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Alaska not only has some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country, from towering mountains, glaciers and sparkling lakes to rugged coastline and wild beaches, but it’s one of the top places for wildlife watching. Depending on the destination, you might see orcas, humpback, grey or beluga whales, seals and sea otters in the water, and moose, caribou, bear, mountain goats and Dall’s sheep on land, along with a host of other animals. To put yourself in some of the top spots for viewing, be sure to book one of these Airbnbs.
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This recently built two-bedroom home is the highest in Juneau. It provides stunning views overlooking downtown, the Gastineau Channel, Mount Juneau, and Mount Roberts. Watch for harbor seals, bald eagles and the occasional whale from the deck and abundant windows inside, while being close to all sorts of other wildlife viewings. The trails of Mt. Juneau and Tongass National Forest are just steps away. Inside highlights include a fully equipped kitchen, radiant in-floor heating, a washer/dryer and Wi-Fi.
For those seeking an authentic Alaskan wilderness experience, to reach this remote bush cabin you’ll have to trek five miles in from Talkeetna in the Denali area of the state. You’ll be guided in, with your effort rewarded with incredible tranquility and scenery. It overlooks a fishing lake inhabited by beavers while day hikes often bring sightings of moose, caribou and bears. While there is no electricity or running water, the cabin includes sleeping bags and is stocked with coffee and snacks.
This two-bedroom cottage is 10 miles from the small town of Haines and offers sweeping views of Lutak Inlet and a sandy beach where bears and eagles can be seen congregating daily. It has an expanded deck with outdoor seating for relaxing or dining as you watch bears play on the sand. Chilkoot Lake and River can be reached in just five minutes on foot where you can fish for salmon and trout. There’s also a lawn and a partially covered porch providing views of the water and beach. Inside is a full kitchen with jams, coffee and cooking essentials, a TV and DVDs, a well-stocked bookshelf and a set of board games.
Accommodation options in Gustavus are limited, but the Blue Bucket B&B provides the rare stay in this tiny town that serves as the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park. It overlooks a meadow frequented by moose, black bears while providing access to the park for watching humpback and killer whales, Steller sea lions, harbor seals and more. Secluded in the trees, you’ll be surrounded by nature just a short walk from the Salmon river, beach, pier and local stores. Your host provides free transportation to and from the airport and the ferry. It includes a private room for up to five with a shared living room space, a kitchen, and a washer and dryer. A wood-burning stove, outdoor evening fires with wood supplied and complimentary use of bicycles are included too.
Book this home, surrounded by the breathtaking natural landscape, and you’ll be less than nine miles from the entrance of Denali National Park, renowned for wildlife spotting. Some of the most iconic large mammals can be seen here, including wolves, caribou, moose, Dall’s sheep, grizzly and black bears. The two-bedroom home accommodates six and includes a full kitchen, Wi-Fi and a laundry room. While there is no TV, you won’t want to stare at a screen when you can gaze out at the spectacular views.
This impressive three-bedroom chalet sleeps up to six and sits atop a bluff providing 180-degree views of Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay, with a backdrop of Alaska’s Ring of Fire volcanos, Augustine, Iliamna, Redoubt, and Mount Douglas. Enjoy spectacular views from every room for watching eagles, whales, ships and fishing boats cruise by. It’s spread on two acres for a remote, private feel, yet Homer and its fine dining restaurants, shops, art galleries and nightlife are only two minutes away.
Located right on the harbor boardwalk in Seward, this one-bedroom, second-story apartment offers incredible views of Resurrection Bay, home to humpback whales, orcas, harbor seals, porpoises, otters and sea lions, while countless bald eagles soar through the sky. You’ll be able to watch them right from the large living room windows. Just a short walk from your door and you can score fresh fish from the fish cleaning station to cook up in your kitchen.
This two-bedroom private apartment for four sits on two acres along Auke Bay, providing magnificent views of the water and Chilkat Mountains. You’ll have a spacious covered deck for relaxing outdoors with that incredible vista, watching bald eagles and the humpback whales that frequent the bay. While it provides plenty of tranquility, away from the cruise ship crowds and downtown, it’s just a short drive from shopping and dining. A full kitchen, fireplace, washer/dryer and Wi-Fi are included.
Hidden Cove Fortress sits on a hill overlooking the shores of the Chilkat Inlet, providing a secluded pocket of calm and a beautiful view of the Chilkat flats. You’ll have the top two floors of the home, including three bedrooms sleeping up to six, along with a full kitchen and Smart TV with Netflix. The highlight is being in an area ideal for wildlife spotting on land and in the water, including brown bears that wander through the forest and along beaches. Moose are frequently seen and porcupines are abundant. Scan the Chilkat Inlet for harbor seals, Steller sea lions, harbor porpoises, humpback whales and orcas.
Kasiana cabin is a one-bedroom cabin accommodating five, located in Sitka Sound. From your front deck, you’ll be able to watch the area’s wildlife. While kayaking (three kayaks, paddles and life vests included) you might view sea otters, whales, land otters, sea lions, seals, bald eagles and a variety of sea birds. The cabin includes a fireplace and all the essentials, but this remote site can only be accessed by boat. Your host offers transportation for an additional fee and notes that bringing waterproof boots are a must.
The Tava House is less than two miles from downtown Sitka, located right on Jamestown Bay for a spectacular view of the mountains along with wildlife like whales, sea lions and bald eagles that can be enjoyed inside or out. It’s just steps from the water and includes a dock with kayaks and boat rentals available too. You can walk or ride the bike path into town for shopping, dining out, tours and festivals too. It includes three large bedrooms, sleeping up to six guests, and a large fire pit where you can roast marshmallows or cook up the catch of the day while watching the sea life. There’s a full kitchen and dining room, Wi-Fi, washer/dryer and TV.
If you want to be close to the city while enjoying a sense of seclusion and wildlife viewing, this original Alaskan homesteader cabin with hand-cut logs and modern comforts is ideal. It sits on over an acre of land, attached to the main house. A 330-acre park with multi-use trails is right across the street while wildlife frequently wanders through the neighborhood. The kitchenette has appliances like a small convection oven, refrigerator, microwave and Keurig coffeemaker, as well as dishes and cookware. A TV and DVD player, DVDs, Wi-Fi, books and some games are included too.
Eagles Landing is a two-bedroom waterfront rental on Jamestown Bay for up to four guests who can enjoy breathtaking views of Sitka Sound, Mount Edgecumbe and multiple islands while watching for wildlife like bald eagles, sea lions and whales. It includes a shared dock where you can fish or get out on the water in a kayak or on a paddleboard. The interior space features an open concept kitchen and living area with large windows to enjoy the views while cooking or sipping your morning coffee. Cable TV, Wi-Fi and a washer/dryer are included too.
This small cabin for two overlooks the marina located at the mouth of George and Carroll Inlets at the edge of one of the state’s major salmon runs, providing one of the best spots for watching Ketchikan’s many bears. It’s close to Alaska Canopy tours for zipping through the trees and bear watching, and you’ll be steps from the marina for renting a vessel as well as enjoying a bar that serves burgers and beer while hosting bluegrass on some Friday nights. A full kitchen, Wi-Fi and cable TV are included.