If you’re not from Alaska, you can imagine snow-capped peaks and rugged landscapes when you think of the state. While Alaska offers an incredible amount of natural beauty, here you’ll find plenty of other attractions and amenities to explore.
Alaska is the least densely populated state in the United States, but it is also the largest state in terms of territory. More than half of the state is owned by the federal government, including wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. This makes for a great backdrop to almost any corner. From big cities to family communities and small towns, Alaska has pretty much everything for new tenants. Here are our picks for the best places to live in Alaska:
Want to know more? Here is why we have chosen these 9 cities.
Cordova made our list the best place to live in Alaska for many reasons, and low crime and poverty levels, low unemployment, and reasonable housing prices all contributed. Cordoba has a small town vibe due to its small population of under 3,000 and is only accessible by ferry. The Cordova Historical Museum is a fun visit for families, and the Mount Eyak ski area, with downhill skiing and snowboarding, is nearby.
On the other end of the spectrum, Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. Anchorage also offers natural views of nearby Chugach State Park, Knik and Turnagain Arms and Cook Inlet, in addition to a more urban feeling. Anchorage is home to various cultural sites, including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, an educational institution that showcases traditional crafts and reproductions of dwellings of the indigenous peoples of this region.
Living in Anchorage also allows residents to enjoy easy access to nearby wilderness areas, including the Talkeetna and Kenai Mountains. Residents can also enjoy incredible skiing opportunities at Arctic Valley, Hilltop Ski Area and Hillberg Ski Area. And with average rental prices of $ 975 for a one-bedroom house or apartment, you won’t have to spend a lot to live in Alaska’s largest city.
Juneau is the state capital of Alaska, which means it’s home to the state government and several other career opportunities. Found on the Alaska panhandle, Juneau is not connected anywhere else in the state by road. Travelers must take a boat or plane to enter or exit. Juneau also tends to have milder winters than other parts of the state, making it an attractive place to live. Be prepared to pay the price, however; the average rent in Juneau for a 1 bedroom is $ 1,225.
Residents and visitors alike enjoy taking the Mount Roberts Streetcar, touring Mendenhall Glacier, strolling downtown art galleries, and admiring Indigenous art at the Sealaska Heritage Institute.
If you work or travel frequently to Anchorage but are looking for a more affordable small town to live in, consider Wasilla. Located near the George Park Freeway, Wasilla is an easily commuter distance from Anchorage, and many residents commute there for work. Since Wasilla is located further inland, the community also has a relatively more temperate weather than Anchorage.
Wasilla offers incredible outdoor attractions, including Lake Lucile, located in the middle of the city itself. Wasilla was also the starting point for the famous Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska, which now starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome.
Whittier, Alaska is a great destination and place to live for the nature lovers among us. Whittier is approximately 60 miles south of Anchorage and offers glacier viewing, canoeing, kayaking, hunting and more activities. With a population of only 200 people, it’s a small community. Known as the one-house town, Whittier offers several amenities to residents, including its school, hospital and city administration in one giant building. Whittier is connected to the outside world by a single-lane tunnel that operates on a schedule.
The somewhat oddly named town of Unalaska has a strong fishing industry. It serves as the economic center for the Aleutian Islands, the chain of nearly 100 islands stretching southwest of the mainland of Alaska. Unalaska has higher house prices, with the state’s highest median household income. Still, Unalaska offers low unemployment and one of the state’s shortest trips.
Found in places where the Kenai River lets out of the Pacific Ocean’s Cook Inlet, Kenai is locally famous for its fishing opportunities. Indeed, eight of the 10 largest king salmon on record came from Kenai. This city of about 7,000 residents is just under 200 miles from Anchorage. Kenai also offers rents and affordable housing.
Located about 300 miles inland from the coast, Fairbanks, Alaska is the state’s second largest city. The Chena River meanders through the center of town and, in addition to the beautiful views it offers, it offers opportunities for boating and fishing. For nature lovers, Fairbanks also offers unparalleled opportunities to see the famous Northern Lights, the Northern Lights, between August and April. Due to its location, Fairbanks also enjoys 24 hours of sunshine per day from mid-May to the end of July and the corresponding days of darkness mainly during winter.
Kodiak, Alaska is a fishing and trading hub located on Kodiak Island. It also has a long history as a regional trading center and was home to the long established Alutiiq tribe and later home to Russian settlers in the late 19th century.
Kodiak is only accessible by plane or ferry, and at a distance of 400 miles, it’s also quite a distance from Anchorage. Kodiak offers activities for locals, such as the Kodiak Maritime Museum, located across a bridge on Near Island, and Fort Abercrombie State Historic Park, with opportunities for camping, hiking, swimming and other outdoor leisure activities.
Alaska has it all, from small towns to (relatively) large cities that still manage to offer beautiful natural scenery. Explore some of the best places to live in Alaska and find your next home on Zumper.