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Unread 03-13-2008, 07:25 PM
 
Location: um....guess
10,483 posts, read 8,776,973 times
Reputation: 1779
Default I know I know, yet ANOTHER question about moving to Alaska

Yes, I'm thinking of doing the move to Alaska, but not for a couple years so I've got plenty of time to plan. I'll be moving there from Wisconsin, so winters I can handle...although I know it'll be much worse up there than here! My deal is, where the heck should I move to? I've never been there, but obviously I need to plan a vacation there first. I've been looking at Juneau, it seems really nice, but not too crazy about it being a cruise ship port. I'm a 36 year old single female. I'm looking for a city, town, what have you that has a good singles vibe, cool laid-back people, population not too high (I live in Milwaukee, it's about 300,000 give or take), but I also want to live amongst & experience the wilderness & all that Alaska is about. I've really only looked at Anchorage & Juneau, so if anyone can give me the info on either or maybe suggest somewhere else, that would be great. I've been reading these postings & keep seeing "out the road" & "the valley"...can someone who's lived there for awhile please explain what these mean & where exactly they are?? I know, I obviously need to do more research. Ideally I'd like to rent a cabin somewhere, but everything keeps coming up as vacation rentals. I'm assuming I'll have to settle for a regular apartment. Anyway, if someone w/experience up there can please give me some advice, it would be greatly appreciated!
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Unread 03-13-2008, 10:42 PM
 
3,701 posts, read 5,473,138 times
Reputation: 1332
If you look at a road map of Alaska, you'll see 3 major highway points: Anchorage, Tok, and Fairbanks. From Anchorage, there are a few more roads going to Seward, and through the Kenai Peninsula, Homer. Tok leads to the border and the Alcan. That IS the road system. What you see is essentially all there is. Each village may or may not have roads in it, but they are self-contained. There are a lot of roads in southeastern, but they serve southeastern, not the rest of the state. There are a lot of roads on Kodiak, but they serve Kodiak - though the ferry is available there to go to Homer or Seward. I have no idea what the southeastern schedule is like. When you look at maps of other states, you can figure that there are a lot of minor roads, state and county roads that don't show up - not like that in Alaska. "The valley" is Matanuska Valley, and is part of the road system that includes Anchorage and a few other places, like Eagle River. If you go south from Anchorage toward Homer, there's Girdwood, Hope and Sunrise, Sterling, Kenai, Anchor Point, and a few others, I think. Great hunting there, every time I've been through that way I've seen moose, even in Hope. Directly south of Anchorage is Seward. Seward never did much for me - too dark, with the mountain right there, blocking the light, though I've had some good times there. It was a nice place to visit. Singles vibes - I dunno. I've never been single anywhere but on Kodiak, and that was a long time ago.

Last edited by karibear; 03-13-2008 at 10:47 PM.. Reason: addition
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Unread 03-13-2008, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Juneau, AK
2,628 posts, read 4,280,253 times
Reputation: 600
"The valley" and "out the road" are also Juneau terms- The Valley is the suburby type area located in the Mendenhall Valley near the glacier, and out the road is a place near the end of Glacier highway.
Flickr: Photos from Xa'at (http://www.flickr.com/photos/laquatique/ - broken link)
Didn't Juneau? : Life in Alaska's Capital City
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Unread 03-14-2008, 02:21 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,123 posts, read 2,809,284 times
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Single, check... female, check... but how old? Interested in what? Can't live without (insert random urban luxury here). Unless you're way more into fly fishing and kayaking than espresso bars, bookstores, and nightclubs there's really only one answer for the youngster crowd, and that's Anchorage. Sad, but true. Maybe to a lesser extent Fairbanks and Juneau, but all the youngsters flock to ANC for it's social scene and nightlife (and jobs, and schools, and opportunities, etc.). Not to say that there isn't any nightlife or culture elsewhere, but it's typically a much older and grizzlier crowd of year-rounders pounding down the beers in the smaller town bars.

Of course, if you're not a twenty-something that thinks life begins and ends Friday night through Monday morning fueled exclusively with Jaeger shots and Starbucks the possibilities widen out considerably. If you DO like to hunt or fish or just hike and be outdoors and you're not paralyzed at the thought of having to make do without 24/7 availability of your favorite tutti-frutti-gotta-spenda-latte-mocha, there's LOTS of places that'd do well.

What are you after, really, and what really doesn't matter much? Gotta help us out here a bit, we're not mind readers.
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Unread 03-14-2008, 02:27 AM
 
Location: Juneau, AK
2,628 posts, read 4,280,253 times
Reputation: 600
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorhead View Post
Single, check... female, check... but how old? Interested in what? Can't live without (insert random urban luxury here). Unless you're way more into fly fishing and kayaking than espresso bars, bookstores, and nightclubs there's really only one answer for the youngster crowd, and that's Anchorage. Sad, but true. Maybe to a lesser extent Fairbanks and Juneau, but all the youngsters flock to ANC for it's social scene and nightlife (and jobs, and schools, and opportunities, etc.). Not to say that there isn't any nightlife or culture elsewhere, but it's typically a much older and grizzlier crowd of year-rounders pounding down the beers in the smaller town bars.

Of course, if you're not a twenty-something that thinks life begins and ends Friday night through Monday morning fueled exclusively with Jaeger shots and Starbucks the possibilities widen out considerably. If you DO like to hunt or fish or just hike and be outdoors and you're not paralyzed at the thought of having to make do without 24/7 availability of your favorite tutti-frutti-gotta-spenda-latte-mocha, there's LOTS of places that'd do well.

What are you after, really, and what really doesn't matter much? Gotta help us out here a bit, we're not mind readers.
Yeah, ditto that...
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Unread 03-14-2008, 09:35 AM
 
Location: um....guess
10,483 posts, read 8,776,973 times
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Ha ha, I guess I was pretty vague. I'm 36, so too old for the club scene w/all the 20-somethings, but I still enjoy going out & having drinks, usually at some corner bar. Yes, I need my coffee shops (no tutti fruiti mocha for me, just coffee, latte or americana, plain & simple), bookstores, video stores, but I'm figuring I can find that even in a smallish city or town. I just got turned on to kayaking last summer so if that's easily available, yes yes yes! No hunting for me, but sometimes I fish. Hiking would be a good option, camping, horse-back riding. I'm not completely outdoorsy but I want to be, so that's a start! I don't care if I'm w/a grizzled older crowd or younger hipsters, as long as I can get along & people are open-minded, I'm good. I've seen some people mentioning Palmer or Homer, where are they & what do you think of them? Also, I've got a 2003 Toyota Corolla, which in a couple years will obviously have much more miles on it than it does now-is that type of car even practical in say Juneau or Anchorage or even some other places or is it all 4WD? And do I even need to bring my car or just sell it?
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Unread 03-14-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Juneau, AK
2,628 posts, read 4,280,253 times
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I know that coming from me this probably don't mean a lot because I say it to a lot of people, but you sound like a Juneauite to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by karfar View Post
Ha ha, I guess I was pretty vague. I'm 36, so too old for the club scene w/all the 20-somethings, but I still enjoy going out & having drinks, usually at some corner bar.
We have quite a few bars, ranging in rowdiness. Something for everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karfar View Post
Yes, I need my coffee shops (no tutti fruiti mocha for me, just coffee, latte or americana, plain & simple), bookstores, video stores, but I'm figuring I can find that even in a smallish city or town.
Check, check, and check. Heritage Coffee Company is the big thing here, wonderful hot chocolate. I'm allergic to coffee, so I can't vouch for their lattés, but I'm told they're excellent. Blockbuster has a bigger selection of dvds than some video stores I've been to down south, and Hearthside Books is a wonderful little bookstore with two locations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karfar View Post
I just got turned on to kayaking last summer so if that's easily available, yes yes yes! No hunting for me, but sometimes I fish. Hiking would be a good option, camping, horse-back riding. I'm not completely outdoorsy but I want to be, so that's a start!
Oh, don't even get me started!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karfar View Post
I don't care if I'm w/a grizzled older crowd or younger hipsters, as long as I can get along & people are open-minded, I'm good.
Measured in liberalness-units, Juneau is the most open-minded community in Alaska! We're not all grizzled old fishermen, I know this from experience seeing as I am not a grizzled old man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karfar View Post
Also, I've got a 2003 Toyota Corolla, which in a couple years will obviously have much more miles on it than it does now-is that type of car even practical in say Juneau or Anchorage or even some other places or is it all 4WD? And do I even need to bring my car or just sell it?
Ooh, that's sticky, see. It depends on how well you drive, where in town you live... I drive a 4WD and wouldn't get behind the wheel without it, but I know people who seem to get along just fine in their pancake compact cars. I recommend subarus.
Did I already give you the link to my photo album? I think I did...
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Unread 03-14-2008, 10:48 AM
 
Location: um....guess
10,483 posts, read 8,776,973 times
Reputation: 1779
Thanks! I was thinking Juneau myself, but I figured I'd get some more replies & see what's up. How long have you lived there? I'm going to be moving by myself, I will not know a soul & let me tell ya, that gets quite scary to think about! I've never lived anywhere but Milwaukee, but it's time for me to switch up my life & Alaska seems perfect. Juneau seems like a place I could leave my doors unlocked & don't have to worry about someone whacking me in the head w/a gun, true? I like that there's an assortment of bars, coffeeshops, etc. I'm craving a smaller city but not so small that I'm crying in my pillow remembering what it was like to have pizza delivery! Wait, there is pizza delivery there, right? Haha! No, I don't have your link, but I believe I can get to it just clicking on your name. By the way, what does PMing mean on this forum? I just signed up & am still working out the techniques. More questions, this one may seem extremely naive or deluded but is there an abundance of wildlife in Juneau, you know bears, moose, that sort of thing? I'm hoping there is, all we have here in Milwaukee are squirrels....lots & lots of squirrels w/an occasional deer, fox or raccoon thrown in. You mentioned "out the road" earlier, is that considered far out from the city? And if so, is it possible to rent cabins there, is it in booney territory, what do you think of it, etc. Thanks again for your help, this is fun!
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Unread 03-14-2008, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
14,619 posts, read 22,896,479 times
Reputation: 12464
PM = private message. Now known as DM which = direct message.
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Unread 03-14-2008, 11:29 AM
 
11,747 posts, read 16,647,392 times
Reputation: 2620
So Xa'at do guys slips roofies in girls' drinks in Juneau, or is that just in Anchorage?
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