View of the Anchorage skyline with the Chugach mountains behind in winter at dusk, showcasing some of the best areas for where to stay in Anchorage

Where to Stay in Anchorage (Best Places & Areas in 2023)

👉 Jump to: Best Places to Stay in Anchorage | Neighborhoods & Areas | Tips | FAQ

After you’ve decided to visit Anchorage, the next step is deciding where to stay in Anchorage. There are several great options ranging from Downtown Anchorage to right next to the ski slopes in Girdwood.

Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, is well worth a visit and is one of the best cities in Alaska to use as a base for exploring the rest of the Last Frontier. Picking out the best place to stay in Anchorage for you can help get your Alaska trip off to a great start.

Having visited the city many times myself, I will be happy to tell you about the best places to stay in Anchorage! 

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Best Places to Stay in Anchorage

Aerial view of the Anchorage skyline at dusk
The Anchorage skyline

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Anchorage? Here are my top picks: 

Alright, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Anchorage: 

6 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Anchorage

Getting around Anchorage is easy, given its convenient grid layout. As a smaller city, it only takes between 20-30 minutes, more or less, to cross from one end to the next. Despite its smaller size, Anchorage still has distinct neighborhoods and areas. 

Downtown Anchorage

View of the buildings and the people crossing the 6th Avenue of Anchorage
Anchorage’s 6th Avenue (photo: Iv Nikolny / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For First Time Visitors | ✨ Best Downtown Anchorage Hotels: Hotel Captain CookHistoric Anchorage HotelMarriott Anchorage Downtown

Downtown is a great place to stay for first-time visitors to Anchorage! The city center is home to many of the best things to see in Anchorage. The Anchorage Museum houses many fascinating exhibits and Native Alaskan artifacts. The scenic Tony Knowles Coastal Trail makes for a great hike or bike ride in spring and summer, as does Elderberry Park.

The many restaurants downtown serve a diverse and delicious array of food. There’s also no shortage of hip breweries and cozy coffee shops, making downtown the coolest area to chill a little and pass the time.

Anchorage is a smaller city, so the main attractions are almost all within walking distance of most hotels. Many hotels, such as the Hotel Captain Cook, offer rooms with stunning views of Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains.

Many hotels (but not all) also offer free parking. The Anchorage Train Depot connects Anchorage with several other locations in the state. It’s a great place to head on to such famous sights as Mount Denali or Portage Glacier.

Pros of Staying in Downtown Anchorage:

  • Central location
  • Lots of great shopping and dining options
  • Close to the museums and other attractions

Cons of Staying in Downtown Anchorage:

  • Noisier than most other areas at night
  • Some parts (primarily the main bus stop) feel a little dicey
  • Many hotels tend to be expensive, especially in summer.

📚 Downtown Anchorage Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Anchorage for First-Time Visitors
Google Map

✨ Best HotelsHotel Captain CookHistoric Anchorage HotelMarriott Anchorage Downtown

🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Downtown Anchorage

🍽️ Where to Eat Glacier Brewhouse ($$$), Club Paris ($$$), Snow City Cafe ($$)

🍸 Where to DrinkDarwin’s Theory Pub, 49th State Brewing Co, The Avenue Bar

🎟️ Top Attractions The Anchorage Museum, Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Delaney Park

Midtown Anchorage

Aerial view of the Midtown area in Anchorage
Aerial view of Anchorage’s Midtown area

👉 Best Area For Business Travelers | ✨ Best Midtown Anchorage Hotels: Aspen Suites Hotel AnchorageEmbassy Suites AnchorageHome2 Suites by Hilton Anchorage

Just south of the downtown area lie the Anchorage North Star and Midtown areas. Although more spread out than downtown, there are still lots of great dining and lodging options here. 

Several of the more long-term hotels in Anchorage such as Home2 Suites by Hilton are found in Midtown Anchorage. These long-term hotels feature full kitchenettes, making them a great option for business travelers.

There are a few peaceful parks here for a stroll at the beginning or end of the day. The Beartooth TheatrePub is a great dining option, combining great flicks and good food. Midtown is home to Anchorage’s REI, which has all the gear you need for an Alaskan adventure. Also, check out the Kaladi Bros. coffee shop and Tidal Wave Bookstore while at the REI.

👉 Pro Tip: Midtown is within (general) walking distance of the downtown area. If you don’t mind a longer walk, you can save money on a Midtown hotel and still see plenty of sights downtown! 

Pros of Staying in Midtown Anchorage:

  • Quieter than downtown, but not too far from it either
  • Lots of great restaurants and stores
  • Plenty of hotels to choose from, often cheaper than downtown.

Cons of Staying in Midtown Anchorage:

  • Not as many cultural attractions as downtown
  • A car may be more convenient for many travelers here.

📚 Midtown Anchorage Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Anchorage for Business Travelers
Google Map

Ted Stevens International Airport

Exterior view of the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage
Ted Stevens International Airport (photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Transit Travelers | ✨ Best Anchorage International Airport Hotels: Comfort Suites Anchorage International AirportLa Quinta by WyndhamHoliday Inn Express

Anchorage’s Airport on the western end of town has several hotels, such as the La Quinta by Wyndham, nearby. The area is a great place to rest before the next leg of your journey if you’re connecting elsewhere in Alaska. 

Getting elsewhere in Alaska can sometimes be a bit tricky due to the weather, so you may involuntarily visit Anchorage for a day or so (which I’ve done a few times).

There are a few points of interest to explore here, such as Earthquake Park and the Alaska Aviation Museum. Lake Hood serves as a hub for local float plane charter companies. A few restaurants and lounges offer excellent views of these planes landing and taking off for rural Alaska.

Pros of Staying near the Ted Stevens International Airport:

  • Great for transit passengers and early morning connections
  • Lots of options for lodging
  • Most places offer a free shuttle service

Cons of Staying near the Ted Stevens International Airport:

  • Fewer attractions
  • Limited dining options in the immediate area
  • You’ll need a car to get around from here

📚 Anchorage Airport Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Anchorage for Transit Travelers
Google Map

Southern Anchorage

Scenic view of the Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary with the red boardwalk at sunrise
Sunrise at Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary on the outskirts of Anchorage

👉 Best Area For Families | ✨ Best Southern Anchorage Stays: Dimond Center HotelAlaska Sundance Retreat Bed & BreakfastDimond Jewel

Southern Anchorage is a great option if you’re traveling with a family. There are fewer hotels (the Dimond Center Hotel is the only one!) but plenty of great rentals and B&Bs in quiet, cozy neighborhoods. Parks like Jewel Lake Park and Kincaid Park are great for picnics and outings. The Alaska Zoo has a wide variety of wildlife and makes a great outing for the whole family.

If you need anything, there are plenty of stores in Southern Anchorage, from grocery to department stores. There are also lots of dining options here, too, from fancy bistros to fast food. In the winter, it may be easier to see the Northern Lights from Southern Anchorage; there’s not as much “light pollution” from street lights as in the city center.

Pros of Staying in Southern Anchorage:

  • Generally quieter than the more northern, central parts of town
  • Several great parks
  • Lots of great vacation rental homes in quiet neighborhoods
  • The Dimond Center area has lots of great shops and restaurants

Cons of Staying in Southern Anchorage:

  • Fewer hotels here
  • Farther from main attractions

📚 Southern Anchorage Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Anchorage for Families
Google Map

Girdwood – Alyeska

View of the ski-lift at Alyeska with the Kenai Mountains and Turnagain Arm behind in winter
Ski-lift at Alyeska with the Kenai Mountains and Turnagain Arm in the background

👉 Best Area For Outdoors Adventures | ✨ Best Girdwood-Alyeska Hotels: Alyeska Resort Brown Bear Saloon & MotelCarriage House Accommodations

Girdwood is the place to be if you want a taste of Alaska’s great outdoors within the general Anchorage area. The tiny town of Girdwood to the south of Anchorage is home to Alaska’s premier ski resort, Alyeska. The Alyeska Resort hotel sits at the foot of the ski hills and makes a great basecamp for a day on the slopes or exploring the area

Even if you’re not big on skiing, the other attractions of the resort (several restaurants and lounges, and a spa) are more than enough to make your stay worthwhile. 

It’s a great place to get to know people because, along with tourists, many locals make the resort their go-to for special occasions and in-state vacations.

👉 Pro Tip: Alyeska is worth visiting in summer too! As the snow melts, the ski slopes turn into hiking trails. There are several trails in the area, each with its own unique beauty.

Pros of Staying in Girdwood-Alyeska:

  • Immediate access to ski slopes and hiking trails (depending on the season)
  • Alyeska Resort is the most popular luxury hotel among local Alaskans
  • Beautiful surroundings

Cons of Staying in Girdwood-Alyeska:

  • Lodging options are limited and tend to be pricey
  • Fewer dining options than in the city itself

📚 Girdwood – Alyeska Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Anchorage for Outdoors Adventures
Google Map

Northeastern Anchorage – Eagle River

Aerial view of the Eagle River suburb and the lush mountains in the background in Anchorage
A bird’s-eye view of Anchorage’s Eagle River suburb

👉 Best Area For Exploring More of Alaska | ✨ Best Northeastern Anchorage-Eagle River Hotels: Aptel Studio HotelAlaska Chalet Bed & Breakfast The Birchtree Escape

Anchorage is a great place to explore the rest of the state from. Eagle River is a great “perch” to launch your expedition from if you want to explore Denali National Park and other famous attractions in the Interior. The northeastern end of Anchorage is also a decent place to start, but a little closer to the downtown area.

Eagle River is also great if you want to make day trips from Anchorage to Palmer, Wasilla, and the Matanuska Glacier. Eagle River has several worthwhile sights of its own, such as Ship Creek and Thunderbird Falls. 

There are some awesome accommodations such as the Alaska Chalet Bed & Breakfast and The Birchtree Escape tucked away in the woods here, full of Alaskan charm. 

Pros of Staying in Northeastern Anchorage-Eagle River:

  • Quieter, suburban setting
  • Easy access to hiking trails 
  • A great jumping-off point for further exploring Alaska

Cons of Staying in Northeastern Anchorage-Eagle River:

  • Fewer options for dining, lodging, and shopping
  • You’ll need a rental car to get here

📚 Northeastern Anchorage – Eagle River Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Anchorage for Exploring More of Alaska
Google Map

✨ Best Hotels Aptel Studio HotelAlaska Chalet Bed & Breakfast The Birchtree Escape

🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Eagle River

🍽️ Where to Eat Pizza Man ($$), Ronnie 2 Sushi ($$), Garcia’s Cantina & Cafe ($$)

🍸 Where to DrinkMatanuska Brewing- Eagle River, Odd Man Rush Brewing, Corks and Hops

🎟️ Top Attractions Alaska Native Heritage Center, Thunderbird Falls, Moose Run Golf Course

Tips for Staying in Anchorage

Bring Layers

Closeup view of a man's neck with layered clothing

Even in summer, the evenings in Anchorage may be a bit cooler than what many visitors from the Lower 48 are used to. Pack an extra layer or two to put on when the temperature starts to drop.

Mind the Moose!

Closeup look at the wild bull moose in the middle of greenery
A bull moose

These majestic herbivores are more aggressive than you might expect! They prefer that people keep a wide berth, even though they often stray into suburban (and even urban!) areas.

Pack Bug Spray

Mosquitos come out in the greatest numbers in the summer months. You’re more likely to encounter them in parks or on hiking trails. It’s always good to have some bug spray on hand, even if you stick to the urban areas where they’re often fewer in number.

Bring a Sleeping Mask

Alaska’s long summer days are great for fun in the sun. The same can’t always be said for getting enough shut-eye, though. Even if you don’t think it will be a problem, it never hurts to have one of these masks on hand to block out the broad daylight in the dead of night! 

Make Flexible Plans

A truck removing snow in the airport
The weather can interrupt your plans

The weather in Alaska can change rapidly, especially in the fall and winter. For Anchorage, the winter is usually the only time that severe weather will ground or delay flights. Weather can be a factor in deciding when to visit Alaska.

If you’re connecting to coastal areas of Alaska, though, wind and fog can roll in at any time of the year. You may find your trip extended by a day or two! Take this factor into mind when you make your plans and give yourself a little leeway, just in case.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Anchorage

Is it better to stay in Midtown or Downtown Anchorage?

Midtown is better if you want a quieter location while maintaining easy access to restaurants and attractions. Hotels are cheaper and it’s often quieter and less crowded than downtown. You might prefer staying in Downtown Anchorage if you have a larger budget and want to be near the most famous attractions.

Is Anchorage a walkable city?

Downtown Anchorage is walkable, but you’ll need a car to see other places in and around the city. You could walk, but it would take longer than most people would want to spend. At most, you could walk between Downtown and Midtown

How many days should I stay in Anchorage?

You can stay in Anchorage for three days and see most of the main attractions.


Thanks for reading my guide on where to stay in Anchorage! If you plan on traveling elsewhere in Alaska, also check out my guides on where to stay in Alaska.

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