Since the gold rush era of the early 1900s, the City of Fairbanks has continued to grow. Located near the convergence of the Tanana and Chena Rivers, the town was originally founded as a trading post serving stern-wheeler riverboats and early gold prospectors. The town still plays an important supply role in Alaska due to its proximity to the Arctic region and North Slope oil fields. Today, Fairbanks is a popular tourist destination, presenting visitors with gold rush history and the natural beauty of Mount McKinley and the Alaskan countryside.
North Pole, Alaska
North Pole was homesteaded in 1944, which was later subdivided and named after Santa's home. The name was selected to attract the toy industry to manufacture articles made in "North Pole". Unfortunately, the idea failed to expound, but North Pole has continued to grow. There is continued interest to develop North Pole as a theme city, "Where the spirit of Christmas lives year round". Many streets bear holiday names, while streetlights are decorated in candy cane motifs and many buildings are painted with Christmas colors and designs. The Santa Claus house, the "official" home of Santa Claus greets all visitors who pass through the city on the Richardson Highway.
Fairbanks and North Pole's weather presents lots of sun and very definite seasons. Winter extremes of 40 degrees below zero are balanced by summer days in the 70s and 80s, noting the area as one of the world's widest temperature range. Autumn offers rush of color, as tamarack, aspen and birch transform the hills to vivid yellow. Spring comes with a rush of melting snow, followed closely by May's emerging buds.
People of Fairbanks and North Pole are outdoor enthusiasts and few places offer such a playground. Plenty of rivers and lakes are available to fisherman, boaters, water skiers, and swimmers, while joggers and cyclists take advantage of local parks and trails in all seasons. Cross-country ski trails are among the best in the country, snowmobilers take advantage of the miles of trails and downhill skiers and snowboarders can enjoy three ski areas. Hunting and fishing are popular pastimes, presenting world-renowned salmon, trout, moose, caribou and grouse, to name a few.
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