Healy, Alaska, located 10 miles north of the Denali National Park entrance, is a great base from which to explore the park. The small town of about 1000 people has many small hotels, b&bs and some excellent restaurants and bars.
One special place is Otto Lake which is a great place to canoe or catch a sunset. Healy is located on the north side of the mountains and the sun doesn't set until 12:30am in the summer. At Otto Lake is the only golf course in the area where you can get a midnight tee time.
Transportation options are limited in Healy so if you stay there you will want a car.
The name says it all – Denali Outdoor Center – is a place to get started on all types of outdoor recreation. From the office on the shores of Otto Lake, it is possible to rent canoes and tour the beautiful and vast lake. I prefer to go in the late evening and enjoy the spectacular sunset that the lake is famous for. In addition, you can rent bikes and explore the roads and trails in the area, or camp or stay at one of the lakeside cabins.
The DOC also offers rafting and kayaking trips on the Nenana River.