Fairbanks is called the Golden Heart of Alaska began as a mining town at the center of the largest territories in the United States. In 1902 an Italian immigrant, Felix Pedro was credited with finding gold here. At the same time, Captain E.T. Barnette build a trading post on the banks of the Chena River thus allowing Fairbanks to become incorporated by a 75% majority vote in 1903. Fairbanks is the gateway to the interior of Alaska and the extensive Arctic. The population of Fairbanks proper is 31,000 but swells to almost 97,000 when you include the surrounding Fairbanks North Star Borough. It is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the oldest college in Alaska. Here you will see modern day buildings along side historic log cabins. People travel by limousine or dog sled.


Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year on June 21st brings lots of entertainment to this city. During the celebration of the midnight sun, where there is daylight for 24 hours, the biggest event drawing over 3,000 people is the Midnight Sun Run. It pulls in elite runners to just those out to visit with friends and family. The race begins at 10:00pm but there is no need for artificial light, as the summer sun shines brightly overhead. Prizes are given to not only the top finishing racers, but to the best costume division and the best Couch Potato (cheering section). There have been annual boat races and a baseball tournament that has been going on since 1906. Just as you have the summer solstice with 24 hours or daylight, they also have the winter solstice with 24 hours of darkness on December 21.


Fairbanks is one of the best places on earth for viewing the beautiful Northern Lights. They occur most often between August and April. If you stay for more than 3 nights, you have a 80% chance of seeing them. The aurora are curtains of light in yellow, green, red, or even purple that light up the night sky. Clear skies and darkness are essential for viewing. Displays will show up as low as 40 miles from the Earth's surface, but are typically 68 miles above and they extend far into space.

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The gold rush was on in Fairbanks and you can still participate in the rush of panning for gold in town today. During the 30 years of operation from 1928 to 1959 Gold Dredge #8 took in more than 7 million ounces of gold. Fairbanks is home to the largest public display of gold in the state at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Discover another reason that Fairbanks is called the 'Golden Heart' city, its people. Golden Heart Greeters are local people from Fairbanks that love their city so much, they want to make the most of your visit to Fairbanks. Matching a greeter to your interests you are met by the local in a public place for 1-2 hours so that they may share all the riches of their town with you. They are part of a Global Greeter Network where you can find people in other cities doing this same volunteer job. Some other cities include: Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York and many more.

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With the vast wilderness just outside the city, you will never be short of activities to engage in. Watching the wildlife, canoeing on a river, or just staring at the great vast wilderness you will be in love with Fairbanks.