Alaska Excursions

Alaska Excursions

A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.

Iditarod 41

Photos and stories from the last great race.

Anchorage: 36°/52°/Cloudy

Fairbanks: 32°/55°/Partly sunny

Juneau: 32°/54°/Partly sunny

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Moving to Alaska

Container ships bring vehicles and goods to the Port of Anchorage.

Container ships bring vehicles and goods to the Port of Anchorage.

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More on Moving to Alaska

Moving to Alaska

Container ships bring vehicles and goods to the Port of Anchorage.

Moving to Alaska can be a big adventure.

Cost of living / food

Going to an Alaska grocery store for the first time? Expect a little sticker shock.

Cost of living / housing

Juneau and Anchorage have Alaska's most expensive average home price, $241,000. Juneau also tops the state in rent costs for a three-bedroom single-family house and a two-bedroom apartment.

Moving to Alaska can be a big adventure.

It's not like moving to another city along an interstate highway. This takes some real planning.

The good news is that thousands of people move to and from Alaska each year, and the rough spots are not as bumpy as people might imagine.

In a lot of ways, Alaska is like the rest of the nation -- it's just farther north and a little harder to get to.

Real estate

Many real estate, mortgage and insurance companies that you're familiar with in the Lower 48, plus many local companies, have offices in Anchorage and other cities. The Multiple Listing Service is used here. Alaska has houses, apartments, condos and cabins. You can get an overview of Southcentral Alaska listings by browsing through the Anchorage Daily News real estate classified ads.

Jobs

Try to get a job before you get here. Alaska housing and food costs can eat through savings quickly. Newspaper classified ads and the state employment service can help.

Schools

Alaska has a university system with three main campuses and 15 smaller campuses, plus several private colleges. Public and private schools educate the state's youth.

Climate

Yes, Alaska is cooler and has more snow than most other places, and winter nights get pretty long. But the streets are plowed, we have plenty of energy for heating, and Alaskans live adjust quite well to long nights as well as in the long summer days. The trick is to go outside and enjoy yourself year-round.

Vehicles

Alaska has a well-developed transportation system for shipping household goods and vehicles. Although some goods are still trucked up the Alaska Highway, most are now delivered by container ship from West Coast ports to the Inside Passage and Anchorage. Families that don't want to drive from their Lower 48 home can have vehicle transporter companies cart the vehicle first by truck to the Seattle/Tacoma area then by ship to Anchorage.

Pets

Pets can come with you on the plane, ferry or highway. There are a few restrictions for each method of travel, but basically you'll need a health certificate supplied from a veterinarian. Boarding kennels and veterinarians are available statewide.

Communications

Alaskans have all the high-tech tools and toys. We're well connected via the Internet and satellites, U.S. mail gets here in a day or two, and international shipping companies such as FedEx, UPS and Airborne Express provide next-day service to the Lower 48 and elsewhere.

Cost of living

It's not cheap to live in Alaska, although there are many metro areas elsewhere in the United States where the cost of living is just as high. The 1990s arrival of discount and chain stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Barnes & Noble brought Alaska's consumer prices closer to those found in the Lower 48. Housing expense remains high. Balancing out some of the higher expenses, income in Alaska is above the national average.

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