In 1964, a 9.2-magnitude earthquake—the second most powerful ever recorded—ripped through the south coast of Alaska, devastating much of downtown Anchorage. After surveying the damage, real estate developer Walter J. Hickel, who would later go on to serve two terms as the state’s governor, vowed to build Alaska’s biggest and best hotel. The result, a massive 546-room complex spread out over three towers, is still the city’s most luxurious, known for its attentive concierge, excellent athletic club, and wealth of dining options. Its elegant Crow’s Nest restaurant offers dishes that incorporate French technique with regional ingredients, like king crab–dotted bouillabaisse, along with a 10,000-bottle wine collection; the 360-degree views include, on a clear day, the iconic peaks of Denali. The hotel was inducted as a member of the Historic Hotels of America in 2016.