When people think of Alaska, they think of a faraway land covered in glistening white, with a sun that never sets hanging high above frosty mountains. And while all of that is true, Alaska has much more to offer than beautiful landscapes. It’s full of colorful people, wacky festivals, and a whole lot of fishing.
But there are so many misconceptions about this winter wonderland that I really don’t know where to begin. It’s time to set the record straight. Alaskans are normal people…who fly planes, grow massive sized vegetables, and collect moose poop. Here’s a look at what really goes down in the last frontier.
Standing in line at Mcdonalds is usually this dull experience where you take little notice of the people around you. But trust us, if you happen to order a Big Mac in Alaska, you won’t be able to ignore some of the customers in line with you. Alaskans, correct us if we’re wrong, but it’s not rare to find curious moose around the area.
They cross the roads, wander in the woods, and even enjoy a hamburger here and there, as you can see in this picture taken in the city of Homer, Alaska. If you happen to run into one, give them space. It takes time to decide which meal to get.
Did Chick-fil-A really forget Alaska is part of North America? We can only imagine how disappointed this hungry tweeter was with their response. All they wanted was a good crispy chicken sandwich, but what they got was a ridiculous answer that’s a bit funny but mostly sad.
Apparently, Chick-fil-A doesn’t even count Alaska as part of North America. Which means they’ll probably never open one there. But Alaska isn’t the only state without some juicy fried chicken. Hawaii and Vermont don’t have one too. It’s probably because they don’t think those are states in the U.S. either.
Earthquakes, blizzards, avalanches… Alaska has to deal with a lot of natural wonders. So rest assured, they’re complete pros at handling disasters. The road repair guys are up for the task 24/7 and get things done as quickly as possible.
When a powerful earthquake shook the state in 2018, the state made its best effort to return things to normal, so the roads were fit for cars. You would think that a 7.1 earthquake would cause damage that would take at least a few weeks to repair. But in Alaska – magic! It took the guys just three days to fix it.
With nets as big as these, fishing is probably a piece of cake, right? Guess again. Catching wild salmon from the Kenai river is tricky, even if Alaskan’s nets are big enough to catch a bear. And while a single fish in a net is fine, pulling a dozen out of the water is a different story.
This type of fishing, called dip netting, is usually at its peak in July. It’s a huge attraction for Alaskans and visitors and even if you’re not into taking a dip yourself, watching it from afar is no less exciting. Take your boat out into the river and watch as the salmon jump all around!
When we think of expensive homes, we think of big, crowded cities where people pay way too much just so they can live in the midst of all the bustle. So Alaska must be cheap, right? Because come on, Chick-fil-A doesn’t even consider it part of the U.S.!
Jokes aside, many assume Alaska Is cheap. But they couldn’t be more wrong. The cost of renting or buying a home there is around 39 percent higher than the U.S. average. And homes aren’t the only things more expensive in Alaska. Food is also way pricier because it costs a lot more to ship the produce all the way to the snowy land.
Many of us take the bus, the subway, our bikes, scooters, cars, but Alaskans? They fly high above to reach their destination. Well, not all the time, obviously, but a chopper is necessary when tough weather hits.
The King (or Queen) of all things frozen, Alaska is known for icy roads, and in times of need, you’re better off flying up above the Alaskan wilderness. There are certain places where a chopper is the only way to get there. Like, for example, the luxurious Sheldon Chalet Resort in the Denali National Park.
Summertime life in Alaska is a joyous celebration of itchy bites! Because there’s nothing skeeters like more than rivers, lakes, mild temperatures, and human flesh. So, on your way to the last frontier, make sure to bring lots of mosquito repellent and a huge net because, as you can see, they’re quite huge.
Just kidding! These are obviously statues. But they’re still creepy. You can find these magnified insects in Delta Junction. Their eyes look like little disco balls, and their wings are large and menacing. If you ever wondered how mosquitoes look up close, Alaska can answer that.
This might come as a shock, we know, but Alaskans don’t live in igloos. They live in normal homes, as most of us do. And they don’t ride polar bears or moose to work. They drive regular cars. It’s funny how easily we stick to stereotypes when it comes to things we don’t know.
Igloos are a thing from the past, although some still exist as temporary shelters for hunters and travelers. They aren’t really considered igloos, but more like snow caves. These little huts are pretty exciting to visit!
Costco in Alaska offers you an incredible deal on black curtains! But why would anyone bother to buy these dark hangings in the first place? There are much nicer, softer colors to decorate your house with, right? Well, that doesn’t really matter when you have 22 hours of sunlight each day.
That’s right. Some cities in Alaska have hours upon hours of golden light spilling through their residents’ windows, especially during the summer solstice, the period when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the sun.
For city dwellers, first dates usually take place in some fancy restaurant, or on a stroll around the park, or maybe at a nice picnic on the beach. But Alaskans like to bond over things other than good food or a nice sunset. And if there’s one popular hobby among residents, it’s fishing.
In Alaska, it’s a perfectly reasonable offer to ask someone on a fishing date. The fresh air, the wild animals, the incredible surroundings…it’s the perfect environment to break the ice (unless, of course, the lake is completely frozen.)
Porta-potties remind us of raves, camping sites, and outdoor activities in general. But we usually picture them standing firm in one place, not being pushed down a slope with many people cheering all around. But in Alaska, things are quite different.
A porta-potty is a lot more than just a porta-potty. It’s an exciting outdoor house used for sliding down snowy roads! Not only that, but there are actual races held each year in Anchorage, where the fastest mobile bathroom unit wins a cash prize. So put on your helmets and get your toilet paper ready. You’re in for a slippery ride.
Mail can get delayed for so many reasons it’s hard to keep count. We usually blame the post office for its unorganized system or for delivering it to the wrong address. But in Alaska, human mistakes aren’t always the reason you didn’t receive your long-awaited package.
“Sorry we missed you,” but you had a bear in the driveway. Not a dog, not even a horse, but a bear. To be fair, Alaska isn’t the only place in the world with such weird occurrences. In India, you’re stuck in cow traffic, and in Australia, kangaroos hop around in quiet cities.
Alaska is this intriguing, mysterious part of the planet that not a lot of people have visited, but many are dying to. And each year, this snowy wonderland greets thousands of visitors to explore, fish, hike, ski, etc. But while tourism is a great source of revenue, residents aren’t always happy about it.
The peak season is usually between May and September. This means that all through the summer, there are long lines and busy roads. But when things finally quiet down, Alaskans are usually elated! Finally, no need to wait hours for a cup of coffee.
Staying alert on the road is critical, no matter where you are. In cities, careless pedestrians can pop up out of nowhere and surprise you, and the case is similar in Alaska, except that the animals crossing the road are four-legged and furry.
Bears, moose, and horses are all potential threats when you’re on the road. In addition, of course, to the black ice and thick blankets of snow. Driving in Alaska can be as deadly as it is beautiful, so no dozing off at the wheel! Prepare yourself with coffee, loud music, and good company.
While city people have little chihuahuas strutting their stuff, Alaskans have humongous dangling fish. How in the world did they manage to catch this massive fish in the first place? It looks like a huge halibut fish (correct me if I’m wrong), and the types of sea-creatures you’ll find swimming around only in Alaska.
I’m guessing it isn’t that common to catch one of those, but just the fact that it’s something you might see hanging in mid-air on the way to your local supermarket is pretty incredible. This catch is probably enough to feed the whole town.
Everyone knows that fishing, skiing, and hiking are major attractions in this winter wonderland. But what about surfing? No, right? Riding the waves belongs to Australia, California, Sri Lanka…sunny, tropical places. Well…not really.
There are 34,000 miles of tidal shoreline in Alaska, making it an excellent place to get your surf on. And If you want to glide across these icy waters, spring and fall are your best call. You just have to prepare yourself for the chilling waters, so better put on a full suit, mittens, and booties before you paddle into the waves.
These pictures make it seem like Alaska isn’t too excited or patriotic about the country’s independence. But that’s not the case. Alaskans are just as excited as the rest of the country to celebrate the 4th of July. It’s just that the sky in July is so foggy and bright that it makes it hard to see the colorful sparks.
But in December, the days go from being too long to too short (only three of four hours of daylight!). So the New Year’s sky looks a lot more lively, and the fireworks are easily seen. You can basically shoot them up in the sky at 3 p.m., and you’ll still see them perfectly well.
Weatherproofing your home is a must, no matter where you live. But some places need it more than others. And if there’s one place that needs super-insulated homes, it’s Alaska. And, yet again, Costco has your back!
They offer you black curtains for exaggerated sunny days and good insulation so you won’t freeze your bottom off. Let’s just hope they never run out of it. A furry coat isn’t enough to keep you warm in your home. You need all the warming equipment you can get.
It’s easy to think Alaskans eat only animal products and that their vegetables are expensive because they’re shipped from faraway warm lands. On the contrary, not only do Alaskans grow their own produce, but their veggies are freakishly huge!
The Alaskan summer sun gives the vegetables the boost that they need to grow larger and even sweeter! They even have annual pumpkin contests where each person brings their most impressive squash. The fairs in Alaska are quite the scene…
Good ole’ apple bobbing. Colorful fruit swimming around in clear watered buckets, what a treat! Except, not in Alaska. Alaskans have a different idea of bobbing. As you can see, they prefer big tubs full of murky water and fish heads instead of fruit.
This activity takes place in several festivals across the state and is an ode to their thriving fishing industries. Alaskans are crazy about fish, no arguing there, but still, catching their decapitated heads with your mouth is… a bit much.
Jewelry is art. It’s creative and can be made out of basically anything: teeth, nails, and in Alaska – moose poop! To celebrate these incredible brown gems, Alaska used to host events where everyone would scan the area for moose droppings.
But the festivities were canceled for good in 2009 after a tragic incident. Some locals got a bit too excited, and one even jumped into the river, never to be seen again. That’s it for parading colorful moose around town…
We swipe our cards to buy new clothes, shoes, food, and whatever it is we’re craving. But Alaskans use their plastic credit cards for more than ordinary purposes. When things get frosty, they use them as windshield scrapers.
They’re something satisfying about using your credit card as a tool for something practical and not as this magical card that gets you what you want. Half the thrill of scraping with it is that it might break in any second. You can’t say they don’t live on the edge in Alaska!
Reindeer are the only domesticated species of deer, and they’re incredibly adorable. No wonder Santa chose them as his loyal companions. But, as with many animals, humans don’t raise them just for fun. There’s a huge demand for Alaskan reindeer meat, so these majestic fellas are raised for market purposes.
But people still like to see them alive and well. Reindeer farms are a huge attraction, especially around Christmas. Some farmers light up their property and offer whimsical reindeer sled rides and tours.
Many of us are surrounded by buildings and roads, and other human-made structures, and the most feral creatures we run into are our domesticated, spoiled pets. So it’s easy to forget we share this planet with other animals. But in Alaska? It’s very clear we’re not the only animals around.
If you want to chill near the lake and fish, great. But keep in mind that so do the bears next door. Just go about your fishing and don’t make a huge scene. You’re hungry for fish, and the bear is hungry for fish. We have more in common with them than we think!
Alaska’s landscapes cover so many different terrains at once, it’s insane! Snowy mountains, lakes, greenery: The Land of the Midnight Sun has it all. Can you imagine having this incredible scenery 15 minutes from your house?
We know that humans get used to everything if they’re around it long enough, but, really, who could grow tired of this stunning view? We’re sure Alaskans know how good they’ve got it. As for the rest of us, we can keep on dreaming of one day reaching the majestic land where the sun never sets (or sets too much).
Planes are a big part of people’s lives in Alaska. When roads aren’t accessible, they soar into the sky! Planes are used as pickup trucks, ski lifts, and fuel trucks. So, no wonder there are thousands of pilots in the state.
Out of 800,000 residents, around 8,000 can fly, and almost every person in the state has flown at least once in their life. For most people, planes are a luxury that takes them to exotic and foreign lands, but for Alaskans, planes are a way of life and just another part of their day.
When people talk about bears in Alaska, they usually mention how dangerous they can be, especially mama bears. You definitely don’t want to come between a mom and her cub! But when they’re not violently snatching fish from the water or fighting over a female companion, these bears enjoy something we humans can relate to.
Yoga! Stretchy, yummy, calming yoga. Who would have thought they enjoy striking poses like upward facing dog or happy baby? Whether cubs or grown bears, these furry animals love to roll around in the snow, move their bodies, and salute the sun.
Canada has Niagara Falls, Zambia has Victoria Falls and Alaska? They have the greatest chocolate waterfall in the world! You can find this delicious wonder at the Alaska Wild Berry Products factory in Anchorage. We’re talking 3,400 pounds of real liquid chocolate!
As tempting as it is to stick your face right in the middle of the fountain and let the chocolate drip into your mouth, the fountain is only for display. And the factory leaves no room for mistakes. They have a “NO diving or swimming sign,” in case you were wondering how to behave.
Spring is the flowery, blossomy season where the Earth comes to life again. It’s the season of new beginnings when plants spring from the ground. But Alaskans have a different name for this time of year because spring means more than flowers and bright skies.
In Alaska, spring is also called “the breakup season.” And no, it isn’t because people are suddenly sick of their winter partners and ditch them in order to frolic alone in the fields. But because spring means the breakage of ice and the melting of all things cold and hard.
When you visit Alaska, you have an opportunity to connect with nature on so many levels. Not only with its powerful mountains and beautiful lakes but also with breathtaking creatures like whales. These majestic Orcas roam the Alaskan waters and are a huge attraction for tourists.
If you want to go whale watching, you better do it in the summer once they’ve finished their migration. But make sure to behave! That means no littering, no jumping in the water, and no taunting the whale. Let them catch their salmons in peace.
If you’re going to spend the winter in Alaska, you better get your hands on an engine block heater. Because, hey, you’re not the only one suffering from the cold! Your car needs some heating up too. Block heaters pre-heat engines and make sure your car’s fluids pass freely through its body.
But apart from plugging block heaters into your car, you should also carry an extra battery and make sure to regularly change your oil. The people of Alaska are prepared for the worst and have engine block heaters all around parking lots.
What makes Christmas charming, or any holiday for that matter, is that it’s a short, sweet period that arrives and leaves us quickly. That way, we never get sick of it. So, we can all agree that out-of-season decorations are the worst, right?
But in Alaska, Christmas arrives pretty early, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Straight after Halloween, and totally overlooking Thanksgiving, Alaskans put up lights and glistening trees. But not because they’re excited to start the festivities, but because they desperately need the light.
We’ve already covered how important planes are in Alaska. So it’s reasonable that some people have them parked in their driveways. And when such a massive form of transportation is present on the roads, new rules need to be laid down.
According to the state of Alaska, you have to let pilots do their thing. But I wonder if that rule applies to ambulances and cops? What if someone is in a huge rush to get to the hospital? Does he still need to pause and let the pilot pass?
Alaska has been through many changes, and like other places in the world, it’s heavily influenced by newcomers, tourists, and advances in technology. But that doesn’t mean you can’t catch glimpses of Native Alaskan influences.
The indigenous Yupiks have made their mark on the land, and their influence can be seen in statues, clothing, wall decorations, and different festivities. Tourists and locals alike are encouraged to dance along in order to keep their traditions alive.
With less than one million people in the state, Alaska has a pretty tight community. Almost everybody knows everybody, and even if you don’t know them directly, you probably know someone who knows that someone.
So, if you’re used to living in a state with 30 million, the homey, Alaskan lifestyle might take a bit of time getting used to. But there are huge perks to knowing your neighbors. Whenever you need a hand or advice on something, there are a lot of people willing to chime in and help.
If you’ve successfully lived in Alaska for over 12 months, the state gives you a thank you check. Not necessarily to reward you for your contribution to the state’s economy, but more to thank you for allowing oil companies to continue stripping the Earth of its natural resources.
The Alaska Permanent Fund is funded by oil revenues and given to all permanent state residents. Sounds like a bribe, right? Well, it pretty much is. Understandably, there’s a lot of political debate and contradicting opinions surrounding this topic.
If a homey environment and beautiful scenery isn’t enough to convince you how great Alaska is, then these galactic lights are sure to do the job. The northern lights are an incredible spectacle of neon green, purple, and blue.
The season begins in mid-September and lasts until the end of April, peaking in March. Northern lights are seen in other countries as well, but many claim Alaska has the best.
Before we created a bunch of paved roads, animals roamed the land freely, and the whole territory felt like home to them. But then we arrived with a bunch of asphalt and construction tools and just divided their space in half.
So, signs like these are a necessary reminder of that! Like any wild animal, moose are a bit unpredictable, so make sure to steer clear from them and make as little noise as possible. Hit the brakes and let them pass, or if you’re on foot, stand your ground. Unless they charge at you; in that case, run for your life.
Moose aren’t the only wild animals you can find on the road. Bears usually pop up too. We have to admit, this makes everything a lot more exciting (and equally frightening). You never know what you’ll encounter when you ride the bus or take your car (or plane?) out for an ordinary spin.
For some strange reason, we turned bears into the cutest animals ever. With characters like Pooh the Bear and a bunch of stuffed teddy bears, we managed to make them seem innocent and friendly. But that’s not really the case, and you certainly don’t want to be one of the 66 bear attacks (on average) that occur in Alaska each year.
Some Alaskans don’t accept the fact they live in Alaska. So they named their city Unalaska. Just kidding, that’s not really the case. Well, there is a city in Alaska called Unalaska, but it stems from the word Ounalashka which means “near the peninsula.”
It’s a little town located in the Aleutian Islands, once inhabited by the Aleut tribe. Today it has around 4,000 residents and is the largest fisheries port in the U.S. It’s also notable for it’s large population of impressive bald eagles.
Alaska is known as the land of the midnight sun because at 12:00 a.m., you can still see it beaming bright and proud in the sky (remember the black curtains from Costco? Pretty handy, right?). It’s fascinating to see, especially for people who aren’t used to it, but we assume it gets annoying after a while.
If you’re looking for the best spot to gaze in awe at the midnight sun, you should climb the 3,000-plus-foot Eagle Summit. The best time of year is around the time of the summer solstice. Climb your way up to capture the perfect photo of this natural wonder!
If you carelessly park in the city, you’ll probably get a ticket. Or, at worst, some angry guy might scratch the side of your car with a key. But if you park your car in nature without thinking twice about the spot, things might end in tragedy.
Like this car, for example. The violent streams showed no mercy on this large vehicle! Imagine going out for an easy-breezy hike only to find your car slowly drowning in the river. A parking ticket doesn’t sound too bad anymore, does it?
Everyone knows that dogs are our best friends, right? They’re incredibly loyal, friendly, and they love you unconditionally. Really, is there anything better than seeing how excited your dog gets when you walk through the door? Probably not.
Alaskans can surely agree. They own a lot of them! Sometimes even more than five. In part because dogsledding is pretty common there. And if you want to move through the snowy terrain, you need at least five to pull you through properly.
What better way to get in touch with nature than to hike? And Alaska is just the place for it. People all over the world come to the last frontier with their hiking shoes on, ready to walk through the incredible landscapes.
Despite bears, moose, and other wild animals that can surprise and scare the heck out of you, walking in Alaska is sure to make you feel the most grateful you’ve ever been to be alive. But come prepared with the proper equipment to ensure your hike results in nothing but great pleasure!
Alaskans have the most creative festivals ever. Moose festivals, pumpkin contests, salmon fests, Alaskans know how to have a good time. Another odd festival worth noting is the Wilderness Woman contest, which takes place in the first weekend of December.
It’s celebrated in Talkeetna and includes fishing, hauling firewood, and harnessing sled dogs. Basically, it’s an opportunity to show off how wild savvy they are. The contests change from year to year, but the prize stays the same. The winner receives a trip to Europe, how exciting!
Original Uggs come from warm and beachy Australia, but people all over the world have embraced these fuzzy boots. Alaskans are more original than the rest of us normal humans; they have Uggs of their own.
XtraTufs are a top-seller in Alaska. They’re “engineered to provide the best comfort and protection for those who live and work on the water.” So, not exactly furry Uggs, but still a really worthy buy if you spend a lot of time fishing. Which you probably do if you’re an Alaskan.