You get the best of a mainstream hotel and an intimate B&B at this 14-room, downtown Anchorage inn. You’ll find the personalized service and historic charm of a B&B but the concierge services of a hotel, as well as the independence to come and go as you please—with nearly every sight in Anchorage within easy walking distance.

Built in 1939, the Main House, an architect-designed, three-story cottage, was originally the home of a local doctor (his family still lives in Anchorage today). In 1989 the house became an inn with 8 rooms, and in 1995 a 6-room addition—the West House—was built to mirror the main house's charm. Both houses are decorated with classic aesthetics, as well as striking photographs of nature from all over Alaska.

Today, many visitors make the Copper Whale Inn their base camp for an extended Alaskan vacation: Stay here a couple days, perhaps spend a few days going north to Denali or Talkeetna, then come back to the inn before heading south to the Kenai Peninsula and Seward.

Of the 14 rooms, 12 have private baths. Glen, the inn’s general manager, says that while many people shy away from booking a room with a shared bath, the guests who do are always excited when they see the room in person—and realize that they've lucked into the best Cook Inlet views in the whole place. Rooms in the West house, meanwhile, may offer a little more quiet, since they're farther from the street, and ground floor rooms have direct access to the back patio.

Otherwise, rooms come with one queen bed (one has two twins), and four rooms come with a twin sleeper sofa as well; some of those rooms can also easily handle a rollaway, too, so with several rooms you can sleep 3-4 people.

Your rate includes an expanded continental breakfast, with an emphasis on fresh, healthy items: whole grain breads, muffins, Danish, croissant, as well as bowls of fresh berries and yogurt and juice, coffee and tea.

Glen is always happy to help guests set up day trips, such as a glacier cruise, flightseeing trip, or a day of fly-in fishing. It’s also easy to strike out on your own: The Coastal Trail is just a block away (as is the Hotel Captain Cook), and pretty much any restaurant shop or museum is within a 10-15 minute walk.

During the day, you can use the binoculars in the living room to watch for passing wildlife (and city life) out the inn windows. You also have access to a fridge and microwave in the common room, as well as a guest computer, free wi-fi and guest laundry facilities. They all come in handy for anyone enjoying a breather during their Alaskan adventure.