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What is Living in Anchorage Actually Like?

by ATJ Posted in The Alaska Experience Blog |

Living in Anchorage Alaska

You can guess what it’s like to live in Anchorage or you can let us tell you! In this blog post, we explain the truth about the weather, food, activities, and more.

Get used to new foods

Alaska is known for its seafood, and Anchorage is no different. But that doesn’t mean we’re eating salmon every day—and when we do, it might be smoked, cured, served as jerky, or even turned into a sweetened salmon candy! Elk, bear, and other big game are common protein sources here. A moose steak or a reindeer hot dog are very likely to pass your lips in Anchorage. And for dessert, there’s Akutaq, or “Eskimo Ice Cream.” This cold, savory food is made with a combination of fish, Crisco, sugar and Alaska berries, and whipped to a creamy paste.

The stargazing is unbeatable

If you’re used to living in a city, you’re going to be taken completely off guard by the sky here. Stargazing is an activity all its own in Alaska, especially when the Aurora Borealis is visible. You’ll constantly be taken aback by how clear, bright, and vast the night sky is. You’ll probably never be impressed again by any of the stars in the Lower 48.

We’re dog people

You’re going to see a lot more dogs in Anchorage than cats. Sometimes it feels like everyone has a dog! And we don’t just mean huskies or malamutes. There are all kinds of hardy mixed breeds here, and you’ll see a lot more mutts than purebreds.

Live music is the soul of the social scene

Many of the bars in Anchorage have open mic nights or book live bands. You can see the biggest acts that come through town at Moose’s Tooth, a pizzeria, and brewery. Taproot is a great place to catch local acts. Of course, most bars you’ll walk into on a Friday or Saturday night will probably have live music. Jazz, rock, and bluegrass are common, but you can find just about anything you’re looking for here if it makes a noise.

Yes, we’re outdoorsy

Don’t expect to spend a lot of time hanging out inside. Unless it’s well below freezing, most Anchorage residents are here for the great outdoors—even when it is below freezing! There are so many different kinds of outdoor activities that everyone will find a niche, whether it’s hiking, skiing, rock climbing, hunting, or even curling. The Anchorage Curling Club has been in operation for more than 60 years, and if you’ve never tried it, it might just be the sport for you! If traditional sports are more your style, check out the Alaska Baseball League, which hosts lively, high-quality games that everyone in town attends. And for a city that’s under snow and ice half the year, Anchorage is surprisingly bike-friendly.

Winter is dark and cold—sort of

In December, the temperature on average is about 22 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are just over 5 hours of daylight every day. To someone from the Lower 48—especially a warm, southerly state—that might seem pretty cold and dark. But compared to the rest of Alaska, it’s not bad at all! In Barrow, Alaska, the residents won’t see the sun at all for 65 days in a row, and temperatures are often sub-zero. Most parts of the state get colder and darker than Anchorage, which actually has a mild climate thanks to protection from the mountains and the warm current of the Pacific. So cold and dark is in the eye of the beholder. Most residents don’t think it’s too bad!

Do you like the sound of this rugged, eccentric northern city? Check out our jobs in Anchorage for an opportunity to experience it firsthand!

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