Think of it this way – when you live in Alaska, you live at the hub of the northern hemisphere. Anchorage, the state’s largest city, is closer to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles than New York is to any of these West Coast cities. Anchorage is also a lot closer to Tokyo, Beijing, London, Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Copenhagen and a host of other capital cities than is Seattle or Los Angeles. Taken in that regard, Alaska is far from the end of the earth, as some doom and gloom types would have you believe. Instead, it is the pulsating heart of the new-world economy.
Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport is the second-busiest airport in the word in terms of air cargo. It is ranked No. 1 in the United States for the most cargo landed weight. Anchorage has many job opportunities, with the oil field industry and medical industry leading the way. There are many types of jobs in our economy, including government service jobs, food service workers to retail sales clerks to name a few.
The Borough of Anchorage spans southward from Portage Glacier all the way to the Matanuska River in the North which encompasses a large, beautiful, growing metropolitan area, spanning several cities as well. It is truly an amazing place to live, offering a huge array of recreational and work experiences.
The City of Anchorage is very diverse. It has a cozy downtown with a wonderful mix of exquisite restaurants, shops, upscale hotels and trendy art boutiques, as well as a first-class Performing Arts Center and a Museum of Natural History. The features four performance spaces; the 2,000 seat Evangeline Atwood Concert Hall, 700 seat Discovery Theatre, 340 seat Sydney Laurence Theatre and the Elvera Voth Hall a performance and rehearsal space. The Alaska Center hosts more than 600 performances and events and draws over 240,000 patrons annually. All of this contrasts with large, wooded rural living on the city’s hillside where magnificent views and amazing wildlife are everywhere you turn.
Anchorage also has a variety of competitive sports venues from youth teams to our Professional sports teams. With the nation’s most extensive trail system and breathtaking views of Cook Inlet and the mountains, Anchorage has a great deal to offer anyone. Surrounded by Alaska’s vast landscape and majestic beauty, Anchorage astounds all types of wilderness explorers with spectacular sightseeing opportunities, making it great for all ages.
Alaska winters are spectacular here. Alpenglow sunsets over Denali, winter ice fishing, piles of powder primed for: snowmobiling, snowboarding or snowshoeing and some of the earliest pre-season skiing in the country; it’s no wonder why this is where Alaska comes to play. Ride deep into pristine Alaska backcountry by snowmobile and carve trail through some of the world’s most scenic and wilderness terrain.
Alaska’s most celebrated athletes are in the national spotlight during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race held annually the first Saturday in March.
Aurora fans: stay up late on clear, dark nights in February, March and April; especially during the new moon phase; for a chance to view the colorful Northern Lights. Climb aboard the Alaska Railroad Aurora Winter Train in Anchorage for an overnight escape to Talkeetna and the chance to see the lights dancing over Mount McKinley.
To the north, the cities of Chugiak/Eagle River offer a growing community of new construction, large retailers, and small business shopping. With easy access to military bases and downtown Anchorage, Chugiak/Eagle River is the direction Anchorage is expanding to. Anchorage proudly supports our military bases, Elmendorf Air Force Base and Ft. Richardson, which play a vital and important role in our community. In 2002 Anchorage was chosen as one of ten cities nationwide to receive the All-America City Award. This marks the fourth time the city has earned such special recognition, and we are very proud.
Just a short drive south of Anchorage, tucked in at the base of Mt. Alyeska you will find the authentic and rustic community of Girdwood. It offers delightful winter activities such as Heli-skiing, Alpine and Nordic skiing, Dog sledding, Snowshoeing and much more. In the summer, this artistic community comes alive, with events such as the annual Forest Fair, local Arts and Crafts, gold panning, hiking and berry picking. For those extreme athletes there are many competitive activities such as white water rafting, paragliding, or exploring the great Mt. Alyeska. Tap into your sense of adventure and visit Girdwood today.
The Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough is located in the heart of Alaska, 45 miles northeast of Anchorage, nestled in between the Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges on plains of gently rolling hills and flat moraines of glacial outwash materials. The Mat-Su Valley, as it is known, with it’s breathtaking mountain views, is accessed via the Parks Highway which connects Anchorage with Fairbanks to the North.
Three incorporated cities within the Borough are Houston, Palmer, and Wasilla. Additionally, there are several unincorporated communities and twenty-five Borough recognized community councils. The majority of the Borough population resides in the “core area” surrounding the cities of Palmer and Wasilla, and within the cities themselves. The remaining population is spread out among the various unincorporated communities, as well as some remote sites. Over the past several years, the Mat-Su Borough has been Alaska’s fastest growing region with more than a 3% annual growth projected until 2018.