very private home in the Alaska wilderness.

  • Nearest town: Anchorage
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 4 nights
  • Rates from: $490/night

Whisk your friends or family away to a 100-year-old forest in Alaska for an unforgettable escape. Nested in the Mountain Hemlocks, the stunning property is mere footsteps away from the Glen Alps/Flattop Trailhead, so you’ll have several days (or weeks) worth of hiking adventures at the ready.

For adventure seekers, staying here opens you up to an endless list of possibilities. Tick off the nearby hiking trails, fly fish, or go rock climbing. And in the winter, you can backcountry ski directly from your front door.

Guests can relax on the viewing deck with a cup of hot cocoa and watch the sunset over the Anchorage skyline and Mt. McKinley. When it’s time for bed, head up to one of three bedrooms and wake up to mind-boggling views of the Chugach Mountains.

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3. Luxury Barn House

Luxury Barn House
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Lux couples retreat in Alaska’s sled-dog capital.

  • Nearest town: Palmer
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $221/night

On the lookout for a unique place to stay in Alaska? Call off the search and check into this Luxury Barn House. The barn dates to the 1930s and the entire property was meticulously renovated into a luxury home site, complete with a 20-acre flower farm and majestic mountain views in the distance.

Inside, you can expect soaring ceilings, vintage decor, a spiral staircase, and a soaking tub you won’t be able to resist. Not far from the barn, you can pick up trinkets from antique farms, shop fresh produce for dinner from the farmer’s market, and sip your way through downtown Palmer’s numerous coffee shops and breweries. You’re also close to Wasilla — home of the Iditarod dog race — so consider visiting a sled dog camp, taking a hike on one of the trails along the race route, or even going for a sled dog ride yourself.

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4. Alpen Glow Luxury Camping

Alpen Glow Luxury Camping
Photo: Alpenglow Luxury Camping

Why you should stay: For people who love the outdoors but hate camping.

  • Nearby: Matanuska Glacier
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $109/night

Sometimes, you want to experience the best parts of the great outdoors without some of the more tedious and tiring aspects. You want creature comforts, like a cozy bed you didn’t carry in your backpack, a hot tub, and showers — and there’s no shame in that. It’s also nice to wake up to incredible scenery without having to hike for two days to get there. Enter: Alpen Glow Luxury Camping.

Voted the best glamping resort by USA Today and one of the “top 10 most amazing glamping spots in North America” by Outside Magazine, it lives up to the hype. It’s near the Matanuska Glacier and offers Alaska camping with a generous helping of luxury. You can pick from mountain tents and forest tents at the resort or opt for a helicopter ride to a remote tent next to the glacier, and all rooms come with a complimentary breakfast before you head out for the day.

When the sun starts to set, return to camp and cozy up in the homemade cedar hot tub before heading into your canvas glamping tent decked out with Alaskan decor and a private outdoor area.

They’re open mid-May to Mid-September, so plan for a summer trip.

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Follow ’em: @AlpenglowLuxuryCamping

5. Winterlake Lodge

Winterlake Lodge
Photo: Within the Wild

Why you should stay: As posh as it gets – so posh that you have to ask for the price.

  • Nearest town: Anchorage 
  • Sleeps: 12
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: On request

Winterlake Lodge is one of those picture-perfect places to stay in Alaska. Set on the edge of an ancient valley and the Alaska Range, snow-capped peaks and grizzly bears are the norm.

Each luxury log cabin only adds to the lodge’s fairytale charm and blends into Alaska’s remote wilderness. Hikers can tackle the Iditarod Trail that runs through the property, which is the site of the state’s iconic sled dog race and has been used by indigenous Alaskans for hundreds of years.

For an extra dose of adventure, sign up for white river rafting, take a dip in the lake, or explore nearby Denali National Park. In the evenings, head to the main lodge for delicious meals, guitar singalongs around a roaring fire, or logging onto the Wi-Fi to download a movie to watch while cuddling up in the cozy beds.

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Follow ’em: @withinthewild

6. Borealis Basecamp

Borealis Basecamp
Photo: Borealis Basecamp

Why you should stay: Unmatched northern lights viewing from the comfort of a luxury igloo.

  • Nearest town: Fairbanks
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Packages from: $1,746 for two nights

It doesn’t get more Alaska than spending a night in an igloo. And that’s exactly what you can expect from Borealis Basecamp. It’s 25 miles from Fairbanks and in the middle of 100-acre boreal forest. If you’re looking for one of the most unique places to stay in Alaska, well, you may be able to stop scrolling.

Spend the night here and watch the dancing lights of the aurora borealis from the comfort of your geodesic igloo. Each unit comes with a clear ceiling so you can fall asleep while gazing at the colorful sky.

During the day, leave your cozy nest and go on one of the basecamp’s curated Alaskan experiences. Hop onto a show machine and ride down the Trans-Alaska Pipeline until the Wickersham Dome (a viewpoint in the While Mountains) or sign up for a full-day tour of the Arctic Circle with a professional guide and private vehicle.

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Follow ’em: @BorealisBaseCamp

7. Alyeska Resort

Alyeska Resort
Photo: Alyeska Resort

Why you should stay: If you’re a skier who wants to live like royalty.

  • Nearest town: Girdwood
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $212/night

Alaska is more than an ice-capped wonderland. The Alyeska Resort goes out of its way to show you both sides of the state. Opened year-round, the 300-room hotel is a playground for summer and winter adventures.

Only 40 miles from Anchorage, you’ll want for nothing during your stay. The chateau-style resort lists heated towel racks, a huge spa and pool, and its proximity to several trailheads as just some of its amenities.

And activities? The hotel has plenty.

Watching the northern lights, going on a glacier boat tour, and seeing Alaska from above with scenic flights are only some of the incredible things you can do at Alyeska Resort. Oh, and it’s ski-in, ski-out, and can arrange guided heli- and cat-skiing tours, too. Sweet.

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Follow ’em: @ResortAlyeska

8. Mountainside Private Retreat 

Mountainside Private Retreat
Photo: VRBO

Why you should stay: A hidden getaway the whole family can enjoy in one of the state’s most popular towns.

  • Nearest town: Girdwood
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Minimum stay:  2 nights
  • Rates from: $750/night

There’s something magical about booking a private luxury retreat and bringing along your nearest and dearest for the adventure. Mountainside Private Retreat is a 4,100-square-foot home (wowza!) and comfortably sleeps eight people.

This one-of-a-kind property has not one but two big bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and a plethora of amenities such as in-floor heating, a steam shower, three gas fireplaces, and an outdoor hot hub.

Put on your hiking shoes and walk from your front door straight onto the Max’s Mountain Trail or Virgin Creek Falls. There’s a lot of outdoor adventure in Girdwood, from skiing at Alyeska to whale watching on the Prince William Sound to mountain biking on hundreds of miles of trails.

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9. Denali Backcountry Lodge

Denali Backcountry Lodge
Photo: Alaska Collection

Why you should stay: A true backcountry lodge experience for avid explorers.

  • Nearest town: Kantishna
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $575 per person

Rounding off this list of the best places to stay in Alaska is Denali Backcountry Lodge. Voted one of the top ten adventure lodges in the world by National Geographic, it gives visitors a glimpse into Alaska’s rugged wilderness.

It’s in a remote valley deep inside Denali National Park in the historic Kantishna settlement, a former gold-mining camp. Now, it’s a bit more comfortable than how the miners lived, complete with a spa and wellness center. The 42 cedar cabins offer three comfort levels for different budgets, with the creekside option boasting private decks with views of Moose Creek.

To help you experience the most of the wilderness, the lodge runs guided hikes, mountain biking, fishing, gold panning, and guided wildlife and sightseeing tours. Unless you stay here, there’s no way to explore this remote part of the park without doing an extended, multi-day backpacking trip.

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Follow ’em: @PursuitAlaska

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