Alaska is nothing if not unique. Places like the Doctor Seuss house and events like the Talkeetna Moose Dropping Festival really speak to the quirky nature of Alaska and its residents. Though, if you live in a climate that spends nine months out of the year in dark sub-zero conditions then you need to have a sense of humor just to survive. We have put together a list of three places to stay that don’t take themselves too seriously and we love them for that!
- The Bork Zoo-Retro 60’s Feather and Fur – If you love 60’s architecture, animals, and fun eccentric hosts then this is the airbnb for you! Mike Bork and his wife rent out their fully finished basement to travelers looking for a more local feel when visiting Fairbanks. Full of wood paneling and stone work, plus a fully stocked wet bar, this place will transport you to a time of rabbit ear TVs and beehive hairdos. The Bork Zoo is aptly named, they practically have a full (albeit strange) mushing team with four dogs, four parrots, and an outdoor cat named Bacon. But the hosts are really the reason you should stay here. Mike not only sings and plays the ukulele, but is also a balloon artist, laugh therapist, and a pretty decent chef. If you want a local flavor of Fairbanks, this is the place to stay!
- Burly Man Bunkhouse – This bunkhouse brings to mind a popular saying in Alaska pertaining to the once heavily skewed ratio of men to women, and while the number of men no longer overtakes the women, the sentiment is still appealing. You want to find a husband in Alaska? Well, the odds are good, but the goods are odd! The Burly Man Bunkhouse in Seward embodies this wholeheartedly! This cozy cabin in the woods is decked out in full color portraits of rugged Alaskan men in nothing more than their birthday suits doing manly things like hiking in the snow, playing the guitar in a serene field, fishing, and even horseback riding (yeah that made us cringe too!). This place will satisfy your desire for a quiet Alaskan getaway and the added bonus of some delightful eye candy.
- Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn – You’ll know you’re at the right place by the cutout of two uncomfortable looking humping bears proudly displayed out front. Yes, Alaskans have a bawdy sense of humor. What can we say? It gets us through those frostbitten -40F nights (and days). Skinny Dick’s was once a saw mill in the 50s. The story goes that the sawmill was bough in 1969 and remodeled into a bar called the Halfway House due to it’s location halfway between Fairbanks and Nenana. The bar was sold in the 80s to Richard “Skinny” Hiland who renamed the place Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn. If you want that local bar feeling with the added bonus of purchasing a rude t-shirt with humping polar bears, this place is a win!