Aerial View of a Sunset over Downtown Anchorage, Alaska in Spring

The Biggest Cities in Alaska

Alaska, famously known as “the Last Frontier,” is not just a land of vast wilderness, snowy tundras, and ancient forests but also home to several vibrant urban centers. Despite its reputation for remote landscapes and small towns, Alaska has several cities that are bustling hubs of culture, commerce, and history.

The towering peaks of Anchorage, and the coastal charm of Sitka, these cities offer a captivating blend of urban sophistication and wild beauty. From the southeastern Alaskan coast to the interior's rugged landscapes, these seven cities embody the spirit of The Last Frontier.


Anchorage, Alaska.

Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, is nestled between the Chugach Mountains and the ocean, offering stunning views and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. With a population of over 287,145, the city is known for its commercial hubs, such as the bustling downtown area and the Midtown Anchorage. The city also has stunning natural landmarks like the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which provides panoramic views of the Cook Inlet and access to diverse wildlife.

Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to immerse yourself in the local indigenous culture or explore the vast trails of Kincaid Park. Don't miss the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, showcasing Alaska's art, history, and science.


Scenery of Fairbanks city downtown over Chena river in Alaska, USA.

Fairbanks, often referred to as the heart of the interior, is the second-largest city in Alaska. With a population of approximately 32,325, it is a hub for winter activities. Located under the Aurora Oval, Fairbanks is one of the best places in the world to witness the Northern Lights, especially during the cold months from September to April.

The city is also home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, contributing to its vibrant cultural scene. Key attractions include the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, which offers insights into the region's history and life, and the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum, showcasing vintage cars and Alaska's early automotive history. For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Chena Hot Springs and the vast wilderness of the Denali National Park and Preserve offer unforgettable experiences.


Juneau, Alaska Downtown.

Juneau, Alaska's remote capital with a population of around 32,255, is only accessible by boat or plane due to its surrounding rugged terrain and waterways, creating an aura of secluded beauty. This city is filled with natural wonders, such as the Mendenhall Glacier, an accessible and stunning ice mass, and the lush Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. Wildlife enthusiasts here have the unique opportunity to spot whales, bears, and bald eagles in their natural habitat.

Juneau's rich history is evident in its downtown area, where beautiful buildings house local boutiques, seafood restaurants, and art galleries. The Alaska State Museum offers a look at the state's cultural heritage, while the nearby Mount Roberts Tramway has breathtaking views and the best mountainous hiking trails. Juneau has a perfect blend of natural beauty, wildlife viewing opportunities, and cultural experiences.


Scenic landscapes of Sitka Alaska.

Sitka, Alaska, is a beautiful town located on Baranof Island with a population of approximately 8,800. Known for its breathtaking scenery, Sitka has the perfect blend of Tlingit culture and Russian history, showcased by sites such as St. Michael's Cathedral, an iconic Russian Orthodox church. The town is surrounded by the temperate rainforest of the Tongass National Forest, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. Sitka National Historical Park, locally known as Totem Park, has a collection of totem poles and is also the site of the 1804 battle between Russian traders and indigenous Tlingit.

Additionally, the Sitka Sound Science Center provides insights into the region's unique marine life and ecosystems. With its rich history, cultural diversity, and natural beauty, Sitka offers a unique Alaskan experience to visitors and residents.


Ketchikan, Alaska. Creek Street, the historic broadwalk.

Ketchikan, Alaska, known as the "Salmon Capital of the World," is a community located at the southern tip of the Inside Passage. With a population of around 8,050, this city is renowned for its rich indigenous culture, boasting one of the world's largest collections of standing totem poles at sites like Saxman Village and Totem Bight State Park. Ketchikan's beauty is evident in its wooded hills and a waterfront filled with fishing boats and floatplanes.

The historic Creek Street, once a red-light district, is now a charming boardwalk that has galleries, shops, and restaurants housed in brightly painted wooden buildings on stilts. The Misty Fjords National Monument, accessible by boat or floatplane, offers spectacular views of haunting wilderness, waterfalls, and glaciers.


Aerial View of Wasilla, Alaska during Spring.

Wasilla, located in the heart of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, is a key hub of activity in Alaska. With a population of around 10,151, it serves as a gateway to the open and vast wilderness of the state. Wasilla offers a unique mix of modern amenities and rugged outdoors. It is the starting point for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, highlighting the region's deep-rooted history and the spirit of adventure that defines it. The city is surrounded by majestic natural landscapes, such as lakes, mountains, and rivers, providing opportunities for various recreational activities like hiking, fishing, skiing, and wildlife viewing. The Dorothy G. Page Museum and the Alaska Veterans Memorial are among Wasilla’s cultural highlights, showcasing the state’s history and honoring its veterans.


Boat trip down Kenai River in Alaska.

Kenai is situated on the western coast of the Kenai Peninsula. The city has a rich history and a beautiful natural environment that attracts both residents and visitors. With a population of around 7,790, Kenai is a hub of culture and commerce in the region. The city is known for its remarkable fishing opportunities, particularly for salmon and halibut, drawing anglers from across the globe.

The Kenai River, flowing through the city, is the epicenter of this community, which hosts the famous Kenai River Festival each summer. The breathtaking landscapes of the region, including the Kenai Fjords National Park. Historical sites, such as the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church is one of the oldest standing Russian Orthodox churches in Alaska, which adds to the cultural charm of the city.

The Allure of Alaska's Biggiest Cities

While Alaska is often associated with its rugged wilderness and remote towns, its biggest cities offer a unique blend of urban amenities, natural beauty, and rich history. From the bustling streets of Anchorage to the tranquil shores of Sitka, each of these cities provides visitors with opportunities to explore Alaska's diverse landscapes and cultural heritage, making them essential destinations for any traveler looking to experience the Last Frontier. If you're drawn to the northern lights in Fairbanks or the majestic fjords of Juneau, Alaska promises an unforgettable adventure for every traveler.


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