Rooftops at Nome, Alaska
Photo by: Sir Mildred Pierce, Creative Commons

Not too many towns can say that their name came from a typo error. Fortunately for Nome, Alaska, this lore definitely makes for interesting trivia. As the legend goes, a British mapmaker misread a map annotation wherein an officer who traveled along the Bering Strait region wrote “Name” beside a nameless cape. Instead of “Name,” however, the mapmaker indicated it as “C. Nome” (Cape Nome) instead. That’s just one of the many theories by the residents of Nome about the origin of their town’s name.

Nome has figured prominently in Alaska’s Gold Rush history. During the Gold Rush, discovery of gold at the sands along the coast of Nome’s beaches caused a surge in the population. In a span of one year, the population ballooned to 10,000 and is even estimated to have reached twice that in a space of ten years. A large gold pan along with statues of the Three Lucky Swedes who first uncovered Nome’s gold can be visited between Bering Street and Seppala Road.

Aptly enough, the best time to make a visit to Nome is during the winter season. The adventurous would especially enjoy Nome during the winter because of the vast landscape. There are also numerous events and activities lined up during winter like sled dog rides and races. As the final stop in the world famous Iditarod Sled Dog race, it’s only fitting that Nome ends it with a bang by holding two weeks’ worth of celebrations for locals and their visitors. Another must-see in Nome is the Aurora Borealis; nature’s much anticipated light show visible during the months of November until March.

For the foodies, it’s an imperative that you stop by the local seafood stores to buy the much sought after Norton Sound King Crab as this is probably the only place you can score these crabs for a bargain price.

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