If you’re researching what it would take to make a big move to Alaska, you’ve come to the right place. Alaska is home to more than 700,000 people spread across the subarctic regions along the southern coast to the sparsely populated tundra in the north.
There are moose, wolves and elk. You’ll find remote lakes ripe for ice fishing. The highest peak in North America—Mt. McKinley (more than 20,000 feet of elevation, more than 20,000 feet of prominence)—looms above the frozen wilderness. There are nearly infinite opportunities for hiking, backpacking, and skiing, not to mention photography and other visual art forms.
To really experience the best of what the 49th state has to offer, think about moving to a friendly community between the bustling metros of the south and the remote splendor of the north. Think about Palmer, Alaska.
An Average Day
- Palmer is a community of about 6,000 people tucked between two glaciers just north of Anchorage. The town is home to public schools and even a post-secondary educational institution in Matanuska-Susitna College, affiliated with the University of Alaska Anchorage.
- A unique set of factors conspire to make Palmer, a town with an average yearly high of 45 degrees Fahrenheit, an agricultural epicenter. Because of the rich and fertile soil, near constant summer sunlight and virtual lack of insects and fungi that can destroy crops, Palmer’s produce is some of the most revered in the country. Restaurants around town benefit from these fresh ingredients and proximity to the farms themselves.
- Though many international fast food establishments have storefronts here, you’ll also find many options to sample the local fare, including a bakery featuring homemade breads and doughy delights, numerous bistros, pizza parlors, coffee shops, and restaurants to whet your appetite for something warm and stick-to-your-ribs good on a chilly winter afternoon. Thanks to the abundance of produce locally grown in Palmer, you can expect the dishes and items served in the town to be of the highest caliber.
Culture and Entertainment
Given the relative remoteness of Palmer compared to many other American cities of the same size, Palmer is home to many small businesses that are unique to the town.
In 2002, Palmer created a weekly event to bring tourists and locals together to feast on local fare, purchase local produce, and enjoy local entertainment. These events run from May to August and bring the community together for a night of family fun amidst one of the most beautiful environments in Alaska.
Once a year at the end of August or early September, the state holds the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, and attendance for the multi-day festival reaches nearly 300,000 people—almost half of Alaska’s entire population.
Hundreds of vendors provide local food, crafts, and other fun things, and the concert series usually draws big-name musical acts ranging from country to hip hop to hard rock. The fair is also responsible for bringing in farmers from the surrounding plains to compete in the largest vegetable contests, which recently set new world records for the largest cabbage, pumpkin, and bean.
How Chilly; How Warm?
As you’d expect, Palmer can become frigid at any time of year. Highs hit maximum range in the summer months and top the thermometer at just below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter lows reach the lower teens, but often dip below zero.
However, the town’s proximity to the coast helps stabilize the climate significantly, sparing the residents from the conditions found up north in more tundra-like environments.
Since the snowfall is often plentiful and Palmer sits between two glaciers, there are many outdoor adventure activities to occupy your time. With snowmobiling, off-roading, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, glacial hiking, and expedition backpacking, you’ll get to experience the wild outdoors like never before.
Making it happen
Palmer may be far away by measures of distance, but with the evolution of technology, this beautiful little town is not far at all. If Palmer sounds like the kind of place you’d like to call home, then start your research by talking to one of our friendly customer service experts who can set you on the right path—the path that leads to Palmer.