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Healy Named #7 Most Popular U.S. Vacation Rental Destination This Summer

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When it comes to choosing where to stay near Denali National Park, the neighboring community of Healy has increasingly become a popular choice for Alaska visitors. With more space and a greater range of options, several Healy properties even make my list of suggested accommodations it the Denali area.

Healy has finally stepped a bit into the spotlight, with the announcement that it is the #7 most popular vacation rental destination in summer 2024, as reported by Lodgify (a software company that helps vacation rental owners manage their bookings).

Healy News Hero

Lodgify analyzed over 57,000 bookings (including direct bookings through their software plus other platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com, and VRBO) made for travel between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year (aka the peak Alaska travel season!) to reveal that Healy made the top-10 list along with more well-known summer getaways like Ocean City, Maryland, Nashville, Tennessee, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

While Healy doesn’t have a ton to offer visitors, it does serve as a great base for exploring the Denali area and visiting Denali National Park. Home to just 773 people (down from a peak of around 1100 about a decade ago), you can also find a few great restaurants (49th State Brewing is a must-try spot and Rose’s Cafe comes highly recommended by members of the V&V community) and it’s the base for a few tours and flightseeing operations (like my favorite, Fly Denali with their Denali Glacier Landing Tour).

Additionally, there are many more accommodation options in Healy than in the rest of the Denali area combined. Given the ongoing popularity of Alaska as a summer travel destination, it’s no surprise that Healy is increasingly chosen by visitors when hotels in the Nenana Canyon area become too pricey and vacation rentals along the Parks Highway have little or no availability.

If you’re still planning your Alaska trip and considering Healy as a place to stay near Denali, here are some of the properties I recommend; you too can join the data set for next year!

  • Denali Park Hotel – As I detailed in my story about the history of hotels in Denali National Park, the Denali Park Hotel is home to the last remaining relics of the storied McKinley Park Hotel, which once stood at the entrance to the park. You can see several of the old train cars from the “temporary” second hotel, as well as other building structures that have been repurposed into rooms at the Denali Park Hotel. Book on Hotels.com or directly on the hotel website.
  • White Moose Lodge – A no-frills hotel, White Moose Lodge is the representation of simplicity. There are some picnic tables and a gas grill for anyone to use when playing board games. The hotel is close to 49th State Brewery. Book directly on the hotel website or Booking.com.
  • Denali Wild Stay – This is a cozy cabin tucked amid the birch trees that has everything one would need for a visit to Denali National Park. Travelers rave about the hot tub! And with good reason. There’s nothing like soaking up in the hot tub watching a midnight sunset in Denali. Book directly on the hotel website.
  • Aurora Denali Lodge (formerly Motel Nord Haven) – Located about 20 minutes from Denali NP, the Aurora Denali Lodge is perfect for, well, seeing the Aurora Borealis. You can stay in one of their large, comfortable, and well-appointed suites with a convenient kitchen and a daily continental breakfast bowl. Book on Booking.com.
  • Alaskan Spruce Cabins – A great option for families, Alaskan Spruce Cabins offers comfortable cabins. They have a large kitchen where you can prepare several meals. Best of all, they have a front porch with spectacular views. Perfect for drinking coffee in the morning! Book directly on the hotel website or Booking.com.
  • Denali Primrose B&B – This is one of the “true” B&Bs with on-site hosts and breakfast included in Denali. It’s comfy and clean, and a really good alternative to the busy lodge options nearby. The owner, Terry, is very friendly, outgoing, and just a super sweet lady.  Book directly on the hotel website or Booking.com.

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.

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