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Old 06-26-2015, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Georgia
5 posts, read 4,506 times
Reputation: 14

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I've been lurking around the boards for a while now and finally decided to post a question. My husband may have a great job opportunity in either Soldotna or Fairbanks. In my research, it seems people favor the Soldnota area over Fairbanks. I know both have pros and cons. I would like to hear your opinions as well. I really would like to hear some pros of living in Fairbanks, as I mostly have just heard cons (cold, mosquitoes, cost of living).

We understand the high cost of living and are ready for that transition. The hubby will be receiving a substantial pay increase and I will keep my job and work from home. We also understand the weather. Even though we live in GA now (toooo hot!), we have lived in CO, WY, and SD (all of which we loved). We don't mind the cold and snow.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,433 posts, read 3,554,450 times
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I personally would pick Soldotna over Fairbanks. I lived for Fairbanks for three months. I didn't hate it, but the winters are pretty limiting. They do get some beautiful summers even if they are short.
Is there any chance to come visit first and get a general impression of each place?
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:55 PM
 
Location: NP
573 posts, read 775,711 times
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To me, Soldotna is more isolated than Fairbanks. I can catch a flight to a lot of Alaska destinations, the Lower 48 or even international destinations out of FIA. In Soldotna, I believe you must drive to Kenai first, then fly to Anchorage from there or drive for a couple of hours to Anchorage before you can really get anywhere else. Of course, you may be perfectly content to never go anywhere else, but I've always been the wandering type myself.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Deltana, AK
854 posts, read 1,495,620 times
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Yes, Fairbanks is a larger community with more services, though still small enough to live "out in the woods" if you're on the outskirts. As was already said, the airport is a major issue for some people, partly because the road between Soldotna and Anchorage can be unsafe to drive in the winter.

For me, the weather was a major consideration in choosing the interior. Personally, my least favorite weather conditions are low clouds and drizzle for days on end, which is common in southcentral Alaska and relatively rare up here. The smoke that's been hanging over us the last week cancels it out some years however...

In other ways, Soldotna is probably the better choice between the two.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5 posts, read 4,506 times
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We are planning a visit to Anchorage in September to talk to the potential employer. We plan on spending at least one day in Soldotna and 2-3 days in Fairbanks. It will give us a feel for the towns and more info to make a decision.

Keep the opinions coming, I really enjoy getting as much local feedback as possible.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:36 PM
 
1,916 posts, read 2,406,706 times
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Soldotna or Kenai, for many reasons.

Weather-the peninsula is far more temperate, and there is natural gas in the area.

Mountains/scenery-the mountains are better on the peninsula.

Fishing-Cook Inlet and the Kenai river are right out the back door, and on those days when the sun comes out, the beach at the mouth of the Kenai is pretty good as AK beaches go.

And that flight to Los Anchorage from Kenai is only half an hour, hardly time to even sit down.

I'm thinking of a reason to even like Fairbanks.......nope. Nothing.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,217 posts, read 1,858,108 times
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I'm not the biggest fan of fairbanks proper, but the areas outside in the hills are really nice in places. I also like the weather in fairbanks better. Soldotna may have milder temps but that comes with more drizzle and overcast skies as already mentioned.

Soldotna isn't bad but the traffic during fishing tourist season can be brutal. I would prefer the areas outside of either town vs living right in either town. If I had to pick one or the other I would pick fairbanks and I would live at least off chena hot springs road and preferably all the way into fox.

Fairbanks also has multiple roads leading out of town and wins hands down for northern lights viewing.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
15,695 posts, read 25,308,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
I'm not the biggest fan of fairbanks proper, but the areas outside in the hills are really nice in places. I also like the weather in fairbanks better. Soldotna may have milder temps but that comes with more drizzle and overcast skies as already mentioned.

Soldotna isn't bad but the traffic during fishing tourist season can be brutal. I would prefer the areas outside of either town vs living right in either town. If I had to pick one or the other I would pick fairbanks and I would live at least off chena hot springs road and preferably all the way into fox.

Fairbanks also has multiple roads leading out of town and wins hands down for northern lights viewing.
The last time I was around Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula was perhaps 30 years ago. Back toward the early '70s the roads were not so crowded when driving from Anchorage toward Homer and Seward. That was back then.

What i like about Fairbanks is that one can drive out of it in different directions. One can take a long drive on the Richardson past Delta Juntion, or Tok, or Canada for that matter, or just South toward Valdez while enjoying the view of the Rainbow Mountains among the few. One can also turn right on the Denali Highway at Paxon, and make it across to the Parks in Cantwell.

While the view along the Sterling Highway out of Anchorage is quite beautiful, it's quite dangerous with the amount of traffic, and the views aren't wide open with lots of pull-offs like it is on the Richardson.

That said, Fairbanks too is getting too crowded, so my recommendation to the OP is Soldotna.
----------------
With all the kidding aside: The main problem in Fairbanks is the very cold and long winters, and also the lack of scenery. But drive out of the city toward Birch Hill, Chatanika, Fox, North Pole, etc., and it looks quite rural. If you like taking photos of the Auroras from mid September through March, Fairbanks and the surrounding areas is the place to be at.

Last edited by RayinAK; 06-27-2015 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 11,380,590 times
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Both places have their pluses. Fairbanks has great summers and cold winters. Sold orbs gets a lot more snow but not the cold. There are a few big box stores, but nothing like Fairbanks.

But having lived in both places, it's a toss up. So go for the higher pay!
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:50 PM
 
82 posts, read 63,788 times
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Fairbanks is a larger city with direct flights to the lower 48. Summers can be fairly hot and winters are frigid. With all due respect, I don't think winter in CO, WY, SD gives you much perspective on Interior AK. Heating bills in Fairbanks are higher too (no local gas supply) leading to air pollution as people use fireplaces to save money.

That being said, I think Fairbanks is actually prettier in the winter and the skiing (XC, anyway) is very good. Soldotna gets crazy in the summer with the salmon run. Both places have some good qualities (though I am biased in favour of Anchorage) and I would move to either for the right job.
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