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Five Biggest Cities in Alaska: How Well Do You Know 'The Last Frontier'?

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM

Alaska, which became the 49th state on Jan. 3, 1959, covers nearly 57.5 million acres, is home to mountains, icebergs, active volcanoes, and some of the country’s most varied terrain. Here is a look at the five biggest cities in the northernmost state:

1. Anchorage – While Juneau is the capital, Anchorage is the largest city with more than 40 percent of the state’s residents (291,826) living there, according to Visit Anchorage. The city of Anchorage is surrounded by mountain ranges, and even Mount McKinley, more than 130 miles away, can be seen when the weather is clear. Sixty glaciers are situated within 50 miles and are a popular tourist destination.

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2. Fairbanks, nicknamed “The Golden Heart of Alaska,” is located north of Anchorage and has a population of 31,535. The city’s moniker refers not only to the discovery of gold there in the early 1900s but to the character of its residents, according to the Fairbanks Visitors Bureau. Fairbanks is less than 200 miles from the Arctic Circle, which means the shortest winter day has fewer than three hours of sunlight and the longest summer day has more than 21 hours of light.

3. Juneau, with a population of 31,275, is not only the capital of Alaska but one if its oldest cities. Most visitors arrive in Juneau on cruise ships, although planes and ferries are other options of reaching the city that cannot be accessed by land, according to Travel Alaska.

The area boasts numerous hiking trails, and some of the region’s most popular attractions, including Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness Area.

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4. Sitka, with a population of 8,881, is located on Sitka Sound, facing the Pacific Ocean. Its Russian heritage is evident in the architecture of domes and gold crosses of Saint Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral, according to Travel Alaska. Visitors can soak in the culture and history with visits to the Russian Blockhouse, Russian Bishop’s House, and Princess Maksoutoff’s Grave, among others.

5. Ketchikan, a city of 8,050, has the distinction of being the southernmost city in Alaska, and is often referred to as Alaska’s “first city” because it's the first place many people come to as they travel Alaska. The city is 31 miles long and has two large harbors and several docks, states Travel Alaska. A historic attraction is Creek Street, a boardwalk road built on pilings over Ketchikan creek. You’re also likely to get wet there — it has an average rainfall of 162 inches.

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Alaska, which became the 49th state on Jan. 3, 1959, covers nearly 57.5 million acres, is home to mountains, icebergs, active volcanoes, and some of the country's most varied terrain. Here is a look at the five biggest cities in the northernmost state.
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Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM
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