Should we move to Alaska?

Posted in the Alaska Forum

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Teresa

Newark, CA

#1 Jun 26, 2006
What are the better towns to move to?
Former Alaskan

Berkeley, CA

#2 Jun 27, 2006
Teresa wrote:
What are the better towns to move to?
What kind of lifestyle do you want? Are you super outdoorsy, or do you need some scintilla of city life within reach? Are you okay with getting snowed-in or trapped for weeks by bad weather? Does thirty below zero and two months of darkness sound unappealing?

Need more details about what you want.
unknown

Milwaukee, WI

#3 Jun 29, 2006
well 4 me peronally , city within 30 minutes would be very cool
Former Alaskan

Burlingame, CA

#4 Jun 29, 2006
unknown wrote:
well 4 me peronally , city within 30 minutes would be very cool
Hmmm, well that pretty much means you're going to be living in Anchorage then. Not really any other options, as the next largest towns (Fairbanks and Juneau) are hardly "cities". Even Anchorage is a stretch.
Jim

New Boston, NH

#5 Jun 29, 2006
Former Alaskan wrote:
<quoted text>
Hmmm, well that pretty much means you're going to be living in Anchorage then. Not really any other options, as the next largest towns (Fairbanks and Juneau) are hardly "cities". Even Anchorage is a stretch.
I wouldn't live in Anchorage personally, near it, but not in. I recommend Eagle River or Mat-su. But again we really need more details to be any help. Why are you moving, what are you going to do up there,is money an issue, what do you like to do, and most importantly what do you consider a city?|Anchorage is a far cry from NYC if that what you think a city is.
Jay

Willows, CA

#6 Jun 30, 2006
We are moving to Kenai in a few months {hoping the house sells}
I am going sight unseen,I need to know what there is to do, we have a 3 month old baby to entertain.
Any info on kenai welcome.
thanks
Annie

Russia

#7 Jul 2, 2006
Teresa wrote:
What are the better towns to move to?
If you are going to live close to Anchorage, but NOT in Anchorage, I can highly recommend you a place called Indian. It is not too far from Anchorage and is very nice.
Just want to warn you that the prices for houses there are high.:)
Good luck!
Marie Lawson

Helena, MT

#8 Jul 4, 2006
I spent many years in AK, mostly in the interior region south of Fairbanks. It was the adventure of a life time, and my kids loved it. I plan on retiring up there one day. However, if you prefer city life stay in and around Anchorage, as it is the only thing that really qualifies as a "city" by lower 48 standards. Alaska is no place for the faint hearted or the weak minded. It is no place for the unprepared. In most of the state survival on a daily basis is uppermost in people's minds, because you could easily lose your life on a short walk if you aren't prepared, as in winter temps that can sink lower then -50 (f).
Jim

New Boston, NH

#9 Jul 4, 2006
Jay wrote:
We are moving to Kenai in a few months {hoping the house sells}
I am going sight unseen,I need to know what there is to do, we have a 3 month old baby to entertain.
Any info on kenai welcome.
thanks
Honestly not much for a 3 month old in Kenai. Mostly a fishing town, but it is just north of the home of the only Dairy Queen in AK. There is a few playgrounds but honestly nothing of a city. You are a stones throw from Anchorage, unfortunatly there is an inlet in your way making for a 3 or so hour drive. You really are kind of out in the woods when you picked Kenai, and I am assuming you mean the city, not the penn. itself. Alaska really is what you make it, I loved it and can't wait to go back, I lived there for 9 years, and will be going back when I retire. You really need to be into the outdoors and willing to make your own fun. Get out, enjoy it, see the sites and always remember in the back of your mind how much people pay for just a few short weeks in that paradise. Honestly your decission to stay or go will be made after the first winter.
Expat

Burlingame, CA

#10 Jul 4, 2006
Jim wrote:
<quoted text> Honestly your decission to stay or go will be made after the first winter.
Yep, that pretty much sums it up :-)
twilly gosuk Yupik

United States

#11 Jul 7, 2006
Jay wrote:
We are moving to Kenai in a few months {hoping the house sells}
I am going sight unseen,I need to know what there is to do, we have a 3 month old baby to entertain.
Any info on kenai welcome.
thanks
Most alaskans are more friendly and sometimes go out of their way to help, the summer days are longer and the winter days are several hours. The best thing to do is find someone who will take the time to explain to you living in alaska.One has to learn to adapt with storms of snow,blizzards,sleet,rain and icy conditions, and the worst which is cabin fever caused by the lack of sun during the winter. Learning to accessorize in any situation, and expect hardship.
gypsyfey

United States

#12 Jul 7, 2006
Don't forget about southeast....milder winters, beautiful summers, lots of gray sky but when the sun comes its just about gloriuos. Sitka might be considered a city (by a few anyway) and I think Ketchikan is the fourth largest in the state. I am on Pince of Wales Island, and there isn't anything close to a city here, but its a trade off. Alaska is definetely what you make of it. My next stop is Aniak if anybody would like to give info.
Alaska Mom of 2 babies

Sand Point, AK

#13 Jul 7, 2006
A three month old baby in Alaska may not have much to do, but they are three months old. Kenia is a perfect place for families though. Not far from Homer or Seward. Seward has a fantastic Sea Life Center and Oceans & islands is a great place in Homer for kids. My husband and I live in Sand Point, Alaska. It is on Popof Island. Take the ferry and come visit. Hiking is beautiful...and best, no bears. This is a great place to visit with children...even babies. I am an avid backpacker. Hiking, photography, and wildlife are my passions, but now my husband and I have a three year old and a child not yet one. We take them to the beautiful beaches and hike trails all over. Two things needed in most parts of Alaska when hiking with children. A sturdy backpack and a big gun. Winter is a horrible time to move with a small child in Alaska. It is very cold. Our babies had frost nip on there little cheeks just stepping out of a taxi in Anchorage. So, plan on packing/buying warm clothing for the whole year, summer is not ever hot in Kenia. I think that Kenia has a lot to offer for young families and Alaska is a great place for a kid to grow up in. May God Bless you in your decision to move to our beautiful state.
Jim wrote:
<quoted text>
Honestly not much for a 3 month old in Kenai. Mostly a fishing town, but it is just north of the home of the only Dairy Queen in AK. There is a few playgrounds but honestly nothing of a city. You are a stones throw from Anchorage, unfortunatly there is an inlet in your way making for a 3 or so hour drive. You really are kind of out in the woods when you picked Kenai, and I am assuming you mean the city, not the penn. itself. Alaska really is what you make it, I loved it and can't wait to go back, I lived there for 9 years, and will be going back when I retire. You really need to be into the outdoors and willing to make your own fun. Get out, enjoy it, see the sites and always remember in the back of your mind how much people pay for just a few short weeks in that paradise. Honestly your decission to stay or go will be made after the first winter.
Kim

Bothell, WA

#14 Jul 9, 2006
If you want to be near the city, but not in the city, you might condider Girdwood. This small ski resort community is a 40 minute drive from Anchorage. I lived there for 12 years and found the minor inconveniences to be worth it to live in a quiet and beautiful community.
AKSoldier

Juneau, AK

#16 Jul 12, 2006
I'm a fairly new resident to Alaska, but in and around the Anchorage bay area, the weather tends to be a bit milder than the rest of the state. If you're balking at the extreme temperatures, consider settling near Anchorage. I live in the Matsu valley, where the average winter temps are above zero all year. It does dip below, but not often, and not like Fairbanks, et al.

On the other hand, if you are accustomed to a warm clime like the southwest US, etc. You need to do your homework. You'll need a whole new wardrobe for the entire family for even the mildest Alaskan winter.

My personal experience: I moved here from the mountains of California, where there were occasional snowstorms in the winter, and the lowest temps were in the teens. I brought the clothing I had and was fine, but I arrived in March. I'm guessing what I had might not have been adequate had I arrived in December or January.

I guess the best advice would be to continue reading here, and listen to the long-time residents, as they will offer the wisest advice.

But my personal opinion of Alaska: THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE ON EARTH TO RAISE A FAMILY!!!

For what it's worth, I'm a father of three - six, three and 14 months. All three of my children have absolutely bloomed and gained a new love of life never observed in California since they arrived here in Alaska. Good luck in your decision!
Santa Helper

Anchorage, AK

#17 Jul 16, 2006
I live in North Pole, but I have also lived in Anchorage. First off, a city is what you make of it. The Fairbanks area has over 60,000 residents, it has a University, Fred Meyer, Walmart, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Barnes and Noble, Joanns and Michaels. There are a few other stores, but that's it for major shopping. Home prices are high 200K and over. Rents are 700 and up. Be prepared to pay $4 for a gallon of milk and a little more for everything. There is no state tax, but some city tax. I prefer the Fairbanks area because I like the smaller type communities, but 60K is hardly small. Temps in the summer are warm, up to 90's at times and winter temps around 10-20 below, but it can also drop to 40 below. As for the darkness, December and January can have as little as 4 hours of daylight, but June and Jult can get up to 22 hours of daylight. I LOVE IT, My children have grown up here and I can't imagine being anywhere else.
Fairbanks Girl

United States

#19 Jul 18, 2006
We don't need more people here and santa Helper is not truthful average winter temps from oct thru april are -20 it frequently drops to minus 50 and lower stay were you are I am a true alaskan sourdough. Sour on Alaska and no dough to get out keep that in mind lol and good luck
AKson

Portland, OR

#20 Jul 18, 2006
Teresa,
I grew up in AK. and feel that there is truely no better place to live. Most of my time was spent in Eagle River, and Fairbanks, with family living in Palmer. As of right now I am in Oregon, getting ready to move to Bethel next month. I have had a great time in the plague that is the other 48 states. It is always nice to have the option of taking different routes to get to the same place, fruits and vegetables that taste like they should, and the ability to travel to other states without shelling out your college fund to get there. However, I miss everthing that is Alaskan; the people (or lack there of), the quiet, and the beauty that only Alaska brings.
If you are really serious about living up North, the only sugestion that I have is to try the Anchorage area first (Palmer, MatSu, Eagle River, and as far as Girdwood). If you can't live there, you probably won't be able to hack it in the rest of the state. By living in that area you can get a feel for the weather and the people without being isolated from the city life that you may be accustomed to.
All of the places listed by everyone here are great, but might not be the best for someone just arriving.
Good luck with the move and this posting, there is a lot of good advice from people who know.
Expat

Fairfield, CA

#21 Jul 20, 2006
AKson wrote:
Teresa,
As of right now I am in Oregon, getting ready to move to Bethel next month.
Wow - Certainly Matsu Valley is a beautiful area, but I hope you know what you are getting yourself in for moving to Bethel, as it is very very different from Palmer, et al. I trust you've already been?
FairbanksGuy-Fai rbanksAk

United States

#22 Jul 21, 2006
Fairbanks Girl wrote:
We don't need more people here and santa Helper is not truthful average winter temps from oct thru april are -20 it frequently drops to minus 50 and lower stay were you are I am a true alaskan sourdough. Sour on Alaska and no dough to get out keep that in mind lol and good luck
Don't listen to this fbks girl Alaska is a great place and we hope to see ya here soon LOL a Fbks guy

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