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.