Lonely Planet, the leading travel guidebook publisher and website, has named Fairbanks the United States' second best destination to visit as part of their annual "Top U.S. Destinations" series. This series recognizes the top 10 U.S. cities and regions as places with good reason to welcome visitors in the coming year.
Thanks to the natural wonder, the aurora borealis, Fairbanks ranked high on the list of 2013 travel destinations. Lonely Planet's U.S. Travel Editor, Robert Reid, explains with more detail why this Alaskan city was a top pick.
"Have you seen the aurora borealis (aka the northern lights)? The sensation of seeing Arctic skies crackle with smoky blues, greens, and reds has long drawn off-season travelers way north. 2013 will be big, marking the end of a fiery 11-year-cycle, when sunspots are particularly feisty, making for a big show in the Fairbanks sky 240 nights a year. Go."
Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins also commented on how Fairbanks is a perfect location for catching the northern lights.
"Fairbanks has been an aurora destination for decades," said Hopkins, "Our clear, dark nights and global position under the so-called 'Aurora Oval' make this one of the best places on earth to see the aurora borealis."
Aside from the breathtaking sights, Fairbanks also has a variety of attractions for visitors in the coming year.
"A whole host of other fascinating activities and events are unveiled during the winter months," said Fairbanks City Mayor Jerry Cleworth, "From dog mushing to ice sculpting, and snow machining to skiing and more!"
In February the annual Yukon Quest is held and the 2013 World Sled Dog Championships. In March, Ice Alaska will present the world championships of "Future in Ice," the annual ice carving competition.
In the summer the longer days host Alaska-sized events like the Fairbanks Midnight Sun Festival and the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics.
The annual Lonely Planet Top U.S. Destinations list is compiled by a number of Lonely Planet's editors and authors. According to Reid, the choices are not based on where travelers are already going but rather their pick of where travelers really should consider visiting in 2013.
The number one pick for Lonely Planet's Top U.S. Destinations is Louisville, Kentucky. To see the entire list please click here.
Contact Jessica Ridgway