But much of that is just because it’s Alaska — and if you’ve been to Alaska, you’ll know the state has a unique blend of luxury, wilderness, adventure, and quirky businesses and personalities. And that means that many of the Airbnbs in Alaska are just as unique and outdoorsy as the state’s hotels. Whether you want to visit Alaska in June, July, August, or September, you’ll find no shortage of cool home rentals to be your basecamp for summer in Alaska.
When it comes to planning your trip, don’t forget that Alaska is enormous. In fact, just one of the state’s national parks (Wrangell-St. Elias) is larger than Delaware, Rhode Island, and Connecticut combined. So when booking an Airbnb in Alaska for a summer trip, be sure to take the home’s location (as well as how you’d get there) into account when planning where your trip. Alaska’s road network isn’t as extensive as other states, and you don’t want to book an Airbnb only to find out you can only reach it via boat or ATV.
These are the 11 best Airbnbs in Alaska for a summer wilderness escape.
We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.
June in Alaska is typically a month of transition from spring to summer. Weather can vary, but temperatures are usually in the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit during the day. June can still be quite rainy, but the daylight hours are long, especially after the summer solstice. It’s generally considered the shoulder season, with fewer crowds and lower prices than the peak summer months of July and August. Just keep in mind that some businesses may be closed in early June — though in most of the popular tourist towns, it should be summer as usual.
In June, the best towns to visit are those further south in the state, like Juneau, Ketchikan, Seward, Sitka, Homer, Kodiak, and Skagway. Higher-elevation areas (including Denali) may still have quite a bit of snow on the ground, depending on the winter.
Juneau is smack in the middle of the Tongass, which is technically a rainforest (a temperate one, however, so it’s not as hot and muggy as a tropical one). That makes Juneau extremely lush and green, and no place is a better basecamp for exploring the nearby trails in Alaska in June than the aptly named Rainforest Cabin.
It’s decked out in natural materials so it feels very organic to its surroundings, and wildlife visits are common, from birds to bears to bald eagles. While it may feel remote, it’s only five miles from Juneau, making it easy to reach the town’s best restaurants (and trailheads).
If you can’t imagine visiting a place as unique as Alaska in June and staying in a plain old hotel, this adorable A-frame cabin could be a good pick. Unlike with many A-frames, it has two separate bedrooms with doors, instead of open-air lofted areas. That makes it great for couples traveling together. It was built in the 1980s but has since been updated, and has not just a large indoor living area, but a large deck and an outdoor area with a firepit.
Note that both bedrooms are upstairs, and there’s a steep flight of stairs to get into the house. So it may not be a good pick for anyone with mobility issues.
When it comes to fishing, Alaska is one of the top spots in the world. So for a truly Alaskan experience, skip the on-land options and book this totally private houseboat in Sitka Harbor. It’s actually a tugboat from WWII, and it’s been profiled in multiple magazines and TV shows since it’s the last boat of this kind still afloat. It’s just a mile from downtown Sitka, so it’s a great place to rent if you don’t have a car.
On board, guests have access to four bedrooms, multiple decks, and a full (though slightly old-school) kitchen. Usually during Alaska in June, Sitka is warm and the weather is calm, but there’s no guarantee. So while this is one of the coolest Airbnbs in Alaska, you may want to skip it if you’re prone to motion sickness.
By the way: Sitka is a great place to go fishing, but you can also paddle and access great hiking and cool wildlife experiences. It may not be as well-known as towns like Juneau, but it’s actually a great vacation destination in the state unto itself.
Alaska in July is busy as can be as its in the very middle of the summer tourist season. All businesses and activities are in full swing and basically anywhere in the state is accessible (well, as accessible as it can be).
Aside from crowds and cost, the only downside to July in Alaska is that the mosquitoes can be pretty annoying; in fact, there’s a running joke that Alaska’s state bird is the mosquito. Fortunately, it doesn’t get that hot in Alaska, so you’ll be fine wearing long pants and long-sleeve shirts most of the time, which should keep most of the mosquitoes at bay. And you’ll find that mosquito net face covers are the epitome of high fashion.
Airbnbs in Alaska can fill up fast in July, so try to book as early as possible since the state gets busy. Of course, “busy” in Alaska isn’t the same as busy in any popular mainland US city, so you don’t have to worry about hour-long waits for restaurants and such. But you may see a few more people than usual on the trails (or in fields photographing fireweed with you, which is at its peak in mid-July).
Homer is one of the most fun towns in Alaska — in fact, Matador picked it as one of the coolest small towns in the US for 2023. That’s because it has everything you could want from Alaska in July: you’re surrounded by beaches, have access to fresh seafood and cuisine on the Homer Spit, are just a boat ride from the glaciers and hikes of Kachemak Bay State Park, and are near all the best wildlife and hiking tours on the Kenai Peninsula.
This classic log cabin is very close to the Spit and has a huge deck with seating for six and a private firepit. Most rooms have views of the Gulf of Alaska and you can walk to the beach. This home is very close to some of the best attractions in Homer (like Bear Creek Winery) and has a second rentable cabin if you need more space. Note that Alaska in July has pretty late sunsets, and this house doesn’t have window coverings. So bring an eyemask if you want a break from the endless views.
Alaska in July is a great time to visit Fairbanks, about four hours north of Anchorage. While it’s not technically in the northern part of the state, it is about as far north as most visitors go. It’s known for a long northern lights viewing season and winter activities like hiking with reindeer, but because it gets so cold and snowy, it has a rather short hiking window. July is a perfect time to go.
The Park Bus is one of the most unique Airbnbs in Alaska and is the perfect place to make your “Into the Wild” dreams come true (minus the ending). You’re likely to see wildlife like bears and moose just outside your windows, and it’s equidistant between Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs. Oh, and it’s not just any bus: it’s a former Denali National Park shuttle bus. It’s beloved by guests, considering it has perfect five-star reviews across all categories (and more than 160 reviews).
Towns around Anchorage are easy to visit year-round, with frequent direct flights from Anchorage to cities in the lower 48. But it’s especially nice in July, when the days are long and leave plenty of time for day tripping to nearby sites like the Crow Creek Gold Mine, taking boat tours past glaciers that depart from nearby Whittier, hiking in Chugach State Park, or looking for wildlife around the Eagle River Nature Center. You can even drive to the Kenai Peninsula in about 30 minutes.
There are more Airbnbs around Anchorage than anywhere else in Alaska, so you won’t hurt for options. But an especially good pick is the Timberland Treehouse Chalet in Girdwood, just a few miles from Alyeska Resort. It has a private hot tub and a big backyard, plus room to sleep 10 people. It’s a good pick for a group of friends planning a long weekend of hiking or fishing, since it’s only about 40 minutes from the airport. It’s one of the few Airbnbs in Alaska that works for a long weekend trip, especially since renting a car at the Anchorage airport is quick and east.
August is one of the busiest months for tourism in Alaska. Visitors from all over the world flock to the state to take advantage of nearly 19 hours of daylight and the warmest weather of the year (highs of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit). It also tends to rain less in August, and when it does, it’s usually not too heavy (though that varies based on where you are in the state, of course). August is a great time to go backpacking or hiking in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, or go fishing for the state’s famous salmon.
August is also the start of viewing season, especially for seeing the state’s famous grizzly bears. Like July, Airbnbs in Alaska can also get booked quickly in July, so you’ll have fewer available options if you’re a last-minute planner.
Don’t be fooled into thinking Salmonfest is just a small get-together for fishermen. Salmonfest is the biggest festival in Alaska, held every August. The weekend-long celebration is Alaska’s version of Coachella, with camping, food and drink vendors, live music, and tons of entertainment. Past headliners include Old Crow Medicine Show, Greensky Bluegrass, Indigo Girls, Ani DeFranco, and more.
If you’re planning to attend Salmonfest but don’t want to camp, you’ll dig this roomy cottage with enough space for all your jam-band friends to crash for the weekend. It’s a high-end lakefront home with a pool table, a large deck facing the water, and a bright and airy living space. The owners also have a car available to rent, making it easy to get back and forth from Salmonfest.
By the way, if you visit during July, you’ll be smack in the middle of some of the prettiest fields of fireweed in North America. It’s especially photogenic along the drive between Ninilchik and Homer.
There’s no beating around the bush: people who visit Alaska in August often have one destination in mind, and it’s Denali National Park. But Denali’s hotels are really expensive, and book up quickly. So if you’re looking for Airbnbs in Alaska near the park, check out The Fireweed Cabin. It backs to the Denali Wilderness and is about 20 minutes from the park’s tourist center.
But what makes this cabin an especially good pick for Airbnbs in Alaska is that it’s in Healy, the closest town to Denali. So you have access to grocery stores and restaurants, unlike staying in the park. And Healy also has lots of good hiking trails, which may be a welcome break if you get tired of Denali’s mostly unmarked, unmapped trails.
This private cabin in Halibut Cove near Homer is as gorgeous as they come, with a prime location on a rocky shoreline overlooking the bay. Guests get a 700-foot-long private beach, and the owners can arrange kayak rentals and help with logistics, including recommendations on how to get there. There’s plenty of outdoor space, including multiple decks with an outdoor grill. Just note that it’s an open floor plan, so there’s not a lot of privacy between the sleeping areas. There is a second rentable lower level with more privacy, though — just ask the owners about adding it to the rental.
Halibut Cove is one of the most unique small towns in Alaska. And if you’re visiting Alaska in August, it’s worth taking the roughly 45-minute boat ride to reach the small town. You’ll need to bring everything you need with you as there aren’t any shops in the partially floating town, save for a post office, The Saltry Restaurant, and a coffee shop. Be prepared to kayak to get around (and to see plenty of bald eagles).
September may still be warm in other parts of the US, but it’s solidly autumn in Alaska. Depending on where you are, snow is possible, and many of the summer tour operators have shut down for the year. However, there are two things you may be able to see in September in Alaska: early-season aurora borealis, and grizzly bears.
Starting in September, if you’re lucky, you can see the northern lights around Fairbanks. September tends to be the shoulder season around Fairbanks, so it could go either way for weather. It’ll probably be warm enough to hike, but snow is certainly not impossible.
But this unique Fairbanks cabin is one of the coolest Airbnbs in Alaska regardless of weather, and not just because it has a cozy barrel sauna. The cabin has a giant net hammock built into the second floor, making it the perfect cabin for lounging. There’s also an outdoor hot tub just for the cabin. It’s part of a small lodge that has a few other cabins plus a few treehouses, so if you have a larger group, everyone can book their own room but be in the same area. The entire lodge can accommodate up to 46 guests — Alaskan wedding, anyone?
If you want to visit Alaska in September to see grizzly bears, this is your spot. The modern and bright Airbnb is in Anchorage, which is where bear flight-seeing tours to Lake Clark National Park or Katmai National Park begin. Those tours are usually expensive, but at least this home isn’t, with a starting price under $100 a night. It also has a hot tub, which will feel good after a day spent walking around looking for bears.
While there’s a chance there could be other renters using it, the owners say that’s not very common — and hey, if there is another traveler in the hot tub with you, you’ll hopefully have good bear-viewing tales to share. The covered outdoor firepit is also a nice touch, especially on chilly September evenings.