FAIRBANKS, ALASKA



Fairbanks

Fairbanks is the gateway to your authentic Alaska adventure. Come be energized in summer's land of midnight sun. See award-winning exhibits of Alaska's cultural and natural history. Shop for exquisite Alaska Native crafts. Celebrate our Gold Rush past and be enthralled by winter's unsurpassed display of northern lights. Go mushing with a dog team or view the artistry of larger-than-life-sized ice sculptures. From our riverfront location, a variety of tours transport you to the edge of the Last Frontier, Denali and the Arctic wilderness.

The frontier spirit that helped create Fairbanks is still strong today and is part of what makes Alaska's second largest city such a thriving community. Many of the local events and attractions can provide access to the rich natural and cultural history of the Interior. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Museum of the North, newly expanded and recognized as one of the state's best
museums.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks also provides opportunities to experience Alaska's wildlife at the Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station and at the Georgeson Botanical Gardens.

Pioneer Park, an historic themed park, allows visitors to literally stroll into the past. Cabins and other buildings, including the first Episcopal Church and the home of Judge James Wickersham were relocated to create the feeling of a turn of the century town. You may also tour the historic sternwheeler Nenana, try your hand at gold-panning, shop or just stroll through town.

You can take ride on a still-in-service sternwheeler too and experience for yourself how the rivers were Alaska's original highway system.

Fairbanks is also host to many species of migrating birds and Creamers Field Migratory Bird Refuge offers an excellent place to catch a glimpse of our feathered commuters. The Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival in the fall offers another spectacular viewing opportunity.

Winter provides a wealth of activities and sights to see from snowmobiling and cross-country skiing to dog mushing and ice fishing. The aurora borealis, nature's light show, illuminates the nights and is generally visible from September until the beginning of April.

Alaskan huskies love to run and Fairbanks offers many mushing races for them to compete in. The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, known as the world's toughest, takes place in February. The Open North American Championship occurs in March as does the Limited North American Championship, which attracts top sprint mushers from North America and beyond.

Also in March, ice sculptors from all over the world come to compete in the World Ice Art Championships. Teams turn blocks of crystal clear ice, "The Arctic Diamond," into beautiful creations from the traditional to the abstract.

There are also many opportunities to experience the Interior's rich Native Cultural heritage including the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics in July. This traditional competition brings participants from around the world to test their skill in a variety of events, all based on proficiency in skills that are needed for day-to-day life in rural Alaska. The Olympics is considered a time to gather, dance, compete, tell stories and renew friendships. The Festival of
Native Arts in March offers three days of traditional Alaska Native singing, dancing and crafts displays.

Other events and attractions of note -- Golden Days in July celebrates the discovery of gold in the Interior; Midnight Sun Festival celebrating the longest day of the year; Midnight Sun Baseball Game played at 10:30 p.m. without artificial lighting.

There are great places to camp, hike and explore. Even with the sun up for 21 1/2 hours, you will run out of daylight before you run out of things to do.

Population: 30,970 in the City of Fairbanks, 87,560 including the Fairbanks North Star Borough and the City of North Pole.

Location: Located centrally in the heart of Alaska, Fairbanks is the gateway for travel to the Brooks Range and Arctic Coastal Plain and to communities such as Fort Yukon, Coldfoot, Bettles, Anaktuvuk Pass and Nome. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is easily accessible by small plane, and the famous Dalton Highway, also known as the North Slope Haul Road, can be traveled by those with a thirst for adventure.

Access: Fairbanks is easily accessed by plane, rail or road. Daily jet service is available from many US cities and offers scheduled or charter service to Europe and Asia. Japan Airlines offers 3 direct winter flights, and Frankfurt-based Condor Airlines offers weekly direct flights during summer. The Alaska Railroad connects Fairbanks to Denali National Park, Anchorage, Whittier and Seward. The Alaska Highway offers road access via Canada, and the George Parks Highway links Fairbanks to Anchorage.

Accommodations: There are approximately 3,300 rooms available in Fairbanks and the surrounding area.

Luciano Mende

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