Located on the picturesque Seward Peninsula, Nome is a fascinating place abounding in colourful local culture and history. Once the site of a gold rush, many hopefuls like to search for the precious metal in and around the Alaskan city. The legacy of the gold rush has shaped Nome and its local character, with a large statue of a gold pan and prospector greeting visitors.
Adding to the charm of Nome is the strong traditional Inuit culture in the area. It is one of the best spots in Alaska for purchasing native arts and crafts, including Inuit dolls, mukluks and carved ivory.The traditional lifestyle is still largely practiced in Nome and this is great to experience. Wildlife also abounds. Visitors can hope to catch a glimpse of the moose, bears, musk oxen and reindeer that roam the local area.
Several cruise companies, such as Ponant and Silversea, include Nome as a port of call on their Alaskan itineraries.
Nome is located on the Seward Peninsula, overlooking the Bering Sea. Nome is 539 air miles northwest of Anchorage, or about a 75-minute flight.
The dock itself is located approximately a 20 minute walk away from downtown Nome, which has all the necessary facilities. There are hotels, plenty of shops and restaurants in downtown Nome, particularly along Front Street.On the same street is the Nome Visitors’ Bureau, which offers advice on the best places to go in town and road trip itineraries for those wishing to explore further afield.
How to Get Around
It is possible to reach Nome by air, on Alaskan Air Lines, and on cruise ships during the summer. Most cruises visiting Nome organise on-shore excursions that make the most of the town’s history and natural beauty. These excursions are perhaps the easiest way to explore the extensive wilderness and visit rural towns. It is also possible to rent a car and venture out on a road trip. Nome itself is a very walkable place, so the best way to get around town is on foot and the tourist bureau offers walking tour guides for visitors.
- Currency – Nome is located in the United States, so it uses the U.S. dollar (USD). Coins are available in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢ and USD$1 denominations. Notes are available in USD$1, USD$5, USD$10, USD$20, USD$50, and USD$100 denominations. There are ATMs in town and major credit cards are also generally accepted.
- Time Zone – As a town in Alaska, it operates on Alaska Standard Time (AKST), which is 9 hours behind Universal Standard Time (UTC). Like the rest of Alaska, it switches to Daylight Saving time (AKDT); from March through to November, clocks are switched forward by 1 hour.
- Weather – Nome has a cold climate, as it is located only 102 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It has an average yearly temperature of -2.6 degrees Celsius. In summer (June – August) it warms up to an average maximum of 13 degrees and in winter, temperatures sink to an average low of -19 degrees Celsius in January. Nome experiences snowfall for nine months of the year, generally excluding June to August.
- Road Trip – Renting a car and taking a road trip is a fantastic way to experience the history and beauty of Nome. Three roads lead out of Nome and the tourist bureau can direct you to the best route to ensure you see the wildlife that roam the area. From the road it is also possible to explore the gold rush history of Nome, as remnants from its past litter the landscape.
- Souvenir Shopping – As Nome has a rich Inuit culture, many local arts and crafts are sold in town. This makes it a great place to shop for uniquely Alaskan gifts and souvenirs. From mukluks, to grass baskets and jade carvings, the tourist bureau offers a city map guiding visitors to the best spots.
- Fishing Trips – For the keen fishermen and women out there, Nome has plenty to offer. Less than a two hours’ drive from town is the famous Salmon Lake, and the road leading to the lake also crosses well-stocked rivers. If you’d rather go straight to the tried and true fishing spots, you can book a guided trip with a specialist tour provider. Many adventure tours boast excellent knowledge of grayling fly-fishing spots as well as good food and friendly hospitality. It is important that you organise a fishing licence in Anchorage before visiting Nome if you plan on fishing in the area.