You have decided to, or researching about, move to Alaska! Many people are drawn the vast wilderness, Aurora Borealis (A.K.A Northern Lights), fishing and hunting, wildlife, and raw beauty that is Alaska. Whether it's to escape the city life, business or recreation, Alaska has many things to offer, but it is definitely a big task to move to a state that is 2000 miles from its closest neighboring state. There are several things that set Alaska apart from Hawaii and the Lower 48, that's what we call the continental United States. Below we will cover some of the big things to be aware of.
Dark vs. Light
Whenever I travel out of state, people always ask me one of two questions: “How do you deal with the darkness all the time?” And, “Is it really daylight 24/7?” Both are great questions and a true reality of Alaska. It depends where you are located, but in Anchorage, the summer solstice brings 22 hours of daylight and never really gets dark. On the winter solstice Anchorage sees about four hours of daylight. Once you head North, it gets a little more extreme where the sun isn't seen for several months during the middle of the winter.
How Cold is it?
Talking about winter and summer always brings up the temperature question, “How cold does it really get?” Alaska can be an extremely harsh environment, especially the further North you get. In Anchorage it remains fairly consistent between 0-30F degrees in the winter, while in the summer we see temperatures on average between 65-75F. There will be times where temperatures dip below zero and above 75 but it doesn't normally last longer than a couple days to a week. So how do you deal with the absence of daylight in the winter?!
Alaskans love the outdoors and winter activities, it's all about staying busy and enjoying the gorgeous landscape that surrounds us all. Winter activities include, snowboard and skiing, mountain biking, ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice hockey, ice climbing and a plethora of other fun activities. In Anchorage alone you have access to world class ski resorts like Alyeska, mountains to the North and South and hundreds of miles of local trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ponds for ice hockey. If you’re out there spending time with family and friends the dark isn't going to affect you as much. Additionally, the awe inspiring Aurora Borealis that dances across the sky in the middle of the winter will take your breath away.
Alaskans live for the summer, and so will you. Long days give you the ability to work all day and still go explore Alaska's countryside, parks, rivers and unlimited recreational opportunities. That is because it will be light out until one or two in the morning!
Anchorage is the Biggest Little Town
Alaska is ⅕ the size of the lower 48. We are the biggest state in the union but still have a small town feel. Anchorage is Alaska's largest municipality with about 300,000 people, which compared to other states is fairly small. However, Anchorage counts for about 40% of Alaska population. It is also the center for business, medical and transportation for the state. Anchorage houses Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) which is a combination of an Army and Air Force Base. These four industries, and all supporting industries, create a thriving economy for Anchorage.
Oil is Alaska's second biggest industry behind government, it makes up about 20% of our GDP. Oil makes up most of the economy up here and its revenue helps drive the state. The pipeline that runs from the North Slope down to Valdez is one of the biggest of its kind. Many workers who live across the state, even those that live outside, fly to the North Slope oil fields for work. Often with a schedule of two weeks on and two weeks off.
Travel within the State
Alaska is very unique in many ways one of which is transportation. Alaska is very large. There are several towns, cities and villages only accessible by plane or by boat. Juneau, our capital city, is one of them and has no roads to get there. We have one major road system in Alaska that connects most major cities and towns. With one road in and out of many places, and a short window to road work, road construction is a way of Alaskan life.
No matter weather you live in Anchorage or Barrow, there is plenty of outdoor recreation! Alaska is known for its vast mountain ranges, world renown hunting and fishing, extreme wildlife, ski resorts, small towns, vast wilderness. This attracts tourists, nature enthusiasts and people from all around the world. There’s always something to do in Alaska and we are truly the Last Frontier!
Our team at Precision Home Group is made up of Alaskans with the experience and knowledge to help you with your move and transition. Our goal is to make your move up here as easy as possible for you, even fun! Give us a call today or submit a contact form and we will get in touch with you immediately!