In the early days of Nome, residents would gather at the shoreline of the Bering Sea, eagerly watching a new crowd of visitors disembark from passenger ships. For a city snowed and iced in 7 months out of the year, it was high excitement.
While today’s residents don’t quite stand at the shoreline, they are still happy to welcome visitors and newcomers to this unique and special place. You’ll find a warm welcome at businesses all over town, but the one spot dedicated to visitor needs is the Nome Visitors Center.
Make that your first stop. Open 7 days a week, from about 8 am to 5 pm in the winter, and 8 am to 7 pm in the summer, the Visitors Center is the octagonal building located across from city hall and at the end of the Iditarod Trail.
Stop in to pick up some brochures, see a short video on Nome, say “Hi” to “Oscar” the stuffed musk ox, and talk to staff about things to do in and around town. They are knowledgeable about everything from birding spots, where you can borrow ice skates, best chance to see wildlife, and even where you might hang your hat for the night if hotels are full. You can also relax here while waiting for a late flight out of town.
Tip: If you arrive during off-hours and need some help, call the number on the Visitors Center door. You may find someone who can open it for you. This is a small, friendly town, after all.
Before you go: Check out the Nome Visitors Center web cam (watched worldwide, and so popular that staff get notified immediately when it’s not working right). You can also find out current news and events on the Visitors Center Facebook page.