Destination guide

An Alaskan adventure in Anchorage

As the largest city in Alaska, Anchorage wows travelers with thrilling adventures and gorgeous vistas in the vast frontier surrounding the city. Whether you come in winter to hit the ski slopes or in summer for kayaking and whale-watching excursions, you’ll find a wealth of outdoor activities for the whole family. And there’s an Anchorage vacation rental to suit your vacation vibe too, with options near wilderness areas with moose for neighbors, or downtown in walking distance to cultural attractions. After days spent outdoors working up an appetite, you’ll be delighted to try the fresh Alaskan king crab and wild salmon served at world-class seafood restaurants.

Things to do

Alaskan heritage in Anchorage

While you could easily spend your whole vacation enjoying the parks and waters surrounding Anchorage, the city is also a great place to learn more about the history of Last Frontier. Head to the Anchorage Museum to see indigenous Alaskan artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution collection, and hands-on science and art exhibits that will be a big hit with the kids. At the Alaska Native Heritage Center, interactive demonstrations bring centuries of history to life in dances, games, and songs. Outdoors, you can walk around a lake to 6 villages with life-size dwellings that demonstrate the different traditions of Native peoples.


Enjoying the gulf in Anchorage

Alaska is known as the Last Frontier, and the city of Anchorage is no exception, with endless recreational opportunities by land or sea. With a prime location on an inlet of the Gulf of Alaska, water activities are especially popular, including day cruises that take you to see ocean wildlife and glaciers. You might also spot whales from the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, an 11-mile multi-use path that starts downtown and has views of Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. Choose a downtown Anchorage vacation rental for easy access to the trail, as well as international eateries, sidewalk food stands, coffee shops, and local breweries.   


Seasonal activities in Anchorage

Summer brings the mildest weather and longest days to this northern city, making it the ideal season to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and fishing. May through September also is the best time to go on a whale-watching excursion, as beluga, blue, gray, humpback, and orca varieties all migrate their way through nearby waters. The colder months bring their own brand of fun though, with many slopes opening by November for skiing and snowboarding. If you visit during this time, look for an Anchorage vacation rental with a fireplace. It’ll feel extra cozy after a long day on the snow.

Natural features

Exploring the parks around Anchorage

As the biggest city in Alaska, Anchorage is a gateway to many stunning national parks, preserves and forests nearby. Chugach State Park, just a few miles from downtown, feels light years away from the city, with nearly 300 miles of trails to be explored on foot, bike, or horseback. Easy paths the whole family can tackle lead to waterfalls, salmon streams, and spots for berry picking, while longer, challenging excursions provide more opportunities to spot the moose, beavers, and bears that roam the area. Beyond the state park, Chugach National Forest offers limitless adventures in a preserve the size of New Hampshire.

How to get there

How to get to and around Anchorage

Fly into Anchorage, AK (MRI-Merrill Field), the closest airport, located 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that works for your travel itinerary, you could also fly into Anchorage, AK (ANC-Ted Stevens Anchorage Intl.), which is 4.2 mi (6.8 km) away.

If you'd prefer to travel by train, the main station is Anchorage Alaska Railroad Depot.

Where to stay around Anchorage?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 601 vacation rentals near Anchorage. From 40 Cabins to 247 Houses, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Anchorage for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Anchorage?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Anchorage. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Eagle River: 32 vacation rentals
  • Sand Lake: 50 vacation rentals
  • North Star: 90 vacation rentals
  • Downtown: 65 vacation rentals
  • Northeast Anchorage: 34 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Anchorage! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Anchorage?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Anchorage:

  • Girdwood: 166 rentals
  • Wasilla: 441 rentals
  • Kenai: 298 rentals
  • Palmer: 100 rentals
  • Big Lake: 63 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when traveling by plane to Anchorage?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of vacation rentals in Anchorage are:

  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC): 354 vacation rentals
  • Merrill Field (MRI): 370 vacation rentals
  • Wasilla, AK (WWA): 162 vacation rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holidays in Anchorage?

HomeAway offers a large selection of rentals near lovely places in Anchorage. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Alaska Botanical Garden: 372 rentals
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: 167 rentals
  • Eagle River Nature Center: 136 rentals
  • Alaska Center for the Performing Arts: 359 rentals
  • Providence Alaska Medical Center: 366 rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Anchorage listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

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