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Old 02-08-2009, 10:38 PM
 
Location: AK
325 posts, read 492,951 times
Reputation: 126

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Hi all,

I'm teaching in a little village near Nome right now. There are so many things I absolutely love about living here, but I've decided I want to live in a bigger city for all the amenities- access to a major airport, daycare for my doggie, GROCERY stores!

I'm looking especially at Fairbanks and Juneau. I passed through Anchorage a few times, but didn't find it especially attractive. Maybe the suburbs surrounding it are nicer.

But here are some things I worry about: I still want to be close to the great outdoors. I am used to walking my dog right out the back door, up a hill and onto one of several hiking trails. Will I be able to find housing where I can do that in either of these cities? (or even up to 20 minutes outside the city). Are the people in the big cities as genuine and friendly as the people in the villages? I still want that "small town feel." And last, I've heard it's very hard to get an Alaska driver's license. Is the public transportation in these cities reliable enough to get me around until I can get my license and a car?
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,177 posts, read 27,485,049 times
Reputation: 11841
Bus service? Anchorage is a lot better than Fairbanks, since the bus lines in Fairbanks are very limited. I don't know about Juneau, but if you don't have a car it may be better than both Fairbanks and Anchorage. You would have to do a lot of walking in the last two cities to fall in the water. Not so in Juneau
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:58 PM
 
Location: AK
325 posts, read 492,951 times
Reputation: 126
Default Juneau!

?? that last part really confused me. Sorry.. too much cold medicine, I'm a little slow this week!
Are you saying that Juneau is small enough to be a walk-around city?

I've been looking at photos, and Juneau is SO pretty! I'm leaning towards that area now. Does Juneau have a real airport, ie flights to the lower 48?
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:42 AM
 
3,774 posts, read 9,904,604 times
Reputation: 1834
Yes, there is a real airport in Juneau. About 4 flights a day to Seattle.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:42 AM
 
345 posts, read 1,112,969 times
Reputation: 107
stay in Nome!
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,337,542 times
Reputation: 13702
Get your DL in Nome, would be easier to get one there, if they have a DMV. Anchorage could be a hassle.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:25 AM
 
Location: AK
325 posts, read 492,951 times
Reputation: 126
Why do you say stay in Nome?
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:26 AM
 
Location: AK
325 posts, read 492,951 times
Reputation: 126
I don't think there is a DMV in Nome. ? I know people get their licenses renewed there, but it seems like everyone gets their first AK DL in Anchorage.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,352 posts, read 15,875,552 times
Reputation: 3995
Juneau does have a bus system, but it's easier to get around with a car. Depending on where you live, the worst commute you could have is probably 25 miles one way. Most will be under 10 miles (my wife's is under 2 miles). As for hiking, you can get to a trail in under 5 minutes. There are other hikes out the roads, most being within a half hour drive depending on where you live.

I don't think getting a drivers license is any more difficult than any other state. You have to take a multiple choice test, vision test, and driving test. There is a DMV office in Nome. I would suggest you get your license there, since you have some familiarity with the roads there. They aren't open every day, so check the state's DMV web page for times.

Housing is available, however, a pet will limit your options. Many apartments have a no pet/no smoking policy. Figure that for every place that allows a pet, there are 4 that advertise they don't. We were able to find a house when we first moved here, but it did limit our choices.

I believe Juneau is friendly, but we also value your privacy, which can be taken to be unfriendly. The two best ways to make friends are to join groups that share your interests and through your children. Our longest friendships have resulted this way.
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