Happy “we got Alaska” day! Well, okay, it isn’t an official holiday, but it was on October 18, 1867 that the United States took possession of Alaska from Russia. It wasn’t a celebrated event back then – the Secretary of State, William H. Seward, was ridiculed for the deal, which was labeled “Seward’s folly” and “Seward’s icebox.” Seward got a great bargain, paying Russia about two cents per acre – but that did little to silence his critics.
It turned out to be a wise investment, though, when gold was discovered in 1888. Since then, Alaska has become an important resource and a beautiful state to call home. If you are considering a move to Alaska, consider its largest city: Anchorage.
Anchorage residents enjoy soaring mountains and rushing waters – perfect for your inner adventurer. You may be thinking … but it’s cold in Alaska. And while it does have a subarctic climate, the average summer temperatures can reach 78 degrees, with an average of 68. In the winter, the average temperature is about 25 degrees. Not bad, especially when you figure in the endless sunshine during the summer and the aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) during winter.
So, if you want to share the sidewalk with a moose and the occasional grizzly bear, be one with nature at over 40 parks, catch your very own salmon for dinner, or go skiing in some of the most stunning and treacherous mountains around, here are some fantastic Anchorage neighborhoods:
Downtown Anchorage – The perfect location for apartment living, downtown Anchorage is surprisingly metropolitan with sleek skyscrapers, busy malls, art museums, and plenty of restaurants.
Midtown – A combination of businesses, apartment buildings, hotels, and theaters make Midtown an exciting place to live. Midtown is near the University of Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University. Students can get to classes with Anchorage’s bus system, People Mover.
North Star – If you are considering a move to Alaska for the sheer beauty of the state, you belong in Anchorage’s North Star neighborhood. This neighborhood is interwoven with elaborate parks and trails. The Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail is a paved, level path along the creek with the majestic mountains in the background – over four miles of “Wow!”
Taku/Campbell – If you prefer a more suburban setting, Taku/Campbell is a great neighborhood. It is close to everything but still isolated enough to give you that peace and quiet you might be hoping for. Taku/Campbell is very close to Far North Bicentennial Park. This is an amazing park space with only minimal development. The park contains trails for everything – cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, even dog mushing. It is 4,000 acres of wilderness and outdoor fun.
Tudor Area -- Students attending the University of Alaska-Anchorage or Alaska Pacific University can walk to class from the Tudor Area. This neighborhood is also very close to Providence Alaska Medical Center and Alaska Native Medical Center.
Seward did the United States a huge favor on this day in 1867. Although the purchase was unpopular at the time, the glaciers, mountains, seaside ports, untamed forests, and amazing wildlife of Alaska have proven that Seward’s “icebox” was worth every penny.