Chena Hot Springs

Nature is the star all along the road from Fairbanks that leads to the Chena Hot Springs Resort, and even there it remains center stage thanks to the area's relaxing hot springs. The resort uses 165°F spring water to power three turbines, a feat that initially shocked geothermal experts who believed that water temperatures must be at least 220°F. This free source of power allows the resort to run greenhouses through the –40°F winters. The daily 2 pm and 4 pm free Renewable Energy tours end at these productive greenhouses, where row upon row of lettuce—up to 25 heads a day—and five varieties of tomatoes thrive off a hydroponic, or soil-free, system. Order a salad at the resort's restaurant and taste the special flavor of local, fresh-picked greens.

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