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Situated in the Arctic region of north western Alaska, the small town of Nome is home to a population of around 4000 people. The town boasts a colourful and intriguing heritage, including the hectic gold rush of the late 19th century and thousands of years of Inupiaq Eskimo history that preceded the influx of Europeans to the area. The region is well-known for its vast and remote natural landscape, which is a haven for many species of migratory birds. Bird-watching is therefore particularly popular in the region and its surrounding tracts. Perhaps Nome’s most famous and admired attraction is the town’s annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race, which takes place every March and has done since 1973. Nome’s friendly local population, combined with the range of exhilarating outdoor activities available to guests, generates a fantastic ambience, creating a unique and charming holiday experience.
There are so many exciting activities and excursion possibilities available to visitors in Nome, it is impossible to fit everything in during one sojourn. A variety of sightseeing tours are available from expert local guides, taking visitors to see the best man-made and natural landmarks in the area. Travellers should take time to see the beautiful northern lights and participate in a range of other outdoor activities including skiing, bird-watching, hiking and fishing.
Nome has an interesting history of gold dredging and mining since the famous gold rush of 1899, after the ‘Three Lucky Swedes’ discover gold there in 1898. During this time, the town’s population exploded, attracting prospectors from all over America in search of the riches that lay beneath the grounds of Nome. Although much of the region’s gold rush architecture has been destroyed in violent storms over the past century, many dredges still remain, including the Swanberg Dredge, which is within walking distance of Nome’s town centre.
Trips to historic Eskimo villages can be arranged from the town of Nome, offering a great insight into the regions pre-European past. Visitors should consider timing their visit to the fascinating Eskimo villages to coincide with the terrific festivals that occur throughout the year, such as the Gambell Whaling Festival, Savoonga Walrus Festival or the Shishmaref Carnival, for a truly authentic experience.
Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum
The Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum houses a stunning collection of intriguing artefacts celebrating the history and culture of Nome, from the 19th century gold rush all the way back to the ancient Eskimo society that once dominated the area.
Nome is famous for its authentic local arts and crafts, which can be purchased as gifts and souvenirs from many establishments around the town. Arts and crafts fairs are often held in the area, allowing customers to buy artwork directly from the artist.
Norton Sound King crab is a local speciality and can be found in stores and eateries across town. Aside from seafood restaurants, other eateries including Pizzerias and Chinese restaurants are also available around Nome, serving a range of delicious international cuisine for everyone to enjoy.
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