Mothering Forum banner

Thinking of moving to Alaska . . .

718 Views 17 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Ex Libris
Hi everyone! My dh and I are considering a move to AK next year. We're planning a trip out there for the fall need some suggestions about where to look. We're crunchy sorts and are looking for a small town where we can find some of the following:

people interested in sustainable, simple living
a community spirit and small town life, where walking and biking are normal
organic foods/markets etc.
a willingness to share resources (i.e., eggs for milk, lettuce for squash, etc.)
at least some kind of growing season for home garden
a homeschooling/unschooling environment
land prices that aren't too high

Are there any places like this? We'd love to find some property and begin paying on it now. That's the dream, anyway!

Thanks for your help! Kelly
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
When I think of crunchy-small-town Alaska, the places that come to my mind first are Talkeetna (2 hr. north of Anchorage), Girdwood (30 min south of Anchorage) and Homer (6 hours south of Anchorage). Of course, these are all places on the road system. I haven't been to southeast AK, but I believe Juneau is pretty crunchy too. HTH!
See less See more
I've lived in Fairbanks for two years, and while it's got a decidedly non-crunchy feel to it overall, there's a pretty sizable contingent of open-minded folks.

One thing I notice about Alaska is that plenty of people ARE willing to hear a new way of doing things, and they aren't completely hung up on tradition and appearances.

And it's gorgeous, of course.
That's true! Wasilla is definitely not what I'd call crunchy either, but I've never had a negative remark about NIP or my slings.
The advantage I can think of to living here is that we're easy targets to spot. Karen found me without any trouble at the sports complex thanks to my sling. :LOL
See less See more
Thanks for the suggestions. We're still trying to figure out how to get out there to look around (we're in North Carolina right now). But we're making a list of possible areas/towns for when we do and your suggestions are a big help. Hopefully this fall we can make the trip--we haven't yet flown with ds (he hates to be confined so it should be fun for all of the other passengers! :LOL ), but we can't exactly drive out there, so I think there's a plane in our future. I can't wait to see Alaska. I just know we'll love it.
That's a great link Matanuska Motherlode. DH and I want to move to AK someday too. I grew up there and miss it terribly.
See less See more
AK is great!

But the organic foods can be hard to come by, unless you're in or near a major population center. Southeast has almost no organic food offerings, for example, and land is extremely expensive. (But its beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, esp. if you ocean-fish and hunt.)

But Mat-Su or interior living (within easy driving of Fairbanks) sounds like it might be the thing for you.

I'm in Fbx, and I agree with eightyferrettoes - the place initially feels uncrunchy. But last weekend (or maybe the weekend before?) we went to a free bluegrass concert outside, for families - and there were tons of moms and dads and babies and kids - all rolling around in the grass, and I'd say 80% of the babies were slung, and I noticed many people breastfeeding.
Oh, I know why I'm confused. Weekend before last was the bluegrass concert. Last weekend was the Folk Fest. Very similar events!
Both great!
See less See more
I moved to SouthEast Alaska in August of 2003. Sitka has a great crunchy feel to it, but land prices are really expensive. I've heard that Tenakee is a really beautiful and cool place to be. Sitka is definitely beautiful and has a great family-oriented community. I just wish that there were more birthing options, as I had a midwife with the birth of my daughter in Oregon. Hope this helps!

, EDD 2/12/06 and very proud Mama to Magnolia, 3/20/96
See less See more
Thank you so much for all of the great ideas, mamas. We just bought an Alaska travel book so we can start making arrangements to go see some of these places. I can't wait . . .
See less See more
I agree with Magnolia's mama - Sitka land is very expensive. A tiny tiny lot, with no house, no view, no nothing can easily run $100,000. Juneau is similar. My brother, a single guy making good money - can't afford anything larger than to rent a tiny 1 bdrm apartment.

I don't know about Tenakee. My memories of Tenakee are all from when I was a small child, and Tenakee had no plumbing - outhouses that dumped directly into the ocean (don't go walking on the beach at low tide!) and a bath house that had "mens' nights" and "ladies' nights." I'm sure some modernization has come to Tenakee in the last 15 years!

You can't drive to every type of community in Alaska - but you can go on a good tour. There is always a trade-off. In AK, you are usually swapping the beautiful scenery, sense of open space, and friendly community for lack of shopping choices (food, medical care, clothing) and difficulty travelling in or out.

Have fun looking at your book! I'd also recommend The Milepost, if you actually come up for an exploratory trip.

PM me if you come to Fairbanks.
See less See more
my sis is on her way up to Alaska right now with her dh, 6 year old, and 10month old. She will be moving to anchorage and we can't wait to visit. she has been driving since 6-13 from texas. they came up here (seattle metro) to catch the bellingham ferry but got denied b/c they claim she checked in too late! they called this morning and are now leaving b.c. what a drive!! hope they like it there...although they have never ever been in snow (not since the freak snow storm of '85 in san antonio!) and they aren't the type to hike and don't like the outdoors..etc. let's just say they are the complete opposite of crunchy...very not crunchy, i guess
good luck with your move it sounds amazing! hope to be up there visiting soon! dh misses AK since he worked out of Dutch Harbor for a couple of years..
See less See more
I could NOT imagine driving all the way up here! Then again, we have four kids and the 45 minute drive from our house to Anchorage is a little much some days! :LOL
I'm also here in Sitka, and while the past two summers have been a joy and a blessing, we get far more than our share of liquid sunshine. But as far as community goes, this town is unparallelled. I've been here for almost twelve years and I can't imagine living anywhere else.

And as for he lack of midwives... We are trying! We really are! IF only we could go to school instead of tending babes...
My husband and I have lived in Juneau for the past 3 1/2 years. We recently moved to Maine in hopes of being closer to family but, after a 6 month job search, we are looking at returning to the Anchorage area. We miss it dearly and have come to acknowledge that we are in love with Alaska. The place has a way of doing that to you!
Juneau is beautiful and the community is WONDERFUL. They have a fabulous birth center where we had our daughter in Oct. of 2003, lot's of family oriented community events, and a Juneau Parent's Yahoo Group. On the other hand, Juneau is very isolating, land and housing is expensive,and because there are no roads out and Alaska Airlines is the only carrier it is very expensive to leave. Especially coming from North Carolina, the summers are wet with a short growing season. Not a whole lot grows there. I worked at an organic plant nursery and we did grow and sell tomatoes, squash, lettuce greens, etc..
We love and miss Alaska dearly and hope that the Girdwood/Anchorage area will allow more accessibility along with an exceptional community.
Best of luck! And beware...once you fall in love in Alaska there's no turning back
See less See more

The whole Anchorage area is just the best, MatSu down to Gird!
Good luck
See less See more
Thanks for all of the suggestions. We're going to take a look at Washington, BC, and northern Montana in Sept, and then after the first of the year we'll head up to Alaska to look around. Dh had some cousins who lived in the Girdwood area, so we'll definitely be checking that out. I'm fully prepared to love it!
1 - 18 of 18 Posts