Thursday, February 21, 2008

Retiring In Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska, 358 miles north of Anchorage (by way of the Parks Highway), likes to think that it (instead of Delta) is the end of the Alaska Highway. Its central location makes it the focal point for the tiny villages scattered throughout the surrounding wilderness, and Fairbanks is a staging point for North Slope villages such as Barrow and the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay. Yet, unlike Anchorage, it still retains its down home "frontier" feel. It is contained within the North Star Borough, similar to a county, but which is roughly the size of New Jersey

Climate: Interior temperatures range from 65 degrees below zero in the winter to 90 degrees above in the summer. Gardening is big in the Interior.

Population: As of the census of 2000, there were 30,224 people.

Transportation: Regularly scheduled jet flights are available at the state-owned Fairbanks International Airport. An 11,800-foot (3,597 meter) asphalt runway, heliport, and seaplane landing strip are available.

Taxes: There is not a sales tax.

Things to do and see: Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge
Georgeson Botanical Garden
Pioneer Park
University of Alaska Museum of the North
Riverboat Discovery

Health Care: Local hospitals or health clinics include Fairbanks Memorial Hospital; Interior Community Health Center; Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center; Bassett Army Community Hospital/Fort Wainwright.

Universities: Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the oldest college in Alaska.

Housing Costs: Estimated median house/condo value in 2005: $145,800 (it was $126,400 in 2000)

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