Fairbanks, located in the center of Alaska (the Alaska Interior), is the second-largest city in the state with about 35,000 residents. Fairbanks is known as the "Golden Heart of Alaska," referring to the discovery of gold in 1902, as well as its location at the center of the state -- but residents like to say it's also a description of their fine generous characters. Just 188 miles south of the Arctic Denali, the people of Fairbanks enjoy long summer days, but may only see a few hours of daylight in winter. Winters are harsh with temperatures sometimes reaching 65 degrees below zero, but summers are warm and may hit 90 degrees. Fairbanks is one of the best places for viewing the northern lights.
Fairbanks' economy is based, in part, on the city's abundance of natural resources. Oil and natural gas, forestry, and agriculture are all staples. Due to the long summer days in Fairbanks, the growing season is actually quite productive. Fairbanks has access to multiple forms of transportation, including trucks, trains, planes, and barges, giving it easy access to cargo transportation. These shipping options further enrich the city's economy.
The military presence in Fairbanks cannot be overlooked. Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright are both located in close proximity. In addition, the government, including federal, state, and city, is a major employer in Fairbanks. Fairbanks is actively seeking to become the premier research and technology hub of the north, and this has the potential to be extremely lucrative. There are already several projects underway, including programs to assist entrepreneurs with intellectual property and technological development. Fairbanks has some of the best weather in Alaska, along with spectacular scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities making it a popular tourism destination.
The cost of living in Fairbanks is lower than that of most other cities in Alaska, although it is still higher than the national average. There are several districts within the city of Fairbanks:
The majority of Fairbanks' recreational activities revolve around its natural landscape:
The Fairbanks area has several post-secondary schools:
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