A Bar With A View Of Russia, One Made Of Ice And One Of The State’s Oldest Watering Holes
Every corner of this world has a fascinating and unique relationship with alcohol, but perhaps none more so than Alaska.
This remote and freezing cold U.S. state is actually closer to Russia, which brought liquor to the region way back in 1741. Since then, Alaska has banned consumption of alcohol twice before fully legalizing it in 1933.
This state has some of the world’s oldest bars, each with a unique and charming character, that transports visitors back in time. These establishments offer a diverse range of alcohol from Alaskan wine to Russian vodka and Kentucky bourbon.
It also has some weird and wonderful bars and here are my three favorites.
Ketchikan is an Alaskan town with a proud history of rowdy bars. With a population of just 8,000, this town was once home to more than 60 bars. The oldest and most famous is the Arctic Bar. Surrounded by black bears, wolves, waterfalls, mountains and glaciers, a humble wooden pub was built in 1937. Barely changed since, the modern bar has 19 beers on tap, as well as the best Bloody Marys in Alaska. Hearty and warm comfort food such as mac and cheese and cheeseburgers are served here.
Aurora Ice Museum
With a booming oil-based economy leading to the emergence of large shopping malls, Alaska boasts many tourist activities. This offers the modern traveler access to a bustling city life, nestled within the mountains and lakes. It is, however, the museums that really make Alaska a fascinating place to visit. One of the most interesting and popular spots is the Aurora Ice Museum in Fairbanks.
Filled with ice sculptures which survive year round, this is a beautiful and enchanting attraction. For pub lovers, however, check out the bar. Lit up to look like the Northern Lights, the bar is carved entirely out of ice. So too are the beer glasses. This is one of the best places to catch the Aurora Borealis, so you can connect with nature’s most spectacular sights, while enjoying a cold one with your friends.
Board of Trade Saloon
With a population of less than 4000, Nome is typical of many small Alaskan towns. Located by the Bering Sea, and almost with a view of Russia, this a freezing cold settlement nestled in the wilderness. If you need somewhere to take shelter, however, check out the Board of Trade Saloon. Established in 1898, this is a genuine Wild West cowboy saloon and probably the oldest saloon in the whole of Alaska. The whole town still maintains that 19th Century old West atmosphere, though this bar is a safe and friendly environment for all. The history is palpable, but the dancefloor gives the establishment a lively and modern edge.
Alaska is a dream for the pub-going adventurer looking for weird and wild bars in exciting places. Across the small towns are little-known bars steeped in American and Russian history. This unique environment has given rise to a diverse and fascinating range of drinking holes that offer an experience like no other.