Alaska is tucked away in the northwest corner of the globe. Alaska borders Canada and is the most populous of the 50 states. Alaska’s beautiful and diverse landscapes are a major reason why it is so cold in winter and so much warmer in summer.

Alaska is a wilderness with acres of open grasslands, mountains, and dense forests. Alaska is loved by outdoor enthusiasts from all over the globe. There are numerous hiking trails and some of the country’s most beautiful mountain biking routes.

There are many beautiful kayaking spots, including Iliamna Lake and Skilak Lake. There are over 3,000 lakes that have been officially designated as natural in the state. You could easily spend your entire life hopping from one lake to the next and not even scratch the surface.

Living in Alaska is a wonderful experience. You can enjoy breathtaking scenery, wildernesses, and grizzly bears. These are the top 9 best places to live in Alaska.

1. College

One would never have thought Fairbanks, Alaska’s smallest suburb, would be the most desirable place to live. College, AK is number one.

College has a population of just 14,675 people.

The daily commute is easy in College. College is conveniently located at Route 3, which takes you almost straight to Anchorage.

Despite being located in Alaska, college doesn’t provide the same outdoor activities that you would expect. This is something that Alaskans can easily overlook.

2. Gateway

Gateway, located in Matanuska–Susitna, is considered part of Anchorage, although it is only a 45-minute drive from the city centre. Gateway is home to just 5,610 residents. This part of the state has a rural, village feel.

This is a significant increase in home values, which are $271,300 above the national average, but still within the range of property prices in Alaska. While cost of living is a consideration, plenty of good jobs are available.

The best part is that all the Gateway public schools can boast a solid A-rating. Gateway was voted the best place in Alaska to raise children because of its low crime rate.

3. Ester

Ester shares a border with College and is considered the third best place in Alaska. Despite being close to Fairbanks, this neighborhood is home to just 3,008 people.

Despite its rural setting, Ester isn’t known for its abundance of outdoor activities. As such, it is not a popular place to raise a family.

However, there is a strong community pride for gardening. So if you decide to move to Ester, you need to get your green fingers in quick!

Ester is the second most desirable place in Alaska to buy a home. Ester’s median home value is $193,300. This is just $14,700 more than the national median.

4. Sitka

Sitka shares a large section of its perimeter and British Columbia with several small islands, including Baranof Island as well as a portion of Chichagof Island.

Alaskans should visit Sitka National Park. This parkland is filled with totem poles that commemorate the victory of the Tlingit people over Russia 1867.

Sitka is an interesting place to live due to its rich history, but it is the quality and family feel of Sitka that are the real draw for those looking to move here.

Sitka rents well. At just over $1,000 per month, it is not the best place to live if you want to save money to buy a home.

Sitka is proud of being the most safest place in Alaska. Add this to the fact that the area has some of the finest schools in Alaska and you have a great place for your family to grow.


5. Ridgeway

Ridgeway, a small, quaint community on the Kenai Peninsula is very country. On a sunny day, Lake Kenai can be breathtaking. It would be a great excuse to buy camping gear and kayaks here.

Although the house prices are high here, they are not the least expensive in the state. However, there are beautiful views from the lake and plenty of woods to explore which can help explain the price. A 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom home with an expansive backyard can be purchased for $385,000. Ridgeway is the top-ranked place in Alaska to buy a home.

Ridgeway has many great schools and a small population of 2,195 people, so there’s not too much competition for your little ones.


6. Soldotna

The neighborhood of Ridgeway lies directly below Soldotna. These are the neighbors to Ridgeway, shall we say. This town is located on the Kenai Peninsula and has the Soldotna Creek Park, a great place to bird watch or enjoy a weekend picnic.


Soldotna’s crime levels are lower than the national average, making it a great place for families. There are many things to love about Soldotna, including the excellent public schools, affordable job opportunities, and lots of social activities.


Locals love the friendly and positive atmosphere, a hallmark of living in Alaska. Another plus is the access to the beautiful Alaskan outdoors. Despite the fact that many of the residents are approaching retirement, the Kenai Peninsula Campus is making the area more diverse. It’s the best place to live in Alaska.


7. Juneau

It’s not unusual for the state capitol to be ranked lower than the other five best places to live. Juneau, Alaska is no exception. We have returned to the city limits with a population of 32,000.

Juneau is a great choice for parents looking for a place to call home in Alaska. It has the most outstanding public schools in the state.

Locals say that one of the best things about living in the area is the rich and thriving native culture. Access to Tongas National Park is another major selling point. Imagine how wonderful it would be to take your entire family to Alaska for a weekend in a wintery jungle! Alaska is an enormous outdoor classroom!


8. Kenai

Kenai is located southwest of Anchorage, on the coast. This charming city is famous for its salmon fishing. Rent in Kenai is a more sought-after area for real estate, as the median rent here is $900 per month.

Daily flights to Anchorage from Kenai Municipal Airport are possible, weather permitting. From Anchorage, you can connect to international and continental flights.

Kenai is among the top ten desirable places to live, work, and raise a family. It also has access to the best public schools in the State. The only problem with Kenai is its location. The downside to Kenai is its crime rates. A phase of home burglaries and motor vehicle thefts has distorted the statistics. Kenai is considered a peaceful, happy and safe place to live by the locals.


9. Anchorage

Anchorage would be the most likely answer if you asked someone to name a city within Alaska. Anchorage is surrounded by the Kenai Fjords National Park and the Chugach National Forest. There are many places to explore.

Anchorage, Alaska’s most populous city, has a population just below 300,000. However, Anchorage proudly retains its close-knit community feel.

The city is spread out so that the area doesn’t feel crowded. Locals joke that it’s a huge village!

Be prepared for cold winters!

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Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: Phone: 972-776-4050
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