For the best of the bush, Nome is it. 'There's no place like Nome' boast locals. Arguably there's not much around to compare it to, but residents like it that way. Nome sits comfortably at 60 degrees in the summer and virtual darkness in winter. Close to the Artic Circle and almost as close to Russia, Nome is rather isolated as the many miles of roads around Nome are not through roads. Most are familiar with Nome as the endpoint in the longest sled dog race around, the Iditarod.
This is not a town awash with charm. But what Nome lacks in ambiance it compensates for with off-the-beaten-path exploratory opportunities. Voyage into the tundra in a rental car on some 250 miles of gravel road or follow the Council Road along the Bering Sea and check out Eskimo fishing and hunting camps en route.
Bird watchers might find Nome a veritable aviary. Those in it for all that glitters might want to try gold panning along Nome's beaches—though don't expect to find much without some serious dredging gear.
Close (in Alaska terms) to Nome is the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve covering the area thought to have once been the American side of the land bridge over the Bering Strait. There are no official trails in the preserve, though there are six basic cabins and hot springs if you can get a bush pilot to drop you into the area.
Nome is 569 air miles from Anchorage and just south of the Artic Circle.