Soak up the midnight sun in Alaska’s second-largest city. A gold-mine tour lets you step back into the past, while the cutting-edge university looks toward the future. In 1901, when prospector E.T. Barnette accidentally ended up here, he could hardly have envisioned today's Fairbanks: His gold strike drew frantic diggers who helped grow the town into Alaska's second-largest city. Today, you can step back in time to tour gold mines and check out the world of tomorrow at the city's cutting-edge university. Then soak up the unique flora and fauna, flight-hop up to the Arctic Circle, or just wander downtown Fairbanks and experience this proudly quirky town that still holds onto its fiercely independent roots.