Though some Alaskans will jest that Anchorage is "only 20 minutes from Alaska," chances are that any vacation route through the 49th state will lead you to its largest city. And truth of the matter is that Anchorage offers some terrific culture (don't miss the Smithsonian exhibit at the Anchorage Museum), restaurants and nightlife (a beer and a halibut burger at the Humpy’s Ale House is a singular experience), and outdoor experiences (don't be surprised to stumble upon a moose on the Town Square) all its own.
For bunking down in Alaska's big city, we're especially keen on the charming, garden-fronted Copper Whale Inn on the western edge of town, ideally situated within walking distance of most of downtown's top establishments, but just a stone's throw away from the city's stunning 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
This great-value bed-and-breakfast touts an inviting lobby/living room with sweeping views of the Cook Inlet and Chugach mountain range, a crackling stone fireplace on colder nights, and a generous daily breakfast spread (included in the rates). Photographs of Alaskan wildlife and wilderness tastefully adorn common areas and the 14 guest rooms. Ask for a room in the historic main house (request one with a private outdoor area or fireplace)—dating to the 1930s, the structure survived the 1964 Anchorage earthquake. Friendly innkeeper Glen Hemingson is on hand to dole out property history, and make recommendations for the best activities, eateries, and bars in town. Bike rentals can also be arranged on site.
The Deal: The Copper Whale Inn is extending its "Honorary Alaskans" 20-percent off discount offer—normally reserved for Alaskan residents—just to Fodor's readers, and at one of the best times to visit, to boot. May and early June rank among the top times to visit Alaska: You'll beat the summer hordes, yet the wildlife is active and temps are conducive to outdoor activities. Book a room in May at discounted rates of $136/night (or $116 for a shared bath); or, in June at reduced rates of $176/night (or $148 shared).
Book It: Call 866/258-7999 and mention "Fodor’s Honorary Alaskan" deal; www.copperwhale.com.
Thinking of a trip to Anchorage?
For up-to-the-minute hotel and restaurant recommendations, plus the best planning advice, check out our Anchorage Travel Guide.
Photo Credit: courtesy Matt Hage