The city of Nome is known worldwide as the finish point of Alaska's Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Known as the "Last Great Race", the Iditarod commemorates a serum run made by dogsled in 1925 during a diphtheria epidemic. People flock to Nome each year to cheer on the finishers and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Nome is also a popular summer tourist destination, with over 20,000 visitors during the summer months each year.
Nome began as a hunting ground for the Inupiat people. In 1898, gold was discovered at Anvil creek, prompting a huge gold rush that brought in thousands of people and built up the area into a real city. At one point there were over 20,000 residents, much different from today's population of 3,500.
Located on the Seward Peninsula by the Bering Sea, Nome is a short 1 hour flight from Anchorage. Tourism has become a big part of Nome's economy over the years, and visitors will find that while Nome retains much of its historic ambiance, it is also a bustling city with plenty of activities, shopping and restaurants.
Visitors can enjoy a self guided walking tour of the downtown area, as well as visiting the Carrie M. McClain Memorial Museum, which has exhibits on Eskimo culture and history. There are gift shops that offer native arts and crafts, including carved ivory and gold jewelry, and several restaurants to choose from. Outdoor activities include dog sled rides in the winter, camping, bird viewing or taking a drive over to one of the neighboring villages and exploring the 300 mile road system in the area. Accommodation options include hotels, inns and several bed and breakfasts.
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