633,300 square miles. That’s how big Alaska truly is. To offer you some perspective, that’s 2.5 times as big as Texas. In fact, Alaska is even larger than the combined areas of Texas, California, and Montana.
Given its size, it’s clear why living in different areas of Alaska will offer radically different experiences. Case in point: Soldotna in Southcentral Alaska is 762 miles from Utquiagvik in the Far North. That’s nearly the same distance from San Diego to the Oregon state line. In other words, massive distances offer massively different lifestyles.
If you’re researching the best places to live in Alaska, we’ll take you on a tour of the state’s five major regions. You’ll get a sense of what you can expect in each, as well as some specific towns to jumpstart your thinking.
We’ll start with the region that holds some of Alaska’s biggest population centers—the city of Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, and the Kenai Peninsula.