SMALL TOWNS IN ALASKA: Best Places to Visit in 2023


There are so many wonderful locations to see in Alaska because it is the biggest and least crowded state in the US. It also has a lot of wonderful small towns and huge expanses of breathtaking nature. American Indians, adventurers, gold miners, and nature lovers have all played significant roles in Alaska’s history. Moreover, it offers every type of outdoor fun you might imagine, thanks to its historic gold rush preservation. This guide shows some of the best small towns in Alaska to visit — from the prettiest, cheapest, and safest communities to beyond!

Best Small Towns in Alaska

Let us have a look at the best small towns to visit in Alaska:

#1. Girdwood Town

Girdwood is “one of the best small towns in Alaska” to visit. In addition to biking, skiing, rafting, fishing, hiking, gold panning, and sightseeing, Girdwood is only 25 miles south of Anchorage. Also, the Alyeska Resort, Alaska’s sole significant ski resort, is located in Glacier Valley. Girdwood is also a great starting point for all of your activities in Southcentral Alaska.

#2.  Cordova

There are several places in the state that could be considered hidden jewels. And Cordova is at the top and the best small town to visit in Alaska. Prince William Sound’s Orca Inlet is where Cordova is located. Thus, the village is surrounded by mountains, sculpted by glaciers, lush greenery, wildlife-rich marshes, and a lot of water. Furthermore, some of the activities include hiking, skiing, photography, birding, fishing, and flight viewing.

#3. Talkeetna

Talkeetna was founded during the Alaska Railroad’s expansion as a gold rush town. Due to the convergence of three rivers in the town, kayaking, river boating, zip lining, and ATV riding are all possible in the summer. Photographers will adore the expansive view of the Alaskan Range.

#4. Homer 

It has become one of the best small towns in Alaska for its creative spirit and scenic views. The town is renowned for its galleries and its artist community as well. Additionally, it features artistic programming at the Pratt Museum, Ptatsrmigan Art, and the Fireweed Gallery.

#5. Valdez

In the midst of some of the tallest mountains in the world, Valdez is situated at the head of a fjord in Prince William Sound. Visitors have a wide range of options, such as day cruises, kayaking, fishing, and various hiking routes. If you want to see another glacier, head to Valdez Glacier Lake in the Chugach Mountains.

#6. Eagle

Eagle, Alaska, had just nine residents after the gold rush. Presently, the town has five museums, and the clerk of courts keeps a record of every resident who has ever called Eagle home. Meanwhile, the customs office, the army fort, and public buildings are among the many originals that are still standing today.

#7. Kodiak

Kodiak was named by the Russian explorer Stephan Glotov in 1763. For instance, in the hiker’s paradise, there are countless hiking trails here. History aficionados must visit the Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Repository. Additionally, there are chances to interact with the native Alutiiq people.

#8. Seward

Seward is set in Resurrection Bay and is surrounded on all sides by the jagged Kenai Mountains. Little Seward got its start when Alexander Baranov, a Russian trader, founded a fur trading post there in 1793. For those with a sense of adventure who want to hike on a glacier, Exit Glacier is perfect.

#9. Skagway

Skagway’s location at the north end of the Inside Passage makes it the best small town to visit on a cruise ship.  For your interest, a   trip on the White Pass and Yukon Route rail is one of the most well-liked attractions. In this small town of only 1000 people, there are fantastic restaurants, museums, and a respectable nightlife.

#10. Ester

The people of Ester are known for being unique and fascinating people. It is the home of a small portion of the University of Alaska Fairbanks workers and teachers. Just outside of town, there is still gold mining going on. The Ester Dome is an excellent place to hike and see wildlife.

#11. Petersburg

For tourists who are interested in the history of Petersburg, the best place to visit is the Clausen Memorial Museum. The museum houses a substantial collection of items from Alaska. When visiting this tiny Alaskan hamlet, South Harbor in Petersburg, you must explore the harbor and see the finishing fleet.

#12. Sitka

Sitka was originally established by the Russians as Novo-Arkhangelsk and dates back to 1799. One of the first Russian American wood structures still standing is seen at Sitka National Historic Park. Also, Sitka holds the Alaska Day Festival each year on the 18th of October to celebrate the Alaska Purchase.

#13. Juneau

Juneau has served as Alaska’s capital since that year. There is no road access, which is surprising for a capital. That’s because the town is surrounded by incredibly rocky terrain. The Tongass National Forest’s temperate rainforest is traversed via the peaceful Auk Nu Trail.

#14.  Funny River

Check out Funny River if you’re seeking the best of the small towns in Alaska to visit while camping. Because the  Funny River Road passes through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for six miles, caribou, moose, lynx, loons, mergansers, and pine grosbeak are certain to be there.

#15. Hoonah

It is one of the small towns to visit in Alaska. It is also a place you fall in love with and keep going back to. Also, it is wonderful and lovely, and you will always feel that way. The longest and tallest zip line in the world may be found at Hoonah, which is on Chichagof Island. Although more than 70% of the people that live in Hoonah are Tlingit, a significant portion of this mighty tribe. The town is welcoming to families, earning the moniker “The Little City with a Big Heart.”

#16. Nome

Once one of the small towns of over 28,000 in Alaska to visit, today the population is closer to 4,000. Since the 1898 gold rush, you can also visit the small towns in Nome for their fascinating history.  The Inupiaq Eskimo people are the inhabitants of the region, and their culture is still present today.

#17. Wrangell

The small towns in Alaska, like Wrangell itself, are actually the oldest non-native settlements. For your information, it was established in 1811 by Russians who started selling furs to the nearby Tlingit population. The Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site is open today for a visit. Moreover, you can visit and learn more about Wrangell’s native history.

#18. Gustavus

Gustavus is the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the US. In Gustavus, visitors may partake in some of the best kayaking in the world. When you visit, you have the privilege of enjoying most of the activities, like world-class fishing and wildlife viewing.

#19. Moose Pass 

Moose Pass is the perfect setting for backpacking and outdoor adventure while you visit Alaska. because it is surrounded by Chugach National Park. There are also fewer than 200 people living there, and they are all friendly and hospitable. One of the best events in this small town in the state is held every June: the Summer Solstice Festival.

#20. Ketchikan 

A small beach town called Ketchikan is found 31 miles to the southwest of Revillagigedo Island. Also. It is known for having a large number of restored Haida and Tlingit totem poles. Overlooking Ketchikan Creek, Historic Creek Street is a boardwalk supported by stilts.

What Is the Prettiest City in Alaska?

Denali National Park and Preserve is among Alaska’s prettiest locations. The apex of Alaska’s breathtaking magnificence is Denali National Park. It is also a park that covers six million acres of unspoiled inner Alaskan wilderness and is home to North America’s highest peak (Denali, 20,310 feet).

Where Is the Warmest Place to Live in Alaska?

In the summer, Fairbanks is the warmest Alaskan city where it can get into the 90s. Due to its southern position with the weather I believe to be quite like Seattle in the winter, Ketchikan will be the place to go. Sometimes it would be Adak since the ocean water is frigid but not frozen all around it.

What Is the Safest Place to Live in Alaska?

Sitka takes pride in being the safest and best part of Alaska to live in. Because it has some of the best schools in the state, and it’s a terrific spot to raise a family.

What Is the Smallest Community in Alaska?

The smallest community in our beautiful state is Bettles, Alaska. This town is unquestionably the smallest, with only 12 wonderful residents. However, it is located in one of Alaska’s most breathtaking locations.

What Is the Cheapest Place to Live in Alaska?

King Cove is also the cheapest place to rent in Alaska. King Cove, a small town on the eastern shore of the Alaskan Peninsula, is another gem. In the state, the city has the third-best property price-to-income ratio. Keep an eye out for seals, brown bears, and puffins if you enjoy nature.

What Is the Average Cost to Live in Alaska?

Alaska’s annual average cost of living is $48,739. According to information compiled by MERIC in the third quarter of 2021, Alaska has the seventh-highest cost of living. (In the whole US, Hawaii had the highest cost of living.

  • Housing and utilities: $8,530
  • Energy and Gasoline: $603
  • Food and Drinks (outside of restaurants): $4,042
  • Personal expenses: $25,081


Alaska is the third state to join the bottom fifty US states in terms of cost of living data. The list of the safest small towns in Alaska also includes several of the best ones. The best of Alaska is where you live if you reside in any of the small towns in Alaska in 2022.

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FAQs About the Small Towns in Alaska

Is It a Good Idea to Live in Alaska?

Life in Alaska might be cold but, trust us, it’s far from dull. With its breathtaking natural beauty, limitless recreational activities, and abundance of animals, America’s last frontier promises to be full of adventure.

Can I Move to Alaska Without a Job?

Employment. Without a job secured We do not advise migrating out of state on your own, especially to Alaska. There are many careers available, but you need to have infinite cash. Securing employment before moving to Alaska is essential.

What is the highest-paying job in Alaska?

General surgeons, who make the most money in Alaska, earn an average of $336,900 per year, ranking Alaska 42nd out of 50 states in terms of income for the same position.