U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alaska > Anchorage
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-02-2008, 09:04 AM
 
45 posts, read 204,322 times
Reputation: 17

Advertisements

I would really appreciate some candid thoughts about winter in Anchorage. Do the short days affect you, or do you get used to it? Do you use SAD lamps? Does it get very windy? How is the winter driving in the city? Do you find that people go straight home after work, or do people stay out and about in the evening? Do you socialize less, or do you not let the weather stop you?

I appreciate your input!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-03-2008, 03:06 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, Ak
52 posts, read 497,139 times
Reputation: 78
The weather in Anchorage in the winter is great. Much nicer than the interior. I know I personally go hiking every day I do not work except if the wind is really blowing and its more than 10 below without windchill. I love it. I have had no problem with the lack of sunlight so have never needed a lamp. I guess live here is what you make it. If you turn into a bear and hibrinate you will not enjoy it here much. But if you get out and around and do things you will love it here.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2008, 07:24 AM
 
45 posts, read 204,322 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks for your thoughts. I live in Chicago, and everyone here is grumpy and depressed by February. Of course, here we have no mountains to look at, or good hiking and skiing options nearby. It seems the entire city is aching for summer, but I dread the humidity of summer and find snow beautiful.
I'm planning few trips to Anchorage in 2008 so I can get a better feel of it (and maybe start to job hunt). My biggest concern now is about managing a vehicle in winter. Are electicial outlets for engine heaters available in almost every parking lot? I've been looking at apartments online, and have been surprised that more don't offer garages. And one last question - don't laugh - does anybody know of a place in Anchorage that offers courses on winter driving? Better safe than sorry, and I doubt I've ever driven in more than 8-9 inches of snow before.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2008, 08:06 AM
 
3,992 posts, read 10,760,435 times
Reputation: 8502
I was raised in AK. We spent most of our time outside in all seasons and walked 1 1/2 mile or more to school on every school day. Never had a SAD lamp.

Rarely had the temps that upper Minnesota gets and never got the snows like upper New York for example.

I love winter and overcast days so maybe I am strange. Never let the winter stop us from our normal activities.

Driving on the ice from Oct. to end of March is just something you get used to. Never had a fancy car but did have good studded snow tires when we used rear wheel drive and just good tires when we used front wheel drive.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2008, 08:52 AM
 
338 posts, read 1,317,660 times
Reputation: 226
Arrow ANC, AK & other snowy places

Quote:
Originally Posted by My2cats1 View Post
Thanks for your thoughts. I live in Chicago, and everyone here is grumpy and depressed by February. Of course, here we have no mountains to look at, or good hiking and skiing options nearby. It seems the entire city is aching for summer, but I dread the humidity of summer and find snow beautiful.
I'm planning few trips to Anchorage in 2008 so I can get a better feel of it (and maybe start to job hunt). My biggest concern now is about managing a vehicle in winter. Are electicial outlets for engine heaters available in almost every parking lot? I've been looking at apartments online, and have been surprised that more don't offer garages. And one last question - don't laugh - does anybody know of a place in Anchorage that offers courses on winter driving? Better safe than sorry, and I doubt I've ever driven in more than 8-9 inches of snow before.
Mercy! We're practically neighbors... I'm a bit further North from you. Have to ask... you can't find anything to do in *Chicago?!" Lol. I'm wondering if you'd like it in ANC if you can't find anything enjoyable in the big city! I understand about all the snow... it's everywhere, and it seems like it will "never end," but it will - hang in there!

Have you tried jumping the border? CHI *is* quite flat, but if you head North even 2-3 of hours - there are some great ski places north of your border, and it will cost much less than scooting to AK! Or a day trip into Lake Geneva area? Great spot for some fun - winter or sun!

As far as vehicles & driving... the temps aren't as low in ANC area as in CHI (believe it or not) and not nearly as windy! (I lived in AK for awhile about 5 yrs ago) and have been in the Midwest... more than half of my life. I would say you wouldn't need plug-ins so much, but you might want to get a 4WD if you don't have one. Don't worry about winter driving - it's not a big deal - just don't take to the Alcan in the dead of winter! Driving in ANC is much easier than driving on the ice Southerners get during their winters and not being equipped for it. (I grew up in the South.)

As far as folks posts re: SAD lamps and "hibernating" ... it depends on the person. Everyone is different, and it isn't a difference of some folks just not getting out and about. I have dear friends in AK who've lived their whole lives there who use lamps. Some ppl can take the long dark days, and some ppl have more difficulty with it.

Personally, like the other poster, I actually enjoy the wintry darkness and rain. For me it's very relaxing, and when the spring & summer come, I'm out (was out) all hours - yes, even hiking to 11 p.m. at night. I'll confirm previous poster - you really just don't care what time it is! You're out and about, it's sunny and wonderful, and your body just wants to go, go, GO!

In the winter, I *did* sleep much more and "hibernated" with tons of movies, books, and hot tea and cocoa. But I loved it! I bought myself a rocking recliner and made the most of it! "Hibernating" doesn't mean that someone is depressed or even down! It's just a difference of opinion and personality, and I'm a fairly active person who was accustomed to running/walking 4-5x/week in the Midwest.

When you're in AK... you're in a different world (except for ANC - which yes, is somewhat different in some ways, but quite like many other places with all the ammenities, "big box" stores, and what not that you'd find any other place)... but it is the "gateway" to the rest of AK. I'd think if you are considering moving to AK, that ANC would be the best place for you to start coming from CHI. You'd have access to the services to which you are accustomed (though maybe not rendered similarly - but accessible), and you'd be right near the airport to either travel other areas or head home if you decided you really didn't want to stay.

The best time to travel AK is not February - unless you can't get away any other time or unless you want to see a winter there intentionally. But honestly, you can view photos online of many places using skycams - from the comfort of your home home. I'd recommend a first-time trip in May or June - it's lighter, longer days, and would give you time to drive around to get the most done (looking for jobs, etc.) without having to attempt to manuever with winter driving since it already seems to be a concern for you. Make it easy on yourself and also make it simply a better time to go so you can enjoy what's there instead of ending up in a hotel looking out the window at a similar scene you'd find back home and wishing you were there instead for the price of sitting in a hotel...

I'm not telling you when to go... ... just making suggestions & recommendations - from one Midwesterner to another. I moved to AK and ended up back here by default several year ago - long story I'll spare posting here. And am now looking to return. I visited a couple of years ago to touch base and confirmed... yes, I'm *not* ready to give up relocating to AK again. (I actually went up to ship some household & inventory items home which I'd previously stored not knowing I'd end up back here for as long as I was.)

Hopefully you can glean from some of this some helpful information in your decision to move to AK or not. There are many places you can find mountains and snow without a humid summer... not that I'm attempting to discourage you from going to AK! I LOVE it and am looking to return, but it sounds like you might be just as happy in some other places as well...

Have you tried any of these: MI (Marquette area in the U.P.), ME (try a larger community), VT, WA (Sea-Tac area), WI (Madison, Milwaukee, or Eau Claire area), MN (Mpls/St.P or suburbs), ... all of these have lots of beautiful snow and are not quite as far and still offer somewhat of the ammenities you'd have in CHI. Really, anyplace NE... and they'd have great skiing as well. Also: CO (Denver, Grand Junction area or Colorado Springs?) and even NM (Santa Fe/ALB area).

And here's an AWESOME site I found in my search: Best Places to Live: Compare the Best Cities & Small Towns for You!

Check it out!

And best of everything to you in your move - wherever you decide to roam!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2008, 10:48 AM
 
45 posts, read 204,322 times
Reputation: 17
I appreciate the feedback! I agree that there is a lot to do in Chicago - I was just noticing that people here hate winter more often than not, and I was curious if AKs "push through" it more. From what I've read here, they do!

I was raised in the south and have lived in Chicago for a decade, in addition to spending a lot of time in the mid-atlantic and northeast areas for work. JustT, I have looked into many of the areas you mentioned. Right now I am looking most closely at OR and AK. I'm ready for a smaller city, a different pace of living, and natural beauty. AK holds a special attraction for me right now - hard to explain. I like that it is so remote, and has its own unique ways. My first trip will be in early June, so we'll see what my gut says then.

Thanks again for your thoughts, everybody. What a great forum!
See you on the hiking trails....
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2008, 11:40 AM
 
338 posts, read 1,317,660 times
Reputation: 226
Thumbs up Chi > Ak

Quote:
Originally Posted by My2cats1 View Post
I appreciate the feedback! I agree that there is a lot to do in Chicago - I was just noticing that people here hate winter more often than not, and I was curious if AKs "push through" it more. From what I've read here, they do!

I was raised in the south and have lived in Chicago for a decade, in addition to spending a lot of time in the mid-atlantic and northeast areas for work. JustT, I have looked into many of the areas you mentioned. Right now I am looking most closely at OR and AK. I'm ready for a smaller city, a different pace of living, and natural beauty. AK holds a special attraction for me right now - hard to explain. I like that it is so remote, and has its own unique ways. My first trip will be in early June, so we'll see what my gut says then.

Thanks again for your thoughts, everybody. What a great forum!
See you on the hiking trails....
Sounds like we have a few things in common - raised in the South, living in the Midwest, and I have also spent time in the Mid-Atlantic & NE, though not for work (although I did volunteer in the NE) but simply extended touring (looking for places I might want to live w/my pup).

No need to "explain" - most Alaskans "get it" without added explanations. Similar reasons draw many of us there (& keep us there). Sounds like you are doing your homework, so that's good.

June will be a much better first-trip than February. What's your route? I actually booked my last flight through SEA-TAC for a layover long enough to take a shuttle bus into the Market. Was a lot of fun, esp. after having made the trip several times previously and having to sit in the airport extended hours - sometimes on red-eye flights when nothing (then, at least) was open.

From what I've heard/read on several other threads/boards, OR is not as friendly as AK would be - something you might want to check. Although I had relatives in OR and found it beautiful to visit. And... it's close to WA which is close to AK... if you want to visit.

Did you check WA? I'm looking there as well, but not as keen on it now as I was before I started reading more.

Hey - have a GREAT time in AK when you visit. I am certain you will love it!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-04-2008, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Lovelock, NV - Anchorage, AK
1,195 posts, read 5,234,141 times
Reputation: 470
Winter time in Anchorage can be tough if your not into winter times sports. short days don't much both us meaning our family, the long days in the summer time make up for the short days in the winter. My kids are 28 and 31 each of them had a opportunity to live elsewhere and chose to stay in Alaska. My son is very much into snow machining with is buddies, his wife likes hobbies such as sewing, needle point and refinishing furnishings.

My husband and I sold our machines this last year and it has been tough not going riding as none of the faimly skies. Winters are great if you plan indoor activites if you don't like cold temps.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-04-2008, 11:17 PM
 
26 posts, read 77,069 times
Reputation: 18
Personally, I don't really notice the darkness of the winter until the days start to get longer (if that makes any sense). After work, when I go outside and it's still light out, there is this weird feeling, like seeing an old friend after a long absence.

And it's not as cold as people think.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-05-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Alaska and Texas
202 posts, read 789,790 times
Reputation: 138
Default answers

I would really appreciate some candid thoughts about winter in Anchorage. Do the short days affect you, or do you get used to it? Do you use SAD lamps? Does it get very windy? How is the winter driving in the city? Do you find that people go straight home after work, or do people stay out and about in the evening? Do you socialize less, or do you not let the weather stop you?

1. Short days as others have pointed out affect each person differently. It didn't affect me much for the first 25 yrs but started to more recently and that's one reason I'm snowbirding.
2. There are SAD lamps and I think a new type of "blue lamp"? I thought I read about.
3. I would not consider Anchorage windy, but like anywhere can get windy.
4. My observation is most everyone goes home, but I have a friend that lives along the in-town cross country ski trail network, which is lighted, and he and his wife ski almost every night and afterwards have hot chocolate with a group of friends.
5. Anchorage is a pretty good sized city and there is as much night life as you want. There are more and more events, music, plays etc. Then there are the uniquely Alaskan experiences like Fur Rondy and Iditarod to break up the winter.
The weather doesn't stop most Alaskans except on those rare occasions when there's a white out or really icy roads. The road crews are great all over the State and get the roads driveable very quickly.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alaska > Anchorage
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top