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Found next to the Alaska-Canada border in eastern Alaska is the Fairbanks Destination. The most notable city within the region is the city of Fairbanks, which lends itself to the name of the destination. Other towns one can find in the destination include Delta Junction, Dry Creek, and North Pole, among others. Much of the land is designated as state or national parks, such as the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and the Chena River State Recreation Area, where tourists can participate in a number of outdoor activities. Some of these are typical of most national parks, such as hiking, biking, or boating, however additional activities can be undertaken depending on the time of year, including snowshoeing, gold panning, ice hockey, and snowmobiling.[4] The weather throughout the year varies from average temperatures of above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer to below 30 degrees in the winter. Warm-weather travelers might consider traveling to the destination between April and September when days are consistently warm.[3] Additionally, the length of a given day varies depending on the season, with much longer days in the summer and much shorter days in the winter than in other parts of the world. One notable aspect of winters in the Fairbanks Destination includes the opportunity people have to view the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, that are known to appear in the sky between September and April.[7]

What Fairbanks is known for

The Fairbanks Destination is located in the eastern portion of Alaska, bordering Canada’s Northwest Territories province. Fairbanks, the namesake of the destination, is the largest city within the destination. “The Golden Heart of Alaska,” as it has been referred to, is most well known for the Aurora Borealis, or northern nights, that appear at various times during the year a short distance away from the town. These lights typically appear every year between the beginning of September and the end of April.[1] Many people also travel to the region because of the wide variety of winter recreation that one can do there, including more popular sports such as skiing, ice skating, and ice hockey, as well as fairly laidback activities including ice fishing, dog sledding, and viewing outdoor ice sculptures. Many of these pursuits can be done through businesses in Fairbanks that offer guided experiences and tours.[4]

Some of the other cities located within the destination include Salana, Fort Greely, Anderson, Chicken, and the North Pole. The latter city is particularly notable as it is known for the Christmas decorations that are set up year-round and a Santa Claus House that can be visited where a large number of children’s letters to Santa are displayed. Many of these towns are situated along the Tanana River and provide inlets into the water for people to fish or boat along it. The smaller Chena River runs near Fairbanks and guided tours of the river can be taken from downtown Fairbanks upstream. Downtown Fairbanks also features a number of restaurants, museums, historical buildings, and the Golden Heart Plaza, a historic plaza near the city center that is convenient to many of the aforementioned shops.[4]

One of the most unique aspects of the region is how many hours of daylight there are, depending on the time of year. In the summertime, days are longer, with the longest day typically occurring on June the summer solstice. On this day, the sun is generally up for almost 22 hours. The inverse is true for the wintertime where shorter days occur, once again being the shortest on the winter solstice where it is only light for about four hours. This variation evens out in the spring and in the fall when days approach what many would consider "normal length" before transitioning to one of the extremes mentioned.[7] Most tourists who travel to the Fairbanks Destination travel to the region in the summer or the winter, the former consisting mostly of those who buy travel packages to see the region and the latter consisting of those desiring to see the northern lights or participate in winter sports.[1]


The weather conditions in the Fairbanks Destination vary significantly depending on the time of year that people visit. The region experiences temperature highs between 28 degrees and 45 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the winter into spring. During the summer months, the average temperature rises to around 91 degrees. As such, the best time to visit the region is reportedly between April and September, when there is the greatest chance of warm weather and also the greatest amount of precipitation in the year. Many tourists typically travel to the region in July followed by August.[3]

Outside of the city of Fairbanks and some other cities located along the destination’s major through-way Highway 2, much of the region is made up of wilderness. Visitors to the region have the option of exploring a number of state and national parks and reserves, namely the Chena River State Recreation Area, Tanana Valley State Forest, Steese National Conservation Area, and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, with each park offering a number of hiking trails and camping opportunities. A number of rivers also run through the region, namely the Chena River, Yukon River, Charley River, and others. Tourists can canoe or kayak down many of these rivers, provided they have the correct equipment.[4][9]

There are many different animal species that live within the Fairbanks Destination. One of the most notable of these species is moose, with an estimated population of about 500 in the region surrounding Fairbanks. Thanks to the conservation efforts of various local groups, the moose population has doubled over the past ten years.[7] Other animals that can be seen during one’s trip to the area include caribou, fox, black bears, and grizzly bears, among others.[4]


The first people to inhabit the Fairbanks Destination were the Athabascan Peoples, who would hunt in the region. A semi-permanent settlement wasn’t established until 1897 when E.T. Barnette established a temporary trading post near the modern-day location of Fairbanks. Following the discovery of gold in the area, Barnette made plans to create a permanent trading post in the area named Fairbanks, after Indiana senator Charles W. Fairbanks of the same name. Many miners moved to the region to potentially stake their claim on what gold was in the ground surrounding the trading post, and the post was soon established as a town with Barnette as its first mayor.[2]

Much of the town’s early economy was based on gold mining, with agriculture acting as a second major industry. In 1911, the phrase “Fairbanks, Alaska’s Golden Heart” was coined as the city’s slogan, which it has retained to this day. During World War I, however, the city’s economy saw a sharp decline as many of the town’s men were called off to war, halting construction and closing many stores. Following the conflict, a number of projects were started in the region to restart Fairbank’s economic growth, including the construction of both the Alaska Railroad and the University of Alaska four miles west of Fairbanks. When World War II struck, Fairbanks saw the creation of Ladd Army Airfield, where a number of soldiers would practice combat in cold weather conditions. Another airport was built about ten years later, in 1951, Fairbanks International Airport, to serve the civilian population.[2]

Today much of the population of Fairbanks works for some level of government, with about 10,000 residents working in that industry. A considerable number of people also work in the leisure and hospitality industry. Most often the busiest season for tourism occurs during the winter months and the “aurora tourism season,” when the Northern Lights can be seen across the destination. Some of these businesses that locals run include dog mushing tours, photography tours, and aurora viewing facilities, among others.[5] In total, the population is estimated to be just under 33,000 people as of July 2021. [8]

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Fox’ n Fireweed Cabins is located in Tok, Alaska. The business has been owned and operated by the Lee family since 2016. There are a total of five cabins and one main house that sits on five acres of land. The business sits on five acres of land covered in trees that provide the occasional spotting of wildlife such as squirrels, foxes, and moose. Bikes are available for guests to use during their stay, with other amenities including barbeques, fire pits, and hammocks. The premises are located near many walking trails, hikes, and the Tanana Valley State Forest.

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