Located just 198 road miles south of the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks basks in near round-the-clock sunlight at the height of summer. The town was founded as a gold rush outpost, and a rollicking frontier spirit lies at the core of the small but vibrant city. Summertime festivals last late into the evening, making this place a must-visit, while the pristine wilderness surrounding Fairbanks offers up wild spaces for outdoor adventures.
Alaska’s second-largest population center is located close to the heart of the state. For travelers from the south, Fairbanks is best reached via the Alaska Highway, which crosses from northwestern Canada into the region as Alaska Route 2. Alaska Route 3 is the choice for those traveling from Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, located 350 miles to the south. Summer is pleasant and mild, with temperatures reaching into the 70s, with sunlight shining a whopping 23 hours.
Fishing, Hunting and Adventure
Anglers will find ample room to cast lines into the area’s pristine waters. The Chena River cuts through Fairbanks and provides a habitat for salmon and arctic graylings. Although the water stays fairly cold, this river is splendid for paddling in the summer months. Those seeking easily accessible waters for boating and fishing will find it at the Chena Lake Recreation Area. Hunting can be epic in this region, thanks to large populations of big game, including moose, caribou and bear. Hiring a guide is recommended for reaching the best grounds.
Play Ball (Into the Morning Hours)
When the summer solstice arrives on June 21, the city’s Midnight Sun Baseball Game at Growden Memorial Park pits two minor league teams against each other in a late-night tradition. The competition is part of the Midnight Sun Festival, a citywide celebration that honors the peak of daytime hours. Food, craft vendors and entertainment make this the most fabulous party of the north. If you want to explore, hop aboard the Riverboat Discovery and take a three-hour voyage along the Chena River for fascinating destinations. Tour a Chena Indian Village with informative demonstrations and watch Alaska sled dogs go through their off-season training paces.
Traces of the Past
To learn more about the region’s culture and history, head to the University of Alaska Museum of the North, which exhibits artifacts used by indigenous people. Experience the beauty of the great outdoors while watching for migratory birds at the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, or take a hike along the Boreal Forest Trail.
For More Information
Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau
Alaska Travel Industry Association