• Photo: JimCottingham | Dreamstime.com

North Pole and Salcha

North Pole, 14 miles southeast of Fairbanks, may be a featureless suburb, but you'd have to be a Scrooge not to admit that this town's year-round acknowledgment of the December holiday season is at least a little bit fun to take in. The Santa Claus House Gift Shop (on St. Nicholas Drive, of course) is a must-see stop. Sixteen miles farther along in Salcha, the Knotty Shop is a burl-lover's paradise.

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