"Alaska, Alaska, I'll stay right here in Alaska. All settled down and having fun here, in the land of the midnight sun." -- From "Alaska" by Phishplant
Life in Alaska

When you think pure, raw, unadulterated beauty, think of Alaska. The insanely picturesque views of nature and wildlife in its natural state and habitat, the aurora borealis. No zoo needed, you can simply walk through town and in one fell swoop catch a glimpse of caribou, eagle, bears, and if you happen upon a waterway, a whale or three. Hospitality and local lore is at its finest in the state and internal clocks stay forever scorned by the consistent light of day or dark of night, depending on the season. So much to learn, so much to do, and so much to make you stand back and simply be awestruck.

Calling Alaska Home

Moving to Alaska can be a thrilling experience if you're prepared to spend your time outdoors and at institutions that label libation as a food group. The bar scene is booming, as winter can be a loathsome siren. Once you've taken that into account, figure out just what it is you're after. Alaska has cabins situated on remote pieces of land up for grabs and also houses larger cities for those that need a bit more culture -- and people rather than just moose -- in their daily routines. Anchorage, Juneau, Petersburg, and Fairbanks, each have their own unique and lovely traits.

To secure a rental home in Alaska you'll need the standard proof of income, first month's rent, and likely a small deposit depending on the property. Non-contiguous states -- they're just like us! Some landlords are lax and may only require the rent up front.

Also, keep in mind that shipping to landlocked locales will find you entrusting your belongings to a moving company at sea. The Alaska Marine Lines is a trusted haul company that can assist in making certain your valuables arrive unharmed.

Get to Know the Region

Anchorage Big City Among The Tundra: Tax friendly and renter-safe, Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. Boasting numerous performing arts venues, a vibrant music scene, and beautiful vistas, all with the feel of a small town. Ski resorts, botanical gardens and nature preserves all allow residents to truly behold the city's abundant and lush landscapes.

When seeking permanent shelter in the town many deals can be found by browsing around for single-family homes in Girdwood, that are often three-bedroom properties complete with yard and a view. This will prove a far better deal than a one-bedroom apartment for nearly the same price, in this otherwise expensive town.

Once settled in, explore local gems like Bear Tooth Theatre Pub and Grill, where films are mixed with liquid pleasure and delectable eats, or Glacier Brewhouse, pouring regionally produced beer for the masses. Whale watching is a great way to spend the afternoon and hiking trails are plentiful as well. There's a people mover and public transportation around town to take advantage of, as well as a train station to get you out of town, if necessary. The city isn't really set-up for walking, so plan on having a car if you aren't too keen on public transit.

Junea - Landlocked and Loving It: Glaciers, helicopters, waterfalls, and fresh seafood are some of the things that lead residents to Juneau, never to look back. Living here can be pricey, even when compared to areas nationally, but one can still secure a nice two-bedroom home or three-bedroom apartment for rent at a fair price in Lemon Creek or near Mendenhall Valley.

Locals in the area get to and from other Alaskan cities by ferry and helicopter. Road trips can become amazing adventures and, while in town, folks walk and drive to their destinations. Some popular local spots include The Rookery Caf, serving a mix of new American cuisine alongside delectable pastry and expertly crafted coffee beverages, and The Alaskan Brewing Company, which fills pints to the brim for an authentic frontier-of-beer experience. Fresh and local seafood is abundant here and shacks like The Flight Deck serve it up proper in the coziest of confines.

Petersburg - Elusive State Gem: Get the parachutes ready and take your anti-nausea medications, this town is only accessible by plane and boat. The beauty here is unparalleled and the small town mentality is present in day-to-day interactions with locals. A person is more secluded here than in previous towns mentioned and they wouldn't have it any other way.

When searching for housing, keep in mind that you can choose an off-the-grid option or a more updated home on the waterway. All roads lead someplace and most grocery stores and entertainment venues are within walking distance, it's a small town and residents rejoice. Northwind Apartments are a great choice as they offer one, two, and three-bedroom apartments two blocks from the city's thriving downtown.

Meet your new neighbors by walking over to Keto's Kave, the local tap. Shoot some pool, play some tunes, and simply belly up to the bar and chat up the barman. Once you've had a few, rejoice, Joan Mei's Chinese joint will rejuvenate you with their take on Chinese using local seafood as well as faraway staples.

Fairbanks - Larger Than Life: No sales tax, open roads that lead in and out of the city, fancy-dining joints right next door to the local fisheries: Fairbanks is a town with options and class. The comparatively low cost of living in Fairbanks allows the average renter a whole lot more than in some other Alaskan cities of note. Rental properties include apartments, cabins, and single-family homes that range in size. Furnished accommodation can be secured for a bit more green but may make your brand new life, that much more exciting and fresh.

When thinking of the cold winters, make certain to keep in mind local eateries like the Chowder House, local and hearty sea fare for the soul, and The Cookie Jar, a locally owned eatery with secret family recipes to keep you warm all day, making certain that long underwear doesn't work overtime. At the Loose Moose Caf, sample regional cuisine like elk, buffalo, and reindeer amongst the locals.

Fairbanks has a bus fleet for those without vehicles. It's a great option and an even better way to get to know your way around the city without trudging through the snow.

The More You Know

Wildlife is everywhere, it can be seen in your backyard, or in the middle of the road (alive or, well, not). Remember that animals can be unpredictable and sometimes the best option is to move, as slowly as possible, in the opposite direction as not to disturb that enormous grizzly that's just passed by. Or lie down and play dead and try not to breathe or scream in terror.

Throw high fashion to the wind and opt for comfort and durability. It's cold, the elements are harsh at times and you'll really wish you had that ugly hat once the wind kicks up and freezes your earlobes.

Play nice with the locals, they've endured those topsy-turvy bought of daylight, fierce winter temperatures, and landlocked portions of their state since birth. Cozy up to one of these folks and you're certain to adjust a bit faster than someone who keeps to themselves with a sideways glance.

Lumberjacks, loggers, and fishermen exist outside the movies, and most of them live here. Enjoy.

AK Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states

Here’s how AK ranks on:

Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Social Life
Commute time
State and local taxes
Public transit

Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released Alaska’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"Alaska renters expressed general satisfaction with the state overall," according to Apartment List. "They gave most categories above-average scores."

Key findings in Alaska include the following:

  • Alaska renters gave their state an A+ overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for Alaska were commute time, state and local taxes and quality of local schools, which all received A+ grades.
  • The areas of concern to Alaska renters are recreational activities (D) and pet-friendliness (D).
  • Alaska did relatively well compared to other West Coast states including Washington (B-), Oregon (B-) and Idaho (A+).
  • Alaska did relatively well compared to other states nationwide, including Michigan (B-), Florida (B+) and New York (C).
  • The top rated states nationwide for renter satisfaction include Colorado, Alaska, South Dakota, Idaho and Minnesota. The lowest rated states include Wyoming, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana.