Do you want to visit the North Pole? No, not the one in Santa’s workshop – we’re talking about North Pole, Alaska! This charming city is located just south of Fairbanks and is a great place to spend a few days. There are plenty of things to do in North Pole, from visiting the local zoo to going on a dogsledding tour. You’ll also find some great restaurants and shops in this small town. If you’re looking for a winter getaway, be sure to add North Pole to your list! Join the Tradeshow Travel Company as we learn about North Pole, Alaska.
History of North Pole, Alaska
What started as some homesteads in the late 1940s became an incorporated city in 1953. Originally named for the Davis Railroad running alongside the sprawling developments, North Pole received its name from developers. While there were military outposts and refineries in the area, the developers hoped to draw toy factories to the area by claiming their toys were made at (or near) Santa’s workshop. Unfortunately, no toy makers moved in.
Things to do in North Pole, Alaska
North Pole is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. In the winter, cross-country skiing and dog sledding are popular activities. And in the summer, you can enjoy hiking, fishing, and camping. North Pole is also home to the Santa Claus House, where you can get your photo taken with Santa and buy Christmas gifts.
Santa Claus House
The Santa Claus House is one of the most beloved attractions in the city. What started as a post office, soda fountain, and general store all at once has grown into a Christmas extravaganza. Endlessly lengthy rows of ornaments and toys fill up the store. Letters to Santa from children worldwide line the walls. The real Kris Kringle is always on hand to listen to youngsters’ holiday wishes, and visitors can even see a life-size statue of Saint Nick himself standing 42 feet tall outside! Millions come from around the world to visit this Yuletide wonderland every year.
Chena Lake Recreation Area
Did you know that the Chena Lake Recreation Area not only offers activities in two different sections – Lake Park and River Park – but also has 80 campsites, 21 of which are pull-throughs? If picnicking is more your speed, don’t worry! There are multiple day-use sites complete with tables, fire rings, and rentable pavilions. And if fishing or boating sounds like fun to you, Chena Lake has got you covered there too with its fishing docks, boat launches, and sandy beaches. For those who don’t love water-based activities, fear not! There is also a 4.5-kilometer self-guided nature trail at Lake Park. And in the winter, we still have plenty of fun with rentable ice houses, cross-country ski trails, and multi-use trails for snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding.
Northern Lights Viewing
Viewing the Northern Lights is a top priority for many visitors of North Pole. The best time to see them is between late August and late April, with the peak season being from December through February. People come from near and far during this time in order to experience the ethereal beauty firsthand. Fairbanks is an excellent choice for watching the aurora borealis thanks to its location inland and lack of pollutants in the air.
The Winter Festival
The small town goes ablaze with joyous month-long activities during December for the annual Winter Festival. Every year, people from all around swarm to see the astonishing ice sculptures, partake in fun winter events and witness a beautiful fireworks show. This time of year is also special because national TV newscasts Broadcast live from Santa Claus House annually. The North Pole Post Office sees an influx of more than 400,000 letters addressed to “Santa Clause, North Pole Alaska” just in this single season! And every letter receives a reply back thanks to the teamwork of volunteers within the community.
Near the North Pole City is a replica of a homesteader’s cabin as well as the town’s beloved totem pole. Also near City Hall, Beaver Spring Nature Trail provides citizens with a half-mile path through northern conifer forests to North Pole Park. Terry Miller Memorial Park, located on Santa Claus Lane, features picnic areas and playgrounds for children to explore.