Illustration of guy in board shorts freezes while ice fishing during spring break in Alaska
Art by Tim Bower

Is it a good idea to take a vacation to Alaska for spring break?

That’s a great idea, so long as you understand that in Alaska it’s actually winter break 2.0. Or, on an unusually warm year, break up break. Typical “spring” break activities in Alaska include ice fishing, snowshoeing, and re-shingling roofs decimated during recent windstorms. You should also be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions. There may be a few days of warm sunshine, melting snow, and budding leaves, but suppress your hope. The temperature will plummet, that snowmelt will become slick ice, and those trees will most definitely die. It’s a hard life in the north.

I’ve been dating in Alaska for a while and am having a hard time meeting a gentleman. Any advice on how to find one?

That depends on your definition of a gentleman. Think of a typical Last Frontier gentleman as someone who would thrive on the American frontier of the 1800s. They’re quick to defend your honor with fisticuffs and will provide you a moose hide to stay warm through winter. The caveat is they’ll likely also dress and bathe like it’s still the 1800s and may sign their name with an “X.” If you’re looking for someone who can tie a half Windsor and knows which French wine best pairs with your sockeye fillet, we suggest a mail-order groom from Outside.

I want to look my best this summer and only have a few months to get in shape; any recommendations?

We intimately understand your predicament. All winter we rarely leave home with less than four layers and a hat. Which means Thanksgiving-style gorging can last months and go unnoticed. March brings a fear of summer attire and the accompanying reckoning. There’s usually a day or two of swearing off IPAs and an awkward grocery store trip spent futilely searching the aisles for quinoa. Then it hits: summer attire in Alaska means chest waders and a 17-year-old hoodie. No one will notice those winter pounds! So pile the plate high with extra reindeer sausage and tuck in. Beach vacation be damned.

Who is the best tailor in Alaska?

That’s an easy answer because there is only one. Alaska has some businesses in abundance, like coffee stands and cannabis shops. We northerners are in constant need of a stiff cup of joe and some pungent herb. Occasions that call for a fitted wardrobe are rare. Alaska’s best, and only, tailor is a fellow named one-armed Mike. Mike is pretty much always available to take on new customers, but he works exclusively with Carhartt and flannel. Someone brought him a silk shirt once and he blew his nose into it before realizing it was a garment and not a handkerchief.


Alexander Deedy formerly worked as the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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