These are the best spots to visit on your next trip.

Hiking Bird Ridge in the Chugach Range
Andrew Peacock/Getty Images

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Follow along as we learn where to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

Elizabeth Hall

Olive Juice Studios

Meet the Insider: Elizabeth Hall, COO of John Hall’s Alaska

Elizabeth Hall’s first trip up the Alaska Highway was in 1991 on a tour with her father, John Hall Sr. It was this trip that inspired her to dedicate her career to sharing the beauty of Alaska with travelers from around the globe. The family’s multigenerational business started with her father’s quirky sense of hospitality: His first hotel had an innovative “rent a cat” program offering guests feline companionship for the night. It’s since grown to include motor coach, ferry, and cruise line tours throughout Alaska. Here are her favorite local spots. 


Hotel Captain Cook Wine Pour
A meal at Hotel Captain Cook.

Courtesy of Hotel Captain Cook

Hotel Captain Cook is in one of the best locations in Anchorage, and has a stunning view of Anchorage’s coastline and the Chugach Mountain Range. The hotel’s dark, rich wood motif is reminiscent of the old ships that explored the coast of Alaska. Copper Whale Inn is a woman-owned-and-operated boutique bed-and-breakfast-style property in downtown Anchorage. Built in 1939, the main building is historic by Anchorage standards (the city was founded in 1915). Rooms can have views of Cook Inlet, nearby mountains, or the inn’s vibrant gardens.


Moose’s Tooth is a famous spot for great gourmet pizza and craft beer. Moose’s Tooth serves pizza and Broken Tooth Brewing beer. Southside Bistro is known for its casual atmosphere and great wine list. With a fourth-generation Alaskan as the general manager, the menu features ingredients straight from the fields and seas. Marx Bros. Café is the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion. It’s known for the tableside Caesar salad.


South Restaurant and Coffeehouse Anchorage
The bar at South Restaurant & Coffeehouse.

South Restaurant & Coffeehouse

South Restaurant and Coffeehouse is “an urban-chic spot featuring new American dining,” known for its “cocktails featuring local ingredients. Its owner, Laile Fairbairn, was a semifinalist for a 2023 James Beard Award for outstanding restaurateur.” The Crow’s Nest is located at the top of the Hotel Captain Cook’s main tower and features beautiful views of Anchorage and offers amazing food, specialty cocktails, and a celebratory atmosphere.


Alaska Native Heritage Center Carving
Art at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Ashley Heimbigner/Visit Anchorage

Anchorage Museum Store features art and gifts from Indigenous artists, makers, and local designers. And the Ch’k’iqadi Gallery, located at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, features authentic Alaska Native art, jewelry, and other crafts, too.


Flattop Mountain at Sunset Anchorage
Flattop Mountain at sunset.

Teri Hendricks/Visit Anchorage

Anchorage Museum added 25,000 square feet of gallery space to display its permanent Alaska collection. The Smithsonian Institution loaned hundreds of Indigenous Alaskan artifacts so they could be available for hands-on study by Native elders, artists, and scholars. Bike or walk along the 11 miles of Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, the “crown jewel of Anchorage’s 135-mile paved trail system.”

The trail “has great views of Cook Inlet and the prospect of sighting moose, eagles, and cranes. Go flightseeing in a helicopter for views of Denali, the Chugach National Forest, or nearby Spencer Glacier. Passengers can choose from glacier picnics to ice climbing. Flattop Mountain is arguably one of the most popular hikes in the city, but the trail system offers several other options for visitors of all abilities. The area offers access points to the Chugach State Park, which surrounds Anchorage on the east side of town.”