North Pole Alaska
Visitors to North Pole, Alaska will be glad to know that Santa Claus is alive and well and resides just outside of the city of Fairbanks. Located 13 miles southeast of Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway, it is a popular tourist destination during both summer and winter months.
North Pole got its start as a homestead site in 1944 by Bon V. Davis. Named North Pole in the hopes of bringing in toy manufacturing to the area, it was incorporated as a city in 1953.
One of the main attractions in the area is the famed Santa Claus House. This gift shop was built as a trading post back in the 1950's, and was named Santa Claus House due to its North Pole location and the owner, Con Miller, playing Santa each year to the village children. Each year, they offer original "Letters from Santa" that are mailed out all over the country, as well as holiday gifts year round.
Other events and activities in North Pole include the yearly North Pole Summer Festival, held on July 4, as well as the nearby Chena Lakes Recreation area, which has campgrounds, picnic areas, swimming and canoe or kayak rentals available. Other travel and tourist information is available at the North Pole Visitors Center, located on the Richardson Highway and Mission Avenue. There are plenty of restaurants in both the North Pole and Fairbanks areas, as well as many choices in accommodations. For more information, go to www.northpolealaska.com.
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