1. The root beer float at The Moose’s Tooth Pizzeria and Pub.
Even as an adult with the ability to order one of The Moose’s Tooth’s delicious beers on tap, there is nothing quite as delicious as the crystallized vanilla ice cream bobbing in a tankard of house-made root beer. Keep channeling your inner child and opt for a pepperoni pizza to make the meal a perfect salty/sweet combo.
2. Fur Rondy.
After having seen The Revenant, it’s a bit weird to consider that these were the kind of guys coming to town for a week of debauchery and trading before heading back out into the wild. Now, it’s one of the few social events worth leaving your house for in winter. If you can’t see giant ice sculptures and dogsled races, there’s no point in getting bundled up, right?
3. Sarah Palin.
Maybe you won’t miss the woman who helped remind people that Alaska was still a little bit wild and weird. Don’t worry: even if you leave, everyone will still ask you if she was was your next-door neighbor when you lived here.
4. Moose crossings.
You’ll never have to drive in mild terror that around the next bend will be a leggy brown terror standing in the middle of the road.
5. Having to fly basically everywhere.
No matter where you lived, you had to fly to get anywhere, it’s going to be hard to leave the small-engine planes behind for trains and cars anywhere else in the world.
6. Hiking opportunities.
You already know your favorite hikes where you can get away from the tourists — Flattop is great, but who loves feeling like they’re climbing on a busy two-lane highway? And your hiking buddy is set as a favorite contact on your phone. All you need to do is grab your bear bell before heading out onto the trail and you’re set.
Some folks may call it “spring,” but we know that the season between winter and summer where all the ice and snow turns into a giant slushy mess and the roads turn to brown rivers of mud is a brief but glorious reminder that winter won’t last forever. Ah, sweet disgusting Breakup.
8. Daylight Savings Time.
Most of the rest of the Western world doesn’t know the sheer agony of losing an hour of daylight in autumn, nor the unbounded joy of an additional hour of light in the spring. It may take several years for your brain and body to adjust to the arbitrary time changes, but that doesn’t stop us from celebrating the time to “spring forward” every March.
9. Fresh Alaskan salmon.
You’ll suddenly understand why people who move away are willing to pay $100 for overnight shipping to the Lower 48 each summer when the salmon run.
10. The midnight sun.
People may wonder how we manage to sleep with all the light outside during the summer, but you know the trick: tin foil. At the same time, moving anywhere else means no more 4am donuts when the sun is already up.
11. No national sports teams.
It’s easy to beg out of debates about who’s going to win the Super Bowl or World Series when you have no team to swear allegiance to. This kind of means you have a lifetime pass for being a bandwagon fan wherever you live next.
12. North Pole.
Even if you’ve never visited, you also won’t be able to brag about living in the same state as Santa anymore.
13. The Northern Lights.
Where else in the U.S. do you willingly step outside in mid-winter to enjoy a vibrant show in the night sky that feels like it’s designed just for you?