Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage is an incredible city and offers innumerable things to do throughout a year. Whether living amongst a landscape straight off of a post card, watching wild critters roam around or taking in any of the modern amenities people expect from a modern city, Anchorage pretty much has it all. The city also has an excellent work situation and the generous lack of most kinds of taxes. While the weather can obviously become pretty cold during the winter time, during the summer it can downright beautiful in this area. Considering that lower temperatures are often recorded in the lower 48 states, Anchorage's weather is almost charmed compared to most of Alaska.

The area is near several national parks and other scenic and enjoyable areas for fishing, camping, hiking, hunting and pretty much any other kind of outdoor activity. But when it's time for work, the local economy supports a very robust mixture of white collar and service jobs. The oil companies have immense administrative responsibilities, and Anchorage is the place of choice for keeping everything handled locally. In addition to this, tourists feel welcome in the area because this is where they've traditionally stopped since tourism opened up in the 1950s. Overall, it's a great place to visit and an equally awesome place to live.

Anchorage has a lot to offer those who enjoy city life as well as the outdoors. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. It is also an area of history and culture.

Anchorage History

In 1867, the US Secretary of State decided to purchase Alaska from the Russians. For 21 years Mr. Seward decision was thought to be bad, but then resources were discovered and he was vindicated. From this drive for resources, Anchorage was born. Ports and railroads have always been an important part of the resource transportation process, and Anchorage began as the construction port for a railroad.

By sheer coincidence, the land happened to be very well laid out for a city. Beginning to operate as a tent village in 1914, the railroad took until 1923 to complete. In 1920, Anchorage was incorporated as a city to the south and at a higher elevation than the early tent city. This location has proven excellent, and Anchorage is celebrated as an extremely well laid out city by Alaskan standards.

Up until the end of the 1930s, the railroad connected Anchorage. Transporting the materials collected elsewhere in Alaska was of critical importance to not only the world's resource base but to the local economy, and a man named Otto F. Ohlson ruled the area with an iron fist. However, his restrictive tyranny came to an end when air transportation and the military arrived in Anchorage.

Merrill Field operated from the late 1920s onward, and still serves as a significant airfield to this day. However, in 1951 an international airport opened at another site near Anchorage, opening up still more opportunities for travel and commerce. In the 1940s Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base were constructed in Anchorage, and drove the economy for a time. However, their subsequent closure altered the landscape slightly, and their eventual combination into a joint military base also significantly impacted the local economy.

In 1964, the second most powerful earthquake in recorded history -- a 9.2 on the Richter Scale -- rocked Anchorage, causing billions of dollars' worth of damage and killing over a hundred people in mere minutes. The damage repeatedly stressed and flexed buildings until they crumbled, almost regardless of how well they had been built. Despite the fact that Prudhoe Bay was found to have unbelievable oil and natural gas reserves in 1968, the remainder of the decade was spent on rebuilding the broken city. The rebuilding project, ironically enough, allowed the city planners to add a great deal to the local infrastructure and to construct even higher quality buildings.

In 1975, Anchorage and several communities in its immediate area merged to become the Municipality of Anchorage. From the 1980s onward, the quest to beautify and further grow the city and the surrounding area has been intense and unceasing.

About Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage Alaska is located in its own county, and is generally the first place a tourist will stop when visiting Alaska for most any reason. Located not too far from a large number of different natural wonders and fun places to be, there's a good reason almost 40% of the Alaskan population lives in this thriving city. Interestingly enough, Anchorage is unique among Alaskan settlements in that it is not very close to natural resources and does not support any kind of fishing fleet. However, the weather in this city is fairly moderate by Alaskan standards, and the abundance of wealth generated by the massive natural resources in the area makes the area quite livable.

Anchorage has been described as the best city in the United States because residents don't pay general taxes. Alaska has neither a sales tax nor an income tax owing to its resource-related wealth. However, Anchorage itself does have a 12% tax on lodging, known as a bed tax, and an 8% tax on renting cars. Overall, this goes largely unnoticed by the tourists, whom it affects the most, and helps the locals enjoy a generally very affordable standard of living.

Anchorage has never had a mining or fishing connotation to it, unlike every other significant settlement in the state of Alaska. Anchorage was actually chosen for having a nearby harbor, plenty of slightly elevated and flat space for laying out a town, and was later set up with airports because of these same geographic characteristics. Granted, the relatively mild climate has also contributed substantially to the success of this city, with its temperatures being moderated greatly by the nearby presence of the ocean.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is a huge attraction in Anchorage, partially because it's a uniquely Alaskan and very gutsy kind of sport. The skills and endurance necessary to even take on such a demanding course during the harsh conditions of this unforgiving land are truly epic. Of course, there are other, more standard sports such as an indoor football league in the city, as well.

Anchorage is a place of abundant wealth and power. The population is very well employed because of all the white collar oil-related jobs in the city. Working for an oil company is a great way to make an excellent living and be able to enjoy some incredible views from one's office window. Considering the abundance of nearby fishing and hiking opportunities and the fact that it rarely gets below -10 Fahrenheit, other than the occasional ash cloud this city is pretty much a paradise.

About Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage county began as a staging point for a railroad in 1910, the city has grown rapidly because of several advantages. The climate is great in this county than in other parts of the State. There are plenty of fun things to do in the great outdoors nearby, and there is work aplenty with scant taxes to be paid. Overall, the fun things to do in this city and county are matched only by the opportunities to springboard one's way into a great career in the oil and other natural resource industries.

The temperature in Anchorage has never gotten below -38 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering that some parts of Alaska can drop into the -60 range, this all-time low is considered fairly moderate. In practice, most days during the winter hover around 0, which is not much different from the temperatures you would find in the lower 48's Midwest region. The weather is generally quite good if cloudy, and there is even a 101-day frost-free growing season in Anchorage. During the summer the temperatures can rise into the 60s and 70s, which is quite comfortable.

There are also sports aplenty to be enjoyed in this area. Alaskans are tough people by nature, and their indoor football league and the Iditarod Trail Race are just some of the intense activities you can watch when gazing at distant mountains and watching wild animals becomes boring. Hiking and fishing are also very easy to do in this area, with the Kenai Fjords being fairly close by when the mood strikes.

Being able to work is an important part of any city or county, and Anchorage provides that in spades. Aside from a hugely robust economy where white collar administrative jobs working for oil companies are abundant, there are also the extremely well-tipped service positions that aid these professionals to keep the oil flowing on the organizational end of things. Considering there is neither an income tax nor a sales tax on most goods and services, money earned in Anchorage is money that's easy to keep.