The “Golden Heart of Alaska” is long on fun and short on boredom. Fairbanks’ rich history in mining and mushing dictate much of today’s adventures, tempting visitors to enjoy the city’s extremes, where summer days can last 22 hours and winter nights bring awe-inspiring evening light shows of aurora borealis.
Alaska’s bright summer days yield robust vegetables harvests. Visit the Georgeson Botanical Garden to see its 50-pound cabbages and pansies the size of small children. Harvest history at the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North, which exhibits a staggering combination of historic Alaskan artifacts, as well as Native artwork. And if you enjoy Christmas year-round, Santa has set up shop at the Christmas-themed town of North Pole, 13 miles to the southeast.
Visitors to the city find its location on the Chena River a perfect setting for salmon fishing and kayaking. Further upriver, the Riverboat Discovery offers an excursion unlike any other. Steamboat passengers watch bush pilot demonstrations on water, explore an authentic Athabaskan village and visit Iditarod winner Susan Butcher’s dog kennels. The Chena Lake Recreation Area is a perfect launch point for canoers, and its trout, salmon and char will have fishermen reeling.
Bright Lights, Long Days
Hunters gravitate to the Fairbanks area, with miles of pristine wilderness and a wide variety of game, including caribou and moose. Winter provides the perfect backdrop for dog sledding, backcountry skiing and soaking in hot springs. It’s also prime viewing season for the spectacular northern lights. When summer rolls around, the days are filled with myriad celebrations like the Midnight Sun Festival in June and the Tanana Valley State Fair in October. Gold panning and summer mush teams provide unique activities, and flightseeing over nearby Denali National Park & Preserve offers a truly exceptional wildlife viewing experience. Baseball fans can stay up for the annual Midnight Sun Game, also in June. The competition involves two amateur teams playing in a game that starts around 10:30 p.m. and lasts well past 1 a.m. the next morning.
Fairbanks wears the moniker “Land of the Midnight Sun” proudly, and takes full advantage of summer’s longest days. But the town knows how to squeeze out fun in any season, with year-round entertainment, great local craft breweries and restaurants, intriguing museums and unique adventures that can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world.
For More Information
Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau
Alaska Travel Industry Association