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Fairbanks AlaskaFairbanks, Alaska, which is situated just outside the Arctic Circle, was founded in 1901 by E. T. Barnette whose intention was to make Fairbanks a trading post. It became a hot spot for gold prospectors, but its agriculture soon became a vital industry for the state. It marks the end of the Alaska Highway that runs from Canada, but not the end of interesting things to see and do. Alaska is famous for the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, and Fairbanks boasts a spectacular display that draws tourists from all over. For those not accustomed to extreme weather, be prepared to bundle up. Temperatures can dip to -70 Fahrenheit in winter. An event not to miss is the annual Ice Festival in March. Craftsmen compete to create stunning ice sculptures and the city streets become trails for sled-dog races. Visit the Aurora Ice Museum at the Chena Hot Springs Resort where everything is made of ice. Even drinks are served in ice glasses. Stay in one of its four hotel rooms and sleep on a bed carved from ice. In shocking contrast to Fairbank's frigid winters, summers can reach temperatures into the 90's. The season is short and you won't be needing your parka. As summer progresses, days become longer with up to 21 hours of daylight. Be sure to catch the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics in July to watch competitions in art, dance, and various sports, many quite unconventional. Take a riverboat tour from the Chena and Tanana Rivers to the Chena Indian Village. Fairbanks is rich in outdoor beauty and activities. All year-round you can explore the surrounding wilderness, go camping, or take a dip in the Chena hot springs. Take in the Pioneer Theme Park and the University of Alaska Museum for a unique look at Alaska's history.

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