Nome delights visitors year-round
Known as a rough-and-tumble, gritty gold rush town and the finish line of the renowned Iditarod race, Nome offers more than precious minerals and mushing. The Seward Peninsula city of roughly 3,600 residents located on Norton Sound in the Bering Sea might be remote, but that doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible. In fact, warming winters have opened up Bering Strait waters for all but the coldest months of the year, leading to construction of the nation’s first deep-water arctic port. Slated to be completed within the next seven years, the $600 million project will allow 4,000-passenger cruise ships, cargo ships, and military vessels to dock 10 boats at a time, providing supplies to isolated outlying villages, protection from the increasing threats of foreign vessels, and additional tourism revenue for a city on the isolated tundra. In addition to major cruise line guests and Iditarod race followers, birders have been flocking to Nome in increasing numbers to catch rare “lifer” birds, including the elusive McKay’s bunting. You can also ride horses, ATVs, or go fly fishing. No matter what brings you north, you’ll find a burgeoning destination filled with muskox, auroras, old-timey saloons, Native culture, and maybe even a valuable nugget or two to bring home.