This is Nome’s most famous and historic street, running about a mile along the coastline, from Bering Street to Nome Bypass Road. Front Street developed quickly in the early days of Nome’s gold rush. Wooden buildings sprang up along Front Street as soon as supplies arrived by boat. Soon after, the mud and muck of the road was covered by wooden planks, making passage much easier. Electric poles strung with wire lined the streets (a rarity for such a remote location).
Today Front Street is a visitor hot spot, if only because two of Nome’s three hotels are located here. None of the original buildings remain, as this area was battered by storms and decimated by fires over the years. The street was also widened and paved. You can find several restaurants, a coffee shop, saloons, gift stores, and offices for The Nome Nugget, Alaska’s oldest newspaper.
Front Street is the endpoint of the annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race, just as it was with the All American Sweepstakes sled dog race, held between 1908 and 1917. During Iditarod Week in mid-March, crowds gather along the street to cheer on the mushers and their dogs as they complete the last moments of a grueling 1,049-mile journey and mush under the iconic burled arch set up on the west end of Front Street.