Fairbanks Named In Lonely Planet 2013 Top 10 US Destinations SeriesDecember 5, 2012

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(Fairbanks, AK) -- Fairbanks has been named the United States' second best US destination to visit in 2013 by Lonely Planet, the leading travel guidebook publisher and website. The honor is part of Lonely Planet’s annual Top US Destinations series, which recognizes the top 10 U.S. cities and regions that have good reason to welcome visitors in the coming year.

Fairbanks ranked high on the list of travel destinations thanks to a natural wonder, aurora borealis and the peak of an 11 year solar cycle that results in spectacular northern lights displays.

"Each year, US-based editors team up with Lonely Planet's expert authors to compile a list of US destinations that are prime for the next year," said Robert Reid, Lonely Planet’s US Travel Editor, "We wanted to shine a light on 10 places in the US that travelers should add to their wish lists for the coming year. Our 2013 picks are literally all over the map: once-in-a-lifetime northern lights, new top-tier museums, moose trails, Polynesian paradise and barrels of bourbon. Enjoy, and send us a postcard! Have you seen 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".

"Fairbanks has been an aurora destination for decades," said Luke Hopkins, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor, "With a high degree of successful sightings, visitors from all over the world come to Fairbanks each and every year to see spectacular northern lights displays. Our clear, dark nights and global position under the so-called 'Auroral Oval' make this one of the best places on earth to see the aurora borealis". Visitors traveling to Fairbanks in 2013 will not only find the northern lights, but also a variety of events, celebrations, and attractions.

"While seeing the northern lights is a good reason to visit Fairbanks, there are many more winter attractions that should rank high on your to-do list," said Jerry Cleworth, Fairbanks City Mayor. "A whole host of other fascinating activities and events are unveiled during the winter months. From dog mushing to ice sculpting, and snow machining to skiing and more!" In February, the annual Yukon Quest, a 1000 mile sled dog endurance race will run from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory to Fairbanks, and the International Federation of Sled Dog Sports will hold the 2013 World Sled Dog Championships. In March, Ice Alaska will present “Future in Ice,” the World Championships, an annual competition of ice carving that features spectacular sculptures made from two ton blocks of ice.

In summer, the longer days serve as the backdrop for Alaska-sized events like the Midnight Sun Baseball game, the Fairbanks Midnight Sun Festival, and the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics.

The annual Lonely Planet Top US Destinations list is compiled by Lonely Planet's editors and authors. Mr. Reid said that the choices are not based on where travelers are already going but rather are "our pick of where we believe travelers really should consider visiting in 2013."

Here is the entire list for 2013:

  1. Louisville, KY
  2. Fairbanks, AK
  3. San Juan Islands, WA
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. American Samoa
  6. Eastern Sierras, CA
  7. Northern Maine, ME
  8. Twin Cities, MN
  9. Verde Valley, AZ
  10. Glacier National Park, MT
The Top US Destinations list is among the top read articles on www.lonelyplanet.com every year. The website receives over 12m unique visitors each month. Lonely Planet also has over 925,000 Facebook fans (facebook.com/lonelyplanet) and 914,000 Twitter followers (@lonelyplanet).

About the FCVB
The Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau is a non-profit marketing organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of the visitor experience and to contribute to the economic well-being of the Fairbanks region by marketing to potential visitors. The FCVB markets Fairbanks as a year-round destination by promoting local events, attractions and activities to independent travelers, group tour operators, travel agents, meeting planners and the media. Find out more at www.explorefairbanks.com.

About Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel publisher. Started in 1973, we enable curious travelers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place via guidebooks to almost every destination on the planet, an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products and a dedicated traveler community. More at www.lonelyplanet.com.

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