The Historic Anchorage Hotel in the heart of downtown Anchorage is the perfect base for exploring everything the city and the surrounding areas have to offer. It’s also a lovely haven after a long day of exploring and trust us, you’ll want to do lots and lots of exploring in Alaska!
Established in 1916, the Historic Anchorage Hotel is a landmark of the city and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built as an annex to the main hotel, the current building that now serves as the hotel was in disrepair for years, until new ownership in 1989 restored to its former glory. Don’t be fooled by the humble façade – inside you’ll find comfortable and spacious rooms and even a touch of luxury for your Anchorage visit.
There are also rumors and even several accounts by guests of seemingly paranormal activity on the hotel’s premises. Now we didn’t really experience anything out of the ordinary – unless you count waking up at 5 am to go watch the sunset a little unusual – but there have been so many sightings by other guests that the hotel actually keeps a ghost log of all encounters. You can read more about the hotel’s history and famous guests as well as famous ghosts here.
After traveling for 24 hours on three different flights we would’ve been happy with just about any bed in any old hotel but were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the Historic Anchorage Hotel. Not only are the rooms lovely and the beds perfect to snuggle up in after a long day, we got treated to a little extra! We stayed in one of their junior suites which meant we had some nice extra space, a comfortable couch and even a little kitchenette in our room. As usual, we were sorry we couldn’t stay for longer than a couple of nights. Tiia even planned on moving in, as the suite would’ve been big enough for a studio apartment.
Once we were settled into our comfy quarters at the hotel, it was time to explore Alaska. Anchorage itself is a relatively small city and the downtown is very walkable. There are several restaurants within an easy walking distance from the hotel and we even did a little fandom shopping in Hot Topic at the 5th Avenue Mall. Make sure to also check out the incredible collection of Alaska souvenirs and memorabilia at Grizzly’s Gifts, just downstairs of the Historic Anchorage Hotel. The shop is a treasure trove of cool gifts and our only regret was that we didn’t have more money and more space in our suitcases to bring back something for everyone back home.
But if you want to really see Alaska, trust us, you need to rent a car. You need to drive out of the city and you need to park that rental car on one of the many scenic stops along the road and just get out and enjoy the view, maybe even do a little (or a lot of) hiking. While there are many things to see and do, in Alaska the nature alone is a sight to be seen. The views all around us looked like a postcard and we felt like stopping every 5 minutes to take more pictures.
Check out first photo greeting from Alaska here and keep checking back – there’s lots more where that came from!