Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Town of Living Trees is a locally owned chainsaw carving studio that quickly grew into one of the biggest tourist attractions on the peninsula. Owned by Scott Hanson, an award-winning carver, each creation is crafted from wood that’s been killed by beetles or other pests. Hanson turns the “dead” trees into seemingly gorgeous, living creations ranging from moose and bears to puffins and trees.

Here, you’ll find the only Alaskan Animal Carousel in existence and have the chance to clamor up the biggest chair in the world at over ten feet tall. Live chainsaw demonstrations take place regularly, and the gift shop is teeming with some of the most breathtaking, lifelike creations you’ve ever seen. Hanson is available for commissioned pieces, too.

A Different Kind of Carving This Thanksgiving

Cameras are encouraged, and visitors are welcome to explore the sprawling 22-acre land. Located at mile 91.7 on the Sterling Highway, you’ll find the Town of Living Trees right outside Soldotna. Hanson began his work in the early 90s when a fierce storm fell a number of trees at his parent’s farm in Minnesota. His first creation was a garden gnome, gifted to his mom.

He moved to Alaska in 1996 to help his brother with Iditarod racing, and a year later established his first carving business. Today’s business was founded in 2004. It’s a place where families are welcome and is conveniently located near the True Blue Drive Thru, known for the best coffee in town.