The iconic hue of the Aurora Borealis
Dining along the Chena River
The noble Denali Mountain and its reflection
The Aurora Borealis dances over a snowy mountain lodge
A great day for dog mushing
Embodying Alaska Native culture
Geese over Creamer’s Field
A stunning Alaskan scene
A sunny day at Golden Heart Plaza
- Major Airports:
- Fairbanks (FAI)
The culture-rich gateway to Alaska’s wild interior
Only in Fairbanks
The perfect launching pad for a jaunt to the Arctic Circle (just 315 kilometers north), Fairbanks offers a variety of tour and expedition options including van, motor coach and flight. Explore the cultures and villages nestled throughout this pristine wilderness, spotting caribou, polar bears and Arctic foxes along the way. Navigate the Yukon River, dive into national parks or push further into the remotest regions. A mere 15 minutes from Fairbanks you’ll find North Pole, where the spirit of Christmas lives year round. Drive along Santa Claus Lane and admire the streetlights decorated in candy cane motifs. No trip to the area would be complete without a night or two devoted to northern lights viewing. Multiple locations allow for an unfettered view here under the Auroral Oval.
Just two hours from Fairbanks is sprawling Denali National Park and Preserve, where Alaska’s geographical diversity is on display. Take a tour through the tundra, mountains and forests, or hike or bike a trail to see the incredible wildlife and environment up close. While visiting Chena Hot Springs Resort, you can linger in the 41-degrees Celsius water surrounded by drifts of snow and the cavernous sky overhead (tour the Aurora Ice Museum while you’re there). At Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, located just minutes from downtown, take a nature walk through wetlands and woods to see geese, ducks, plovers, cranes and more in various habitats.
Alaska’s heritage is as rich and deep as its land. Visit the University of Alaska Museum of the North to discover 1.4 million artifacts from across 10 divisions, including ethnology and history, fine arts and earth sciences. The exhibits here reveal thousands of years of Alaskan art, fossils and much more. At the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, walk through three dioramas depicting the area’s seasons, items from history and scenes from Alaska Native life. For a cultural immersion of a different kind, spend a summer day at Pioneer Park, where seven museums, a railroad, shows, galleries and shopping await. Top if off with dinner at one of many restaurants featuring fresh Alaska seafood.
Ravens are year-round Fairbanks inhabitants and often appear in local artwork.
Photo: Sherman Hogue/Explore Fairbanks