Off-season hotel rates are often much lower, but most travelers prefer to visit Alaska in summer, when days are long and temperatures are mild. During the shoulder season (early May and late September) travelers may find slightly lower rates, but some businesses and attractions may be closed.
Nearly every Alaskan town (with the exception of most Bush villages) has at least one B&B, and dozens of choices are available in the larger cities. Anchorage has dozens of B&Bs, including modest suburban apartments, elaborate showcase homes with dramatic vistas, and everything in between. Do your homework: In Alaska, many B&Bs cater to hunting and fishing groups and aren’t ideal for a romantic couples getaway.
Alaska Private Lodgings. 907/235–2148; www.alaskabandb.com.
Alaska's Mat-Su Bed & Breakfast Association. www.alaskabnbhosts.com.
Anchorage Alaska Bed & Breakfast Association. 907/272–5909; 888/584–5147; www.anchorage-bnb.com.
Bed & Breakfast Association of Alaska. www.alaskabba.com.
Fairbanks Association of Bed & Breakfasts. www.fabb.biz.
Kenai Peninsula Bed & Breakfast Association. www.kenaipeninsulabba.com.
Alaskan motels and hotels are similar in quality to those in the Lower 48 states. Most motels are independent, but you'll find most of the familiar chains in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and to a lesser extent elsewhere.
Westmark Hotels is a regional chain, owned by cruise-tour operator Holland America, with hotels in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka, Skagway, and near the entrance to Denali National Park in Alaska, plus Beaver Creek, Dawson City, and Whitehorse in Canada's Yukon Territory.
Princess Tours owns a luxury hotel in Fairbanks and lodges outside Denali National Park, in Denali State Park, near Wrangell–St. Elias National Park, and on the Kenai Peninsula. All hotels listed have private bath unless otherwise noted.
To get away from it all, book a lodge with rustic accommodations in the middle of breathtaking Alaskan wilderness. Some of the most popular are in the river drainages of Bristol Bay, throughout the rugged islands of Southeast Alaska, and along the Susitna River north of Anchorage.
Most lodge stays include all meals and a variety of outings such as guided fishing trips and naturalist-led hikes. They can be astronomically expensive. Daily rates range $250–$1,000 per person: some lodges include airfare in their prices, for others you’ll need to pay extra for a charter flight or boat. These lodges cater primarily to avid hunters, fishers, birders, and wildlife photographers who want to get off the beaten path.
Lodges in and near Denali National Park emphasize the great outdoors, and some even include wintertime dogsledding. Activities focus on hiking, rafting, flightseeing, horseback riding, and natural-history walks. For getting deep into the wilderness, these lodges are an excellent alternative to the busier hotels and cabins near the park entrance.