Barrow is located 320 miles (515 km) north of the Arctic Circle on the Arctic Ocean in Arctic Alaska. The town has about 4,500 people and holds the distinction of being the northernmost settlement in the United States and the northernmost settlement on the North American mainland. The residents are 61% Iñupiat Eskimo with a very international mix of American, Filipino, Samoan/Tongan, Korean, Thai, Mexican, Hawaiian, and others added. You can expect to hear 5 or 6 languages spoken on any day. Physically it covers about 21 square miles, and is divided into two parts (Barrow and Browerville) separated by a lagoon. Ilisagvik College is located at the site of the old Naval Arctic Research Lab (NARL) about 6 miles towards Point Barrow. The Point is about 12 miles from town and about 2 miles past the end of the road.
Under the Köppen Climate Classification system, Barrow falls under a polar climate. This means very cold and long winters, and short, cool, summers. If you plan to travel here for winter, bundle up. Wind chills easily fall under -30 Fahrenheit. (-34 Celsius). Highs in the summer are usually around 40.
Barrow is very small, and is actually a flat desert that almost never receives large amounts of snow. So it's easy to get around by foot even in the winter. During the colder months, you can walk directly across the frozen freshwater lagoons. Just bundle up and beware of the wind chill!
Walking in Barrow is great fun, as is checking out the beach directly in front of town. However, do not walk past the edge of town on the beach going south and do not walk either the road or the beach going north towards NARL/Ilisagvik/Point Barrow! And if you do see a Polar Bear stay at least 100 yards away, and preferably in a vehicle. Polar Bears absolutely will eat you.
UIC Car Rental, located near the Barrow Airport, provides car rentals. Availability can be limited during peak times. +1 907 852-2700. Gasoline can also be very expensive, as the price is set only once per year.
The city bus runs Monday thru Friday 7AM-7PM and can be a good option for daily commutes. Visitors, however, will probably be happier taking cabs due to the convenience, as well as the fact that cab fare for a group of 2 or more people will end up costing less money because the bus charges per person.
There are a number of decent restaurants in the Barrow/Browerville area. Expect to pay approximately $15-20+ per meal at most restaurants.
Arctic Pizza 125 Apayauq St, +1 907 852-4222. Good food and a terrific view of the Arctic Ocean.
Arctic Thai 5146 Herman St, Browerville, +1 907-852-5719.
Northern Lights Restaurant 5122 Herman St, Browerville, +1 907 852-3300. Has a very comfortable, clean dining room and is operated by a charming family. Their menu goes on and on, with the owner's own Chinese food, plus deli selections and burgers, and great pizza.
Orties Filipino Fast Food Barrow, +1 907 852-5721.
Pepe's North of the Border 1204 Agvik St, +1 907 852-8200. (Burned Down 30 August 2013) The most famous place in town thanks to an appearance owner Fran Tate made with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show some 20 years ago. They serve large portions of familiar American-style Mexican food, steak, and seafood. The bus tours come here for lunch and Tate hands out souvenirs. Be sure to sign up for their Christmas card list, they'll send you a unique card and gift.
Sam and Lee's Chinese Restaurant 1052 Kogiak St, +1 907 852-5555. <http://www.samandlees.com> A family owned business, the oldest restaurant in Barrow, with the largest menu (see the web page) and the longest hours, it closes at 2AM and opens again at 6AM.
Shogun Teriyaki House 1906 Pakpuk St, +1 907 852-2276. Good food and close to the airport.
Stuaqpak Food Court AC Value Center (shopping center/general store) deli.
East Coast Pizzeria, 507 Kongosak St (On the corner of Ogrook and Kongosak), ☎ +1 907 852-2100. Pizza, philly cheesesteaks, salads, and spaghetti.edit
Quick Stop 24. little grocery opened till 12 am. Very expensive but convenient.edit
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