12 Things That Only People From Anchorage Understand

There's something about Alaska that captures the imagination of people from the mainland U.S. Perhaps it's the state's sheer hugeness, perhaps it's because of its relatively remote location, perhaps it's the inhospitable climate. While this leads to fascination, it also means that if you're from Alaska, you have to deal with questions about your native state that range from "Do people live in real houses there?" (Yes!) to "Do you get paid to live in Alaska?" (In fact, yes!) In truth, the state is like its own country -- it's by far the largest state in the United States, and bigger than all but 18 sovereign countries in the world.

If you're from Anchorage, you know that there's more to life than the stereotypes in popular culture. You live in a major city, and you have all of the modern amenities to go along with it. But sometimes, people can't wrap their heads around the Alaska thing. With that in mind, we've partnered with Nordstrom Rack to present you with 12 things that only people from Anchorage understand.

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom Rack. The new Nordstrom Rack opens on Sept. 3 at the Mall At Sears. Get details.

Special thanks to our resident Alaskan, Celia Darrough, for the hot tips.

1. Everyone Knows That Moose's Tooth Has The (Third) Best Pizza In The Country.

I know that "best pizza" rankings are a super-touchy subject, but TripAdvisor recently ranked Moose's Tooth as the third best pizza place in the country. The rankings were based on the relative quantity and positivity of user feedback within the past year. Between pizzas like the Avalanche (pepperoni, blackened chicken, bacon, red onions, parsley, cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, barbecue sauce) and the rotating craft beer selection, it can't be beat.

2. If You're Going To The 'City,' It Can Really Only Mean One Thing.

Yep, that's Anchorage. Sure, there are other cities, but Anchorage is where it's at if you're from a smaller town.

3. 'No, I Don't Know Your Other Friend From Alaska.'

You guys, Alaska is a really, really big state. Like, biggest-in-the-United-States big. It's larger than the next three largest states combined: Texas, California, and Montana. It also has the lowest population density of any state in the U.S.... so, while the Name Game is fun, there is an extremely slim chance that your Alaskan friends have run into one another on the way to their tricked-out igloos (more on that later).

4. You've Probably Gone Fishing On A First Date.


If you're into the rugged type, Alaska is your spot. Accordingly, parka and boots is perfectly cute first-date attire.

5. Your Life Is Nothing Like The Reality Shows... But You Probably Know Someone Who's Been On One.


Again, there's something about Alaska that captures the pop culture imagination. Many reality shows go for the rugged, survivalist frozen-tundra vision of Alaska: The Last Frontier, Life Below Zero, Tougher In Alaska, Deadliest Catch, Gold Rush, Ice Road Truckers. Others go way into left field: the (thankfully canceled) Jersey Shore-esque MTV show Slednecks, or a TLC show in which Alaskan women are shipped to Miami to find love. Basically, there's not a lot of truth to any of the "reality" these shows portray, but due to the sheer number, you probably have a friend who has gotten her five minutes of fame at some point.

6. The Summer Solstice Is The Best Day Of The Year...


A full 24 hours of sun = bonfires, parties, and general awesomeness.

7. ...Other Than Fur Rondy...

This festival, boasting extremely elaborate snow sculptures, dog races, and a "running of the reindeer," celebrates the best that Anchorage has to offer.

7. ...And Of Course, PFD Day.


That thing about Alaskans getting paid to live there? It's absolutely true -- if you're a permanent resident. There's a distinct thrill to getting that lump of cash each year, whether you spend it all on a shopping trip or hoard it for the future. The amount of cash you get depends on the relative health of the oil economy in the state, but it's usually somewhat significant: in 2014, each resident received $1,884.

8. You've Had Coffee From An Espresso Stand.


Bless each and every espresso stand in Anchorage for serving piping hot coffee -- and, more importantly, not requiring you to get out of your car in the winter.

9. You Know That There's Nothing Better Than The View From Flat Top.

The strenuous hike is so worth it.

10. You Live In A Thing Called "A House," And By "House" You Don't Secretly Mean "A Fancy Igloo."


First of all, this would be incredibly impractical in Anchorage, because your home would probably melt in the summer. (Summers average 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can even get up to the 90s.) Second of all, igloos were designed to be temporary shelters and are less associated with the Inuit people of Alaska and more with peoples in Canada and Greenland. The more you know!

11. You Speak English. And Use American Currency. And Again, You Don't Live In An Igloo.


Seriously! Stop it with the igloo thing!

and, last but not least...

12. At Some Point, Your Day Has Been Interrupted By A Moose.

Whether they're blocking the entrance to the supermarket or trapping you in your house, moose just don't seem to have manners these days.

Images: Giphy (8); hannahespn / Instagram; Andrei Taranchenko / Flickr; Wikimedia Commons.