Fairbanks Alaska offers visitors small-town hospitality and a pioneer spirit that will make your stay one to remember. Fairbanks is Alaska’s second largest city with a population of 32,000 and a Borough population of almost 100,000, including the nearby military bases.

Fairbanks is the hub for Alaska’s Interior and Arctic and is known for its first-class accommodations and restaurants, museums, concerts, historic sites, Alaska Native culture, and access to the Alaskan wilderness. It is also famous for it’s incredible long summer days, where the sun never seems to set. In June Fairbanks sees over 21 hours of daylight. Of course, in the winter, the opposite is true, and there are very long, dark days. In December, there will be less than 4 hours of daylight in Fairbanks.

In 1901 Captain E.T. Barnette disembarked from the steamship, Lavelle Young, and set up a temporary trading post on the banks of the Chena River. His temporary post became permanent the following year when Felix Pedro discovered gold in the nearby hills. The Gold Rush was on and Fairbanks was flooded with miners from all over the world determined to strike it rich.

In 1903 Fairbanks was incorporated as a City and was named after Indiana Senator Charles Fairbanks, who later became Vice President. Now, “discovery day” is commemorated each year with a celebration in July called Golden Days. Locals dress in period costumes and there is even a roaming jail that may arrest you if you’re not wearing a Golden Days pin or a garter! There is still active mining in the area and glimpses of the past can be seen along the Steese Highway in the tailing piles leftover by the gold dredges.

Fairbanks, AK is also the home of several world class attractions. The Riverboat Discovery is consistently rated one of the top boat tours in the State and Gold Dredge 8 is also a visitor favorite. The Antique Auto Museum at the Wedgewood Resort has an amazing collection of vintage automobiles, historical photos and period costumes. Finally, don’t miss The University of Alaska ‘Museum of the North’ as it is one of the best museums in the State.

Fairbanks not only has plenty of things to do in the summer months, but during the winter it is one of the best places in the world to view the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). It is near the Arctic Circle, which makes the Northern Lights visible from September to April.

Click here for our Fairbanks Alaska Map.

The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center is at 101 Dunkel Street in historic downtown Fairbanks. It is home to Explore Fairbanks the organization that oversees the Visitor Center. The 9,000 square-feet of interpretive space features exhibits on the land, the seasons and the peoples of Interior Alaska and the Arctic.The MTCVC is open seven days a week from 8am to 9pm in summer and 8am to 5pm in the winter. Free Wi-fi for visitors. 907-456-5774 or 800-327-5774
www.explorefairbanks.com

Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center. Information on accessing public lands in Alaska state and federal parks, forests and refuges. 101 Dunkel Street. Located in the Morris Thomson Cultural & Visitors Center. It offers scheduled films and special events & programs throughout the year. A variety of educational programs are available. Summer hours daily 9 to 5 from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Call 907 459-3730
www.alaskacenters.gov/fairbanks.cfm

When you visit Fairbanks, you won’t have any difficulty in filling your time. You could spend a week here and still never get bored.

Day 1 – An excellent start to your time in Fairbanks is to stop at one of TripAdvisor’s top-rated attractions, the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center (MTCVC) located in downtown Fairbanks. The Center focuses on the cultural and historical aspects of life in Alaska using film, books and exhibits. A well informed and friendly staff can help you plan your trip in Fairbanks and area. The MTCVC is also a great access point to miles of walking trails, including a lovely walk along the Chena River. The downtown area is easily walkable and has many good restaurants and interesting shops to explore.
An excellent afternoon plan is to spend time with the Binkley Family on their world class tour, the Riverboat Discovery. It is a fascinating tour into the history of the Riverboats and their impact on the Fairbanks area.

Day 2 – Begin with a visit to TripAdvisor’s # 1 rated attraction in Fairbanks, the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. This is far more than just a place for old cars! It is a fantastic collection of photos, period costumes as well as some amazing automobiles. Another excellent tour that explores Fairbanks gold rush past is Gold Dredge 8. You’ll ride a narrow-gauge train to a historical Gold Camp that includes a Gold Dredge, old mining equipment and an opportunity to pan for gold; and keep what you find.

Day 3 – A trip to Fairbanks isn’t complete without a visit to Alaska’s theme park, Pioneer Park. Built to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Alaska’s purchase from Russia. The 44-acre Park was opened in 1967 and has been a Fairbanks meeting place ever since. It is home to museums, shops, dining and a variety of fun activities such as mini-golf and the Palace Theatre Show. There are fast food vendors, restaurants and the Alaska Salmon Bake which has been serving up delicious Alaskan Salmon for over 40 years.
If you’re looking for a lovely, quiet place for a walk, be sure to check out Creamers Field or the Georgeson Botanical Gardens. The Botanical provides valuable horticultural information to people living and growing plants in this subarctic region.

Day 4 – If your trip to the northern parts of Alaska won’t be complete without a trip to the Arctic, we recommend taking a tour with Northern Alaska Tour Company. You can choose from one to multiple day itineraries from Fairbanks to the Arctic in large and small passenger vans and small planes. Their guests rave about the experience whether it be in summer or winter.

 

 

What is Fairbanks Alaska Known for?

Fairbanks is known for is long summer days (up to 21 hours of daylight in June and July) and its incredible views of the Northern Lights (Aurora borealis) during the long winter days. The Aurora can best be viewed between October and April.

Is Fairbanks Alaska worth visiting?

Absolutely Fairbanks it is worth visiting. Local attractions include:

How far is Fairbanks Alaska from Denali National Park?

Denali National Park is 120 miles south of Fairbanks on the Parks Highway.

How Far is Fairbanks from Anchorage?

Anchorage is 358 miles from Anchorage on the Parks Highway. This is the fastest, most direct route between Anchorage and Fairbanks. However, it is possible to take the Richardson Highway to the Glenn Highway to travel between Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Fairbanks Alaska Map

We have two maps of Fairbanks Alaska. One shows all of Fairbanks and the other is a downtown Fairbanks map.

Fairbanks Alaska Map
Fairbanks Map

 

Downtown Fairbanks Map

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