Seward Peninsula Community Information
Nome Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 240 H-P, Nome, AK 99762, Tel: (907) 443-6624, Fax: (907) 443-5832
The Nome census area, which includes St. Lawrence Island and Little Diomede Island in the Bering Sea, covers over 23,000 square miles of land and is home to over 9000 residents.
The Nome census area is a well-established tourism destination; an estimated 10,000 visitors appear annually as a direct result of tourism1. The city of Nome is the largest community and serves as the transportation hub for the region.
Visitors to the Bering Strait region can enjoy wildlife, Native culture and gold rush history during the summer months, and in the winter, the Iditarod Sled Dog Race attracts thousands of visitors from around the world to watch mushers cross the finish line of the famed 1049-mile race.
Popular tourist activities in Nome often include use of the three state roads in the region, all of which originate in Nome: Teller Highway, Council Road and Kougarok Road.
Though often impassable by car in the winter months, these 250 miles of road are the sole routes to many of the Bering Strait regionís smaller villages, recreational opportunities and sporting activities.
They are an increasingly popular tourism draw, allowing the tourists to freely engage in bird watching, hiking, fishing, etc. without the constraints that tour groups often encounter.
These roads also provide Nomeís residents with necessary routes for subsistence activities throughout the year.
Cruise ship tourism is also an important factor in Nomeís economy; the Port of Nomeís secondary use is as a port of call for expedition-class cruise ships.
These small ships often attract visitors interested in culture, wildlife and adventure, as their routes typically cross the northern Pacific Ocean to include the coasts of Alaska, Russia and Japan. Popular itineraries may also involve stops on St. Lawrence and Little Diomede Islands.
Other activities in the Bering Strait region often relate to the rich cultural history of the area and the strong presence of Native cultures. Local festivals that demonstrate cultural traditions are popular in the summer months throughout many of the regionís communities.
In Nome, examples of some festivals include the Midnight Sun Festival in June, celebrating the summer solstice and 22 hours of daylight, and the Poor Manís Paradise event in which contestants competitively pan for gold. The Bering Strait Region is also known for its Native arts and crafts industry.
Some of the more popular products offered include ivory carvings, skin boots, beading and masks.
World renowned for its gold rush history, visitors to Nome also have the opportunity to visit abandoned gold dredges, take a picture next to the countryís largest gold pan (18 feet high) or even try panning for gold.
1 (Nome Transportation study Land Design North report p.6).
Nome lies on the southern coast of the Seward Peninsula in the Bering Strait Region. Situated 102 miles south of the Arctic Circle, 161 miles east of Russia and a 75-minute flight from Anchorage, Nome is considered a gateway to much of Alaskaís untamed beauty and wildlife.
Additionally, Nome is the originating point for three major state roads: Teller Highway, Council Road and Kougarok Road.
These 250 miles of road were originally constructed to provide access to villages, subsistence resources and mines; however, their popularity in recent years has grown due to the recreational freedom they provide for tourists. Nome is inaccessible by any outside roads but does receive daily jet service from Anchorage.