Wayde Carroll

Relocating to Anchorage

Anchorage defies easy categorization, and it is unlike anywhere you’ve lived before. It's Alaska's biggest city: with nearly 300,000 residents, it's Alaska's urban center. It is a natural piece of Alaska: Anchorage is also home to glaciers and eagles, mountains and salmon, incorporating sights and experiences found only in the 49th state. From the massive snowy mountains of Girdwood, to the spiritual village of Eklutna, the nearly 100 languages spoken within the community resonate that Anchorage is a place where people choose to live.

Although nearly half of Alaska’s population lives here and it’s about the same size of Delaware, it will be the largest small town you’ll ever live in. Here, cafes and moose may share the same sidewalks, black-tie events compete for attention with fresh powder on the mountain, and you may see professionals in waders fishing for salmon on their lunch hour.

Don’t worry about being a newcomer; Anchorage has drawn adventurous spirits for its entire history. It’s a vibrant community where the average resident is 32 years old and one-quarter of the population is under the age of 18.

Among the city’s pluses: Clean air and clean water. An average 18-minute commute. World-class parks. 135 miles of paved multi-use trails in the city. Regular appearances on “top 10” lists when it comes to jobs and livability.

How to Make Your Move

  1. A moving company
  2. Pack it yourself and use a shipping container for the voyage north on a container vessel – this also can include your vehicle.
  3. Fly to Anchorage. The international airport is Alaska's largest, with nonstop service from across the U.S., and seasonal flights from Europe. It's 3 hours from Seattle and 5 hours from LAX.
  4. Drive part way and sail part way by driving to Bellingham, Wash., the southern terminus for the Alaska State Marine Highway System, and boarding one of the Alaska state ferries for the ride north. You can drive from either the north end of the route, Haines (700 miles from Anchorage), or take the cross-Gulf of Alaska ferry to Whittier, just 90 minutes from Anchorage. If you’re taking the ferries, be sure to book as early as possible.
  5. Pack your vehicle with your belongings and drive north through Canada on the Alaska Highway. Anchorage is 2,300 driving miles from Seattle, 3,900 from Dallas. There are services all the way along the Alaska Highway including overnight accommodations; one of the best resources for the trip is the Milepost publication.

Relocation Resources

There is a wealth of information available to prepare for any move to Alaska. Here are just a few websites that will help you make your way to the Great Land.