Living in Alaska
Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. Over half of the state's population lives in Anchorage and the surrounding communities. Located in Southcentral Alaska, Anchorage residents have all the amenities of city life with easy access to the true wilderness of Alaska only 10 minutes away. Located on the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet, Anchorage is a 3.5-hour flight from Seattle and 5.5 hours from Los Angeles. Anchorage has a network of 259 miles of hiking, biking, skiing and dog-mushing trails. Some of the recreational activities available in Anchorage include fishing, skiing (downhill, cross-country, heli-skiing), hiking, marathons, fun runs and softball, as well as the opera, professional theatre touring companies and the symphony. Anchorage is also the host of the start of the world-famous Iditarod Sled Dog race. Denali Park is just a few hours' drive from Anchorage with much to see up close and personal: grizzly and black bear, moose, caribou, fox, and Mt. McKinley, too! Many hours of sun in the summer, and dancing Northern Lights in our skies in the winter, are just a couple of the phenomenal attractions Alaska has to offer.
The Anchorage School District serves nearly 49,000 students in 89 public pre-elementary, elementary and secondary schools, including 10 charter schools. Anchorage schools offer a variety of educational choices, including special and gifted education, foreign language immersion programs, ABC, Montessori, open optional schools, and charter schools. Anchorage School District has three of the six top ranked schools in Alaska.
- Population: 299,037
- Precipitation (per year average): 16.57 inches
- Snowfall (per year average): 74 inches
- Temperature range (average): 11 degrees F to 65 degrees F
The Golden Heart of Alaska is located in the Interior region with the Chena River running through it like a blue ribbon. Fairbanks has a rich heritage of native culture and gold rush history. In the summer, there are blue skies and 24 hours of sunshine with temperatures that regularly reach the 70s and 80s. Boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and golf are all favorite pastimes to be enjoyed in the Midnight Sun. Fairbanks is the ultimate in winter fun: shimmering northern lights, downhill and cross-country skiing as well as skijoring, dog mushing, international ice sculpture contest, snow machining and a natural hot springs pool nearby. It's close to the Arctic Circle (200 miles to the north) and Denali National Park (120 miles south). Wildlife abounds in the region: moose, caribou, grizzly and black bear, fox, wolves and more. Several years ago, it was named one of the best small cities in America. A low crime rate, a good student-to-teacher ratio in the schools, clean air, and no traffic jams make Fairbanks a wonderful place to raise a family and enjoy life!
- Population: 97,581
- Precipitation (per year average): 10.83 inches
- Snowfall (per Year average): 65 inches
- Temperature range (average): 3 degrees F to 73 degrees F
A small, coastal community located at the head of the Valdez Arm in a natural fjord that reaches inland 12 miles from Prince William Sound. Valdez is surrounded by some of the tallest coastal mountains in the world rising from sea level to an elevation of 7,000 feet. Valdez is also the northern most ice free port in North America, which is the primary reason it houses the Marine Terminal of the trans-Alaska pipeline. Nearby attractions include Keystone Canyon, Thompson Pass, and the Columbia and Worthington Glaciers.
Valdez offers ideal conditions for summer and winter sports. Halibut and salmon fishing, hiking, kayaking, downhill skiing and snowboarding are among the activities that residents and visitors enjoy.
The city's population is comprised of 4,500 residents and the community is a mixture of oil industry, commercial fishing, tourism and United States Coast Guard as well as State of Alaska and city agencies.
City facilities include the Valdez City Library, a resource to residents and students alike: Prince William Sound Community College, which is a part of the University of Alaska Statewide System. Valdez City Schools consistently score in the top 1 percent of Alaska Schools. Valdez Community Hospital which maintains a 24-hour a day facility, staffed with 11 full time nurses and four on call physicians, and the Medical Arts Facility, which is office to four permanent doctors who practice family medicine.
The Valdez city motto "where the mountains meet the sea" reflects the rugged beauty of Valdez. The outstanding natural beauty combined with a small community setting, complete with modern facilities helps to make Valdez a place that people consider home.
- Population: 3,976
- Location: Prince William Sound, South East Alaska
- Snowfall, per year average: 327 inches
- Precipitation, per year average: 69 inches
- Temperature, average: 19 degrees F to 62 degrees F