Things to do in Fairbanks
Top 10 attractions in Fairbanks
An hour’s drive from Fairbanks, Chena Hot Springs Resort is renowned for its natural hot-springs lake, year-round ice museum, and Northern Lights viewing opportunities. Discovered over a hundred years ago by gold miners who saw steam rising from the Chena River Valley, the curative waters have been soothing weary travelers ever since.More
The Dalton Highway runs for 414 miles to Alaska’s northernmost mountains in the Brooks Range and nearly all the way out to the Arctic Ocean. Running through valleys surrounded by jagged peaks, the highway connects Interior Alaska to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields and is technically part of the northernmost highway in the U.S. Also one of the most remote, the Dalton Highway parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Visitors who take the drive themselves will need to note that much of the road is still mostly gravel. Unless you’ve appeared on Ice Road Truckers, you might want to skip the ride in winter.Public access ends at the small town of Deadhorse, just before the Arctic Ocean, and if you want to reach those last 8 miles of private road out to the coast, it’s possible to join private tours from Deadhorse. At the Coldfoot truck stop, 250 miles north of Fairbanks, the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center gives details on road and backcountry conditions along the Dalton Highway, as well as information on recent wildlife spottings of the likes of grizzlies, black bears, and dall sheep. There’s also a picnic area and sign showing where the road crosses the Arctic Circle.More
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline traverses 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) through the Alaska wilderness from the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay to Valdez where it is shipped to refineries. Built between 1974 and 1977 and requiring over 28,000 people to build, the pipeline is considered one of the world’s most amazing engineering marvels and the viewpoint outside of Fairbanks is one of the best places to view it.More
Made from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, the Aurora Ice Museum is the largest year-round ice structure in the world. Completed in 2005 by world ice-art-carving champion Steve Brice and his wife, Heather, the museum features furniture, life-size knights on horseback, chandeliers shifting colors to mimic the Northern Lights, and even a bar, all made of ice.More
Starting in the Yukon-Tanana Upland, 57 miles from the town of Fox, the Tolovana River is known for its grayling and northern pike fishing and flows southwest for 116 miles through the Tolovana Valley and its abundance of birch and spruce trees.With little to no light pollution, the area surrounding the Tolovana River is a particularly good place to see the Aurora Borealis, and while you’re in the area, look out for typical Alaskan wildlife, including moose, bears, eagles, and martens. Tucked into the mountains near the river, you can also visit Tolovana Hot Springs. The most remote of the region’s “big four” hot springs, the site is only accessible via cross-country skiing, hiking, dog-sledding or helicopter.More
This top-rated visitor attraction at the University of Alaska Fairbanks boasts being the only research and teaching museum in Alaska. With a goal of acquiring, interpreting and showcasing collections relating to Alaska’s natural, cultural and artistic heritage, the University of Alaska Museum of the North currently houses 1.4 million artifacts and specimens. Visitors can peruse the collections and exhibits to gain a true understanding of the development and culture of Native Alaskans. These are separated into 10 different categories: Archaeology, birds, documentary film, earth sciences, ethnology/history, fine arts, fishes/marine invertebrates, insects, mammals, and plants.Visitors can also see ancient artwork spanning from 2,000 years ago to present, like ancient ivory carvings; contemporary sculptures; Alaska’s most comprehensive public display of gold and Blue Babe; a light installation that changes with the position of the moon and sun; Native tools and toys; and much more. Other things to do include seeing a 36,000-year-old preserved steppe bison; learning about Alaska’s mining history, seeing a film on the Aurora Borealis; viewing the world’s largest collection of polar dinosaurs; taking in beadwork handicrafts from the mid-1800s and other experiences you just can't have anywhere else. Don’t leave without perusing the Museum Store, which sells authentic Native Alaskan artwork.More
For those interested in learning about Interior and Arctic Alaska as well as Native culture, the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center is a must-have experience when visiting Fairbanks. The mission of the attraction is to celebrate the people and culture of Interior Alaska while also promoting the local economy and acting as a community gathering place to exchange cultural ideas, and they do this in a number of ways.First, the center showcases a number of free exhibits on Interior Alaska and its people, providing insight to the heritage of the area. For example, their main exhibit, “How We Live: The People and the Land”, features life-sized dioramas depicting the seasons of Interior Alaska. You can also shop for Native Alaskan artwork in their Alaska Geographic store; dress up in traditional Athabaskan attire for a photo; see a traditional performance of music, art and storytelling; create your own traditional Athabascan moose skin bags or sun catcher; view a film of Alaska’s history; and more. On the first Friday of each month the center hosts First Fridays from 5pm to 8pm, a free reception showcasing the work of a local Interior Alaska artist.More
Opened in 1967 as part of the Alaska 67 Centennial Exposition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Alaska purchase, Pioneer Park is a historical theme park featuring museums, gold rush era relics, amusement rides, restaurants, and more. The 44-acre (109-hectare) park is one of the city’s most popular destinations, drawing visitors and locals interested in reliving Alaska’s early years.More
Vintage cars, history, and fashion collide at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Located in Fairbanks, this museum traces the evolution of fashion and cars, from the Victorian Age to the 1930s. Visit to see its collection of more than 95 vintage cars and the largest display of vintage fashion in the Pacific Northwest.More
Part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Georgeson Botanical Garden -- which boasts being the northernmost botanical garden in North America -- is dedicated to research in subarctic horticulture and showing visitors how plants grow in Alaska’s diverse landscapes and at high-latitudes. Encompassing five acres (two hectares) of colorful flowers, aromatic herbs, sweet fruits and enormous vegetables, the garden’s collections are a treat for the senses.Within the attraction there are a number of things to see. While the Dye Garden showcases plants that can be used as natural dyes, the Family Food Garden is where you can peruse fresh produce. In the Dorothy Truran Memorial Herb Garden you can stroll through a traditional knot garden filled with cooking, perennial herbs and Athabascan herbs, while The Pond plays home to native aquatic plants, birds, goldfish and dragonflies. These are just a few of the many sections to explore in the Georgeson Botanical Garden.More
Top activities in Fairbanks
Recent reviews from experiences in Fairbanks
Not to be missed, expecially on a grey, sprinkly day.
FayC, Jul 2021
Chena Hot Springs Tour
He picked us up promptly at our hotel and passed on informative thoughts, while also entertaining us, during our drive to and from the hot spring.
Arctic Circle tour was a highlight of my trip
Mary_C, Jul 2020
Arctic Circle Journey Tour
Mr Bill was great and knew his stuff in regards to the Dalton highway Really amazing to see what is north of Fairbanks Highly recommended!
quan258, Jan 2020
Fairbanks Autumn/Winter City Tour
We didn’t rent a car, so this tour was a wonderful overview of the city highlights of Fairbanks and a great way to visit Northpole, AK.
Our tour of Fairbanks was...
Mary_L, Jun 2016
Fairbanks City Highlight Tour
Both museums were very interesting, and it was a lot of fun to visit the North Pole and help Santa to mail customized letters to our grandchildren.
Highlight of my trip
Matt_Ruggz, Mar 2020
Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks
Even though we did not see the lights, all of the other activities along the way to the arctic circle made up for it several times over.
Bucket list check off's!
Dena_P, Jan 2020
Arctic Circle and Aurora Borealis Viewing Tour from Fairbanks
The trip is long, the van has three bench seats and it was difficult to see out of the frozen side windows, but it was a great trip.
Epic Aurora watching!!
Shelly_M, Jan 2020
Individual Aurora Northern Lights Photography Workshop & Tour
Coming to Alaska the Aurora lights was on the top of our list to see and Bill made it happened.
Jennifer_K, Nov 2019
Alaskan Heritage and Sightseeing Tour in Fairbanks
There was only one other participant, so it was almost like a private tour :) This was a perfect way to see the area as a solo traveler, without having to worry about driving in the snow!
TARUN_C, Sep 2019
Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks
So we concentrated on enjoying ourselves on the way, and were determined not to be disappointed if we didn’t get to see the lights.
I took the fly up/drive back tour to...
Ken_C, Jan 2018
Arctic Circle Winter Fly Drive Adventure - Southbound
We walked down to the River walked around on it to say we did not a lot to see in the dark, we had lanterns and there was a light from the bridge nearby.
This is a very worthwhile tour, our...
Midji R, Aug 2017
Fairbanks City Highlight Tour
We went to North Pole to see Santa's house which is also a gift shop, then to Santa's barn to see his 8 beautiful Reindeers!
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