Travel + Leisure magazine might have ranked it the “worst-dressed city in the United States,” but its residents have found plenty to love about living in Anchorage, Alaska. Its current population of around 280,000 puts it on par with Newark, New Jersey, and Orlando, Florida.
However, Anchorage is by far the most populous city in Alaska. (The next two largest cities are Juneau at 31,974 inhabitants and Fairbanks at 30,917!) As a result, Anchorage comes with the kinds of conveniences you’d expect of a cultural center: restaurants, museums, galleries, and more. That being said, as with almost every location in Alaska, you’re never far from unspoiled mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, and more—all the natural wonders that likely motivated you to move to Alaska in the first place.
If you’re considering a move to Alaska—or to the City of Lights and Flowers, as Anchorage is known—we’ll show you a little bit more about what the Anchorage area has to offer. We’ll also give you a quick tour of eight of its popular neighborhoods to give you a leg up on your research.
Let’s start at the top…
Why Move to Anchorage, Alaska?
As Alaska’s “big city,” Anchorage offers a good mix of urban living with all the amenities that a mid-sized metropolitan area has to offer: shopping, dining, galleries, a burgeoning music scene and more. However, even in Anchorage, you’re never far from an outdoor adventure. Drive a little out of the city and you can go camping, rafting, kayaking, hiking, biking, fishing and skiing in country that still feels wild and untouched.
Many who move to Anchorage enjoy its small-town feel, where everyone seems to know everyone. If you’re looking for the kind of place where people like to get to know their neighbors, Anchorage might be a good spot for you.
Finally, Anchorage is also a place that offers plenty of opportunities to get to know the culture of the people who settled Alaska before European arrivals: the Dena’ina Athabascans. A visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center or the Anchorage Museum will get you started on discovering the fascinating culture of these Alaska Native people. If it’s something you’d like to explore further, check out the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, the largest representative annual gathering in the United States of any Native peoples, which takes place in Anchorage each year.
Now, if Anchorage sounds like the destination for you, we’ve got a couple of neighborhoods for you to consider as you decide exactly where to make your new home.
Get to Know These 8 Anchorage Neighborhoods
#1: Rogers Park
Offering a short commute to the heart of Anchorage’s business district, Rogers Park is also conveniently located near several schools, restaurants, shops and entertainment options. Although there are quieter neighborhoods than Rogers Park, if you’re more interested in the convenience and availability of amenities, this might be the neighborhood for you. Additionally, with its smaller homes on modest lots, Rogers Park can be an affordable option for many.
#2: Downtown Anchorage
The downtown area offers a number of different types of housing options: both smaller and larger homes, as well as condos. And while “downtown” may evoke visions of a concrete jungle, downtown Anchorage offers waterfront views of the Knik Arm, as well as plenty of green space. Those who crave city life—with easy access to all that Anchorage has to offer—might want to look for a home in the Downtown area.
#3: South Addition
South Addition offers its residents a more suburban feel, with larger properties and homes, as well as many walkable streets. Living in South Addition also means easy access to several parks with sports fields, nature trails, and a lagoon that you can kayak in the summer or skate on in the winter. The area also comes with a fascinating history: It was developed in the 1940s to house Army soldiers in the area. Unfortunately, many were called into service to fight in World War II, and some never got to live in the houses that were constructed for them, ones that many families still enjoy today.
Many families settle in this Anchorage neighborhood because of its low crime rate and its proximity to several schools. Additionally, residents cite the area’s neighborly feel, where everyone knows and looks out for each other. Finally, although it has access to amenities like shops and restaurants, Huffman-O’Malley is more suburban than urban, which can to those who want more green spaces in their lives.
#5: Portage Valley
If you want fairly easy to access to Anchorage, but prefer more of a wild, untamed setting, you might consider living in Portage Valley, where the population is just over 200. You can spend your days hiking, fishing, paddling, and viewing both wildlife and possibly icebergs. However, when you need a taste of city life, Anchorage is just over an hour away by car.
#6: Rabbit Creek
The homes in Rabbit Creek tend to be larger and sit on bigger parcels of land, with median home values around $572,000. The neighborhood sits at just over 3,100 feet, and many find the stunning views that result absolutely irresistible. Residents report that the neighborhood is quiet, and many families and retirees alike enjoy the peaceful setting.
This family-friendly neighborhood in west Anchorage features strong public schools and easy access to plenty of outdoor recreation activities, including parks and coastal hiking trails. Residents also report that residents are both friendly and welcoming to their neighbors. Turnagain also sits close to the airport, so if you travel a lot, living in this neighborhood will give you easy access to Ted Stevens International Airport.
#8: Eagle River
Located about a 20-minute drive from downtown Anchorage, Eagle River offers its residents a quiet enclave separate from busy city life. Those who live in this suburban area get to enjoy all of the nearby forest trails, lakes, and picturesque views that it has to offer. That being said, all the amenities you could need are just a short five-minute drive away, and Anchorage isn’t far for when you need a serious restock.
Moving to Anchorage, Alaska
Now that you know what Anchorage and its neighborhoods have to offer, are you ready to take the plunge?
- If the answer is yes, you’ve got the best of both worlds waiting for you in Anchorage: a taste of city life with as much nature as you want to explore.
- However, if you need a little more convincing that Alaska is the right place for you, check out our article on the Top 5 Alaska Adventures for a little inspiration on everything you can enjoy after the move.
And when you’re ready to move to Anchorage, we’d be happy to help! Just get in touch with us for a complimentary quote, and we’ll help you make an easy, safe, and affordable move to the Frontier State.