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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cities and towns around the world are putting on a light show to welcome the holidays. Thousands of twinkling lights will adorn the windows of homes and shops along with massive, sparkling trees in town squares signaling the arrival of the yuletide season. It’s a festive sight to see.

Northern Lights at the 7 Gables Inn & Suites courtesy of Makato UnamiNorthern Lights at the 7 Gables Inn & Suites courtesy of Makato Unami

Mother Nature is putting on her own light show, but this one lasts from November all the way to March. The bright streams of green and hints of pink that make up the phenomenal northern lights are a true spectacle. Also known as the aurora borealis, it was named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Borealis. So, how do the lights occur? Massive amounts of particles are thrown from the sun and deep into space during large solar explosions. Some of these particles meet the earth’s magnetic shield and are led to a circle around the magnetic North Pole. These particles then interact with the upper layers of the atmosphere and when the energy is released, the spectacular northern lights are revealed!

Dale & Jo View SuitesDale & Jo View Suites

Fairbanks, AK, is one of the best locations in the world to view the lights as they dance across the winter sky. In fact, some of the Alaska bed and breakfasts in town will provide a front row seat to these energetic veils. Located in the downtown area, 7 Gables Inn & Suites offers a variety of cozy suites, penthouses and cottages. The day can be spent downhill or cross-country skiing followed by evenings admiring the northern lights from the comforts of the inn. Enjoy panoramic views of the Alaska Range along the rushing waters of the Chena and Tanana Rivers at Dale & Jo View Suites. You have the option of staying in one of the relaxing guest rooms or enjoying all the conveniences of home in the vacation apartment. With your own private entrance, you can step out and catch a glimpse of the northern lights from the wraparound sidewalk or cozily view them from the comfort of your own bed.

The northern lights activity is cyclical, peaking every 11 years; 2013 is said to be the next peak period. So if you’re looking for a unique getaway in the New Year, you may want to make plans to head north towards the light.

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