Anchorage AK downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 54
Demographics 47
Economy 39
Education 57
Health 58
Housing 49
Infrastructure 68

#100. Anchorage, AK

For those of us in the Lower 48, it can be hard to imagine living in Alaska. But for the 300,000 people who call Anchorage home, it’s a daily reality — and one that offers a super quality of life. Anchorage has a small-town vibe with big-city amenities, from outdoor adventures right out the front door to an array of art galleries and fine-dining restaurants. Residents are diverse, commute times are short and jobs are plentiful in this south-central Alaskan city on the Cook Inlet.

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Alaska Anchorage

Top Industries & Employers: Military, aviation, communications, health care, education

Weekend Plans: Jog or bike along the 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, check out new exhibits at the Anchorage Museum or catch a show at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts

Favorite Place to Feast: Simon & Seafort’s Saloon & Grill, which is known for its delicious halibut cheeks (yes, that’s a thing).

Beloved Beverage: The Duck Fart at Peanut Farm, which is much tastier than its name suggests. It’s a shot glass full of Crown Royal, Baileys and Kahlua.

Outdoorsy Activity: Fish along the Kenai River, where the world’s largest salmon – Kenai King – find their way back to every June and July.

Rooftop Bar: After enjoying the arcade downstairs, venture up top to take in a crisp Alaska evening at Williwaw Social.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: If your pup loves to swim, he/she will enjoy being able to do some year-round laps at Alaska K9 Aquatics.

Remote Work Perk: Your co-workers won’t be able to stop asking you questions about Alaska, making you the life of the Slack channel. More seriously, though, you won’t pay state income tax in Alaska or sales tax in Anchorage, which means your paycheck can go further.

One More Thing … After your first year of living in Anchorage, you’ll begin receiving annual dividend checks from the state’s Permanent Fund, funded by an oil and gas boom in the 1970s.

– Sarah Kuta

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