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Old 08-25-2014, 02:08 AM
 
372 posts, read 471,510 times
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This is a few years away, but I'm planning to move to Alaska (probably Anchorage) for grad school. Going for my master's in social work. In the meantime, I'm planning a trip to Alaska to see how it's like but I'm pretty sure I will be happy to live there. To me, I actually like the isolation and darkness. It's so different from the other states, it feels like it's own country. But I have some questions, hope you don't mind answering to help out a future Alaskan! Some of the questions may seem silly or weird, but then again I'm a weird person.

1) Does Anchorage have a bowling alley? I love bowling and it would be sad to do without but it's okay if there are none.

2)Are bears a big problem in Anchorage, or are they further away from the city?

3)There are some things I have never done, but would like to try, like fishing, four-wheeling, and skiing. Will people look down on me for not already knowing how to do those things?

4)What restaurants would you recommend?

5)How easy is it for newcomers to make friends?

I grew up and live near a big city, but I never really go to the city. I'm tired of being around people who are so shallow and materialistic. I'm ready for a change, and I think Alaska is calling my name. I'll be happy with a few good restaurants, outdoorsy activities, bookstores and movies and friends to do it all with.

That is all I can think of for now, I'm excited to chat with you folks.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,560 posts, read 3,936,839 times
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A visit before moving is highly recommended. Alaska is expensive to move to and expensive to leave if you don't like it.

1) Yes, there's at least one bowling alley. Maybe two. My boss is a bowler, and I know he goes to tournaments in Anchorage.
2) There are bears in Anchorage. But it's not like people die every week from a bear attack... Just follow the "bear aware" guidelines and you'll be fine.
3) No, people will not look down on you for that. You'll even find people excited to show you how.
4) Moose's Tooth, F Street Station, Suite 100, Glacier Brewhouse
5) If you are out going and willing to get out there, it's not hard. Join a gym, or a hiking group, or a book group, or a church or a bowling league and you'll make friends.

Anchorage is our "big city". If you want to be near it, but not in it, there's Eagle River, Chugiak, Palmer, Wasilla.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:32 PM
 
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Just moved here and I can attest to AKStafford's responses so I won't repeat them.

I will add - We did see baby bears in trees in Anchorage... And while I haven't seen a moose in Anchorage, I have seem them around. And I know that they are in Anchorage itself. Don't be fooled by the Moose, they are just as dangerous as a bear.

We've found really good (and that means expensive) restaurants here - just depends on what you are looking for.

Definitely visit as I can almost guarantee you, that whatever you think this is like, it isn't. It's up to you to decide if this is for you or not. This place is what *you* make it, so you can be happy or be miserable.

FWIW, We don't know how to fish the Alaska way (it's different and we are learning), ATV, sno machine, hunt, or even live in a cold/snow environment. Most people are very helpful with that and a few new friends we made took us around town to make sure we know where to get the things we will need and even helped us get started....
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:02 PM
 
1,161 posts, read 1,298,352 times
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That's great you continue to settle in so well, Dakster.

I read: "...And while I havent seen a monsoon in Anchorage, I have seen them around.'

I thought, what? Then I reread the sentence.

We are nearing the end of monsoon season in Arizona.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:29 PM
 
372 posts, read 471,510 times
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All of this is good to hear. I'm planning a trip to Alaska for next year! I'm trying to research and learn as much as I can.
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:19 PM
 
80 posts, read 95,757 times
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AKStafford and Dakster answered very well and I'm going to expand on question #4 because I love to go out to eat...
Snow City Cafe, Kinley's, Spenard Roadhouse, Tommy's Burgers, Humpy's, Sub Zero, Haute Qaurter Grille - there are so many in Anchorage
Pizza Man, Pho and Thai Cuisine and Eagle River Ale House if you are in Eagle River
Grape Tap, Sakura Sushi and Krazy Moose Subs if you are in Wasilla
Turkey Red and Palmer Ale House if you are in Palmer
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericathynes View Post
Krazy Moose Subs if you are in Wasilla
Just had Krazy Moose for lunch...
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:53 PM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,701,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjs123 View Post
That's great you continue to settle in so well, Dakster.

I read: "...And while I havent seen a monsoon in Anchorage, I have seen them around.'

I thought, what? Then I reread the sentence.

We are nearing the end of monsoon season in Arizona.
LOL... Yeah...

BTW - Supposed to be nice and cool next week here. May even be in the 30s. Other than a light drizzle that won't stop, no Monsoon's here. The locals here call the light rain that won't stop "August".
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:26 AM
 
372 posts, read 471,510 times
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Is dog sledding actually popular in Anchorage or is it more of a rural thing? That's something I'd really like to try.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:40 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,701,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericathynes View Post
AKStafford and Dakster answered very well and I'm going to expand on question #4 because I love to go out to eat...
Snow City Cafe, Kinley's, Spenard Roadhouse, Tommy's Burgers, Humpy's, Sub Zero, Haute Qaurter Grille - there are so many in Anchorage
Pizza Man, Pho and Thai Cuisine and Eagle River Ale House if you are in Eagle River
Grape Tap, Sakura Sushi and Krazy Moose Subs if you are in Wasilla
Turkey Red and Palmer Ale House if you are in Palmer
I am gonna have to copy this down and check each of these off as we try them!

-

Omatic - Whatever you want to do "winter" related you will be able to do from Anchorage. Are you gonna drive a bit to do it - yes. Anyways, What I have found is that people live in Anchorage or the valley because of work and then whatever their hobby is - they make happen.

Also seems like almost everyone here has a cabin "somewhere" in the state, some remote, some not so remote. And then they have favorite hobbies or things to do either at or around that cabin. Like snow machining, fishing, ice fish, raise dogs/dog sled, pan for gold, boating, hunting, skiing (downhill/cross country), flying planes, riding ATVs, etc...

Everyone has told me, find something that you like to do OUTSIDE in the winter and go out and do it. You won't get cabin fever/bored and you'll have a blast here. Part of the why people go nutso and hate it is that they lock themselves inside... So it is good you are trying to find things to do.

I am sure other dog teams do this and I just haven't found out about it, but the Seavey family does dog sledding and their facility is in Seward. Is it cheap? NO... Is it fun... Yes... You might want to rent a cabin for the night and then explore Seward the following day before you go back to Anchorage. FWIW, several members of the family have won the Iditarod so it is probably about as authentic as you can get. Are there others doing this... sure... But I haven't tried them and can't comment on it.
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