Best Places to Visit in Fairbanks
A unique community in Alaska’s vast interior is the city of Fairbanks. An ideal base for epic adventures and cultural attractions, Fairbanks is for those seeking long summers with the midnight sun or chasing the cold northern lights. So close to the Arctic Circle, travelers can easily reach Fairbanks for adventures only up close. But they will hurt themselves. Around the remote city, you’ll find cultural and historical highlights showcasing town life in Fairbanks.
For those looking to brave the winter, Fairbanks is an incredible year-round destination. Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Fairbanks and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Fairbanks
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Fairbanks:
1. Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center
The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center is the ideal first stop to explore events and get excited about your time in Fairbanks. This is a free center with a wealth of information and history. This makes it an immediate choice for travelers, so leave no stone unturned in your adventures.
If you’re worried that you finished your to-do list in the wrong season, don’t worry. Check out the short walking museum that explains which season is best for different activities. Overwhelmed by all the possibilities and brochures? A quick chat with one of the staff members for advice will help ensure your trip is the way you want it to be.
2. Pioneer Park
For the perfect mix of excitement and history, you’ll want to add Pioneer Park to your itinerary. Best described as half theme park and half historic park, Pioneer Park aims to showcase Fairbank’s history through multiple museums and events. It includes a playground, carousel, and a wraparound train. It’s easy to see what a fun, family-friendly day at the park could look like.
You’ll also find a simulated gold rush town and pioneer cabins that offer interesting photo opportunities. In the meantime, explore interesting museums that will keep you and the kids entertained all day long. The park is free year-round, but many attractions and offers are closed during the winter months. Therefore, it is better to choose a summer visit.
3. Dog Sledding
If you’re looking for a quintessential Alaskan sport, dog sledding is the way to go. Also known as “dog sledding,” it is a sled sport that is pulled by a group of dogs over ice or snow. Sled dogs were used as a means of transportation in the Arctic as early as 1000 AD.
Many companies offer a variety of ways for you to experience what dog sledding is all about. Tours include starting a one-way road trip, attending a mushroom school, or even going on a multi-day adventure. If you’re heading to Alaska in the summer, you don’t have to worry about missing out. Year-round travel is also possible!
4. Riverboat Discovery Cruise
Hop aboard an authentic Alaskan Sternwheeler for a 3-hour cruise on the Alaskan River. As you cruise along the Chena and Tanana Rivers outside of Fairbanks, you will embark on an unforgettable journey through the wilderness that surrounds Fairbanks.
This tour includes an immersive one-hour stop at Chena Indian Village. In the village, local guides will take you on a tour of the Athabasca homelands and gain insight into their connections with the surrounding land and animals. Be sure to take a closer look at local clothes. It is made from black leather and fur and then hand-sewn with intricate beadwork.
After that, you will stop again at the riverside fish camp. Here you will witness how the locals cook and smoke salmon. Best of all, you can even taste this delicious treat.
5. North Pole
Just a short drive (or sleigh ride) from Fairbanks, the quaint town has adopted the motto “Every Day is Christmas.” Known as the North Pole, not only is it home to Santa Claus, its streets are decorated with giant candy canes and festive displays throughout the year.
You can meet the big guy at Santa’s house and shop for fun holiday-themed gifts. You can even purchase a personalized letter from Santa if you’re looking for something truly special! After exploring Santa’s house, head outside where you’ll stumble upon one of the world’s largest statues of Santa Claus. Get your camera out for the perfect #SantaSelfie.
6. Aurora Ice Museum
Alaska’s coolest museum is in Jenner Springs, about an hour’s drive from Fairbanks! Coolest literally means the coolest. At an eerie 25 degrees Fahrenheit, the Aurora Ice Museum lives up to its name. The museum was designed and realized by 16-time world ice sculpture champions Steve and Heather Bryce. It has become “the largest year-round ice environment in the world”.
The complex features impressive ice wonders such as spiral ice stairs, color-changing chandeliers, and even an ice bar serving glass-made drinks made of ice. But don’t let the heat stop you. Parks will be provided free of charge upon entry to ensure a comfortable experience.
7. Fountainhead Auto Museum
Travel back in time and see more than 85 vintage cars on display at the Fountainhead Automobile Museum. This museum is unique and vibrant where almost all cars made before WWII are still in operation. The museum curator even takes each car for a ride at least once a year!
The Fountainhead Automobile Museum was established to tell the story of Alaska’s rich history. Immerse yourself in period photos, fun facts, and fashion displayed in the car. The museum’s ability to showcase technological innovations and the historical significance of the era is enough to impress a wider audience than just car enthusiasts.
8. Museum of the North
For a deep dive into Alaskan history, head to the Northern Museum at the University of Alaska. It is the state’s only research and teaching museum and houses more than 1.4 million artifacts and specimens. You will immediately realize that there is nothing in this facility.
From the 2,000-year-old Alaskan art to the 36,000-year-old mummified bison affectionately known as the “Blue Baby.” Combine that with the magnificent gallery of the largest gold collection in the state and you could spend an entire day here.
The museum also has a coffee and gift shop for those who are hungry or want to commemorate a trip to Alaska’s history. Admission to the Museum of the North is under $20, so it’s an inexpensive experience that lets you learn about a rich culture.
9. Chena Hot Springs
Head to the stunning Chena Hot Springs on an easy day trip just 1.5 hours east of Fairbanks. The hot springs are naturally heated and rich in minerals. They can reach an astonishing 106 degrees Fahrenheit and are warm enough to save you from Alaska’s coldest days.
The outdoor pool is nestled among the rocks and has a stunning backdrop. But remember, these are adults only. If you are traveling with children, you can visit the more family friendly indoor pool.
The holiday village is fully equipped and if one day is not enough, there are hotels and camping areas. Given the abundance of outdoor activities to visit in the summer, we recommend extending your stay in the exciting recreation area.
10. Run a Reindeer farm
In the Gold Creek Valley boreal forest north of Fairbanks, you can find running reindeer pastures. This family owned farm offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the reindeer year-round! Visitors can walk, take pictures with real reindeer, and even pet them. While fascinating, it was informative as the owners provided incredible information about each of their herds.
If you’re visiting the farm in winter, visit the Running Reindeer’s website to learn how to dress well and stay warm during your trip. After the experience, you can visit the farmhouse or enjoy delicious homemade cookies to learn more about these majestic animals.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Fairbanks. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Fairbanks, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.