Things to do
The winter season in Nome is a fascinating time of year. Though the road system closes for the winter on October 30th every year, our unique sub-arctic landscape offers endless miles of treeless wilderness to explore.
Nome offers many activities and events to our winter visitors including:
A fundraiser for our volunteer fire department, a much anticipated event by local residents. Held every year at the Nome Recreation Center on the first Saturday of December.
Nome is the halfway point for the world’s longest, toughest snowmachine race. The race begins in Wasilla, Alaska, and ends in Fairbanks. Racers travel almost 2,000 miles through some of the most rugged wilderness in the world. There is a halfway point banquet in Nome which is held by the Iron Dog committee every year. For more information visit www.irondograce.org
The world famous Iditarod Race finishes on Front Street in Nome every year in March. Nome hosts two weeks of festivities to celebrate this incredible race including: the Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic, a Pool Tournament, a Dart Tournament, the Lonnie O’Connor Iditarod Basketball Tournament, the Nome-Golovin Snowmachine Race, an art show and craft fair, and so many more events for visitors and locals alike to enjoy! Nome becomes the “Mardi Gras of the North” during the Iditarod, and we encourage you to join the party!. The Iditarod ceremonial start is on the first Saturday of every March in Anchorage, Alaska, the official start is the following day in Wasilla, Alaska. www.iditarod.com
There are two major snow machine races held in Nome. The Nome-Golovin Snowmachine race is held on the second Saturday of March. Racers compete for the fastest time from Nome to Golovin, and back to Nome. The Cannonball Run Snowmachine race is held in April.
Nome, especially in the warmer winter months of March and April, is a cross country skiers paradise. Our treeless terrain offers miles and miles of pristine wilderness, in combination with long sunny days in April, and frequent viewing of Musk Ox, Reindeer, and occasionally Moose, guarantees a cross country skiing trip you’ll never forget.
On occasion during the months of November – March, mother nature blesses us with a show of her own. The Aurora Borealis is viewable from just outside of the city lights, about 1 mile. Typically, green and white are the only colors we see here, we do occasionally see other colors including red and purple. Regardless of color, the show is always spectacular, this natural phenomenon is awe inspiring.
Highly sought after Norton Sound King Crab is available commercially at our local seafood store Norton Sound Seafood Products for a fraction what others pay not only in the lower 48, but elsewhere in the state of Alaska. Norton Sound Seafood Products can also package and ship, please inquire at (907) 443-2304. Pulled almost daily from the icy waters of the Norton Sound by local crabbers, King Crab is also occasionally available at the Polar Café 443-5191. For the adventurous visitor, you can inquire about catching a ride with a local crabber to check his pots on the frozen Norton Sound, inquire at the Nome Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Nome offers some of the most incredible shopping for Alaskan Native art in the state. Many well known artists are from the Norton Sound Region, and shops in Nome usually offer their wares for less than other places in the state. Artists can sell directly to the shops, and cut out the middle man, making the price less for the item, and giving more to the artist themselves. In addition to Alaskan Native art there are many local painters, potters, and more whose creations are available at our local shops, as well as authentic Russian goods. If you are lucky enough to be in Nome during an art show or craft fair, you can buy directly from the many local artists and crafters.
Tours and Guides
Fly over the frozen Bering Sea, or get aerial views of wild herds of Muskox! During the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, fly over the trail to the last checkpoint of the Last Great Race!
NOME DISCOVERY TOURS
(907) 304-1453 or (907) 443-2814
Year-round – Van tours & tundra/beach walks: See historical Nome. Hear about the pre-history, contact, and the Eskimo People today. Experience the amazing tundra. See wildlife in its natural setting! (Some activities may need to be altered depending on snow conditions).
NOME TOUR AND MARKETING
Year-round – Van tours: Historical Tours, including seeing the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race!
Snowmobile rides across the frozen Bering Sea to observe subsistence crab fishing. Also provides snowmobile trips in search of Muskox, moose and reindeer!
SNOW CAT TOURS
Bering Straits Native Corporation: (907) 443-5252
Don Erickson: (907) 304-1383
Two companies provide tours aboard a tracked vehicle. Enjoy a ride across the snow covered frozen tundra to view wildlife and gold rush landmarks across a beautiful and wild land. Muskox sightings on this trip are very common!
Spring in Nome means the return of hundreds of species of migratory birds returning to their breeding and nesting ground.
ALASKAN NORTHWEST ADVENTURES
(907) 443-3971 or (907) 304-2003
Birding Tours, Fishing & Hunting Guide
NOME DISCOVERY TOURS
(907) 304-1453 or (907) 443-2814
Year-round – Van tours & tundra/beach walks: See historical Nome. Hear about the pre-history, contact, and the Eskimo People today. Experience the amazing tundra. See wildlife in its natural setting!
NOME TOUR AND MARKETING
Van Tours: Historical Tours, Iditarod Tours and
OSBORN RIVER SERVICE
Fishing and Sightseeing Trips
TWIN PEAKS ADVENTURES
Backcountry fishing trips by helicopter
A wide variety of artifacts, pictures and remnants of the past. Exhibits include gold rush history and Eskimo Culture. The museum is located on Front Street in the ground floor of the library building. For more information, please call 907- 443-6630.
A self-guided tour of the historical buildings in Nome that survived the numerous fires & floods is laid out in the “Historical Walking Tour”. For those who enjoy a walk on a beautiful day, ask for the “Walking in Nome” handout. For those who want a more vigorous workout ask for the “Day Hikes” handout. All handouts are available at the Visitors Center.
Swanberg Dredge is within walking distance from downtown Nome, head east on Front Street and you will see it on the left-hand side of the road approximately one mile from town. There are over 40 remnants of gold dredges visible from the road-system. We highly recommend you rent a vehicle and explore our road-system, looking for dredges and wildlife along the way.
Inter-active displays, natural & cultural history displays, videos on request, located in the Sitnasuak Building on Front Street. For more information, call 443-2522.
Over 2,000 species of wild flowers grow on the Seward Peninsula between June and August. Guidebooks of Alaskan wild flowers are available at the local gift stores.
For gold panning options, please call the Nome Visitors Center at (907) 443-6555.
Take your photo next to the largest gold pan in the United States, or with the statues of the Three Lucky Swedes, located at Bering Street & Seppala Road.
Stop in for information and handouts on Nome, view historic photos, restaurant menus, etc., located at 301 Front Street across from City Hall in the gazebo building.
Several air carriers offer regularly scheduled flights to the surrounding villages. Visit a village for several hours between flights or overnight. Consider timing your visit to coincide with the Savoonga Walrus Festival (May or June), the Shishmaref Carnival (late April) or the Gambell Whaling Festival (July).
The Nome area contains 14 rivers for you to enjoy. From salmon to pike to grayling, we have it all. Bring your own gear or rent from local outdoor suppliers. You can also charter fishing trips with local fishers. Overall, the fishing here is spectacular, and a one day license may be purchased at the many different stores around town. For guided fishing trips, you may contact Alaskan Northwest Adventures, or Twin Peaks Adventures.
Sightseeing by rental vehicle is an excellent way to see the countryside. There are three major roads leading out of Nome for a distance of approximately 70 miles each. Over 200 head of musk oxen call the Seward Peninsula home. These remnants of prehistory may be seen from the road. The Visitors Center keeps a record of wildlife sightings and can give directions to areas used by these animals. Camp at Salmon Lake, fish in the many rivers crossing the road-system and look for wildlife along the way.
Nome offers a variety of stores with excellent Alaskan gifts such as sealskin slippers, mukluks, grass baskets, Alaskan art, Eskimo dolls and numerous ivory, jade or soapstone carvings. A list of places to shop and a city map are available at the Visitors Center.
This is an excellent way to gain an appreciation for the vastness of this area. Depending on the time of year, you may see musk oxen, reindeer, bear, walrus, seals or an occasional whale or polar bear. Contact local air carriers for price information.
Nome’s public beach is abundant with driftwood, easily used for a cooking fire or bonfire. Try catching your dinner in the river and cook it on the beach for a Nome-style picnic. Please observe routine fire safety precautions and show courtesy to your fellow beach goers by cleaning up after yourselves.
Walk the beaches of Nome in search of beach glass and other items in the sand. Pick up items such as tableware, pottery shards, and other colorful objects of Nome’s past.
Summer temperatures combined with the non-stop midnight sun warms the Bering Sea to a tropical 40° to 50°F. Some Nome youngsters consider this warm enough for swimming and on rare occasions, adults can be seen kayaking and windsurfing. For those visitors who like a challenge, an invigorating swim in the Bering Sea might be something to write home about. Join Nome Rotary Club during the Mid-night Sun Festival for the Polar Bear Swim. For the more conservative visitor, an indoor swimming pool is located at the high school complex approximately three miles out of town. For prices and times call (907) 443-5717.
The Rec Center offers racquetball, a sauna, weight machines, treadmills, stair steppers aerobic classes and many other activities. (907) 443-6645.
An activity center for Nome’s Elders. Visitors are invited to join them for lunch at 12:00 noon, Monday through Friday any time of the year. If possible, but not mandatory, please call ahead for lunch. There is no charge for visiting senior citizens; others are asked to pay a nominal fee. On Fridays, the menu includes local foods such as reindeer, blueberries, salmon, etc. Ask about the native arts & crafts sold there. (907) 443-5238.
Stop by the library and browse through their rare book collection. (907) 443-6628.
Saloons and Taverns
Bars within the City of Nome are Smoke Free. Most saloons and taverns in Nome close at 2:00 am on weekdays and at 3:00 am on weekends, with the exception of the two roadhouses located out of town, which are typically open until 5:00 am during the summer months. Please call for current operating hours.
|Anchor Tavern – (907) 443-2105||Mark’s Soap n Suds – (907) 443-6943|
|Board of Trade Saloon – (907) 443-2611||Polar Bar – (907) 443-2302|
|Breakers Bar – (907) 443-2531||Polaris Bar – (907) 443-5102|
|Arctic Native Brotherhood Club
|VFW Post # 9569