18 Best Things to Do in Fairbanks, Alaska

18 Best Things to Do in Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks is not your typical holiday destination. This picturesque town in Alaska lets travelers enjoy many unique things not normally found in tourist hotspots.

You can feast your eyes on endless hours of scenic beauty with exquisite natural landscapes. You can catch a glimpse of the incredible Northern Light shower.

Alternatively, you can participate in a plethora of activities being organized in this beautiful city.

Make sure to try some of the exciting activities on the list below on your next holiday retreat to Fairbanks, Alaska.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights
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Obviously, we had to start with the once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching the Northern Lights!

Watching the sky come alive in sparkling, mesmerizing colors is an emancipating experience! It almost feels like a laser light show, just on a much grander scale!

Fairbanks is considered to be one of the best vantage points to watch the Northern Lights. It is located under the Auroral Oval, a zone in the northern sky that sees intense Aurora activity.

Fairbanks is also situated far away from the coast and the rainfall here is also pretty scanty.

This makes the night skies clear and perfect for watching the Northern Light shower in crisp exhilarating visuals.

Latitude 65

This is one of the best eating spots in Fairbanks where Chef Georges serves his special meals customized with his signature touch to make for sumptuous culinary delights.

The master chef even makes plenty of use of the in-house grown berries in many of his recipes.

He is a jovial character and would happily take you around the wild bush flowers to pick some juicy berries for you to taste on the spot!

One of the must-try dishes here is the awesome halibut chowder. You can never have enough of this delightful preparation from the Chef’s personal recipe collection!

The exquisite views of the Borealis Basecamp igloos around the place make the eating experience at Latitude 65 even more delightful!

Snowmobile ride

For the adventurous, have the thrill of your life by going snowmobiling in the snow-capped slopes around Fairbanks.

If you are planning to spend time at the famous Borealis Basecamp, then you might as well join one of their snowmobiling tours.

Alternatively, you can book a 30 minute to 1-hour snowmobiling session with any of the other snowmobiling operators in the area.

Borealis Basecamp

Borealis Basecamp
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Borealis Basecamp is one of the best places to stay on your visit to Fairbanks.

Located right amid the snowy peaks, this lodge house provides stunning views of the breathtaking surrounding snowscapes.

The best part about staying at Borealis Basecamp is that you can view the Northern Light spectacle right from the comfort of your room in the lodge!

This is one of the most awe-inspiring experiences that you can enjoy on your entire Fairbanks trip.

The bubble cabins in Borealis Basecamp have amazing transparent domes and they are the only glass-topped igloos in the entire state!
They are located on a cliff edge and hang above the valley, letting you enjoy stunning views of the surroundings!

We would strongly recommend you try booking a room at the Borealis Basecamp for the duration of your stay!

ATV

If you are planning on traveling to Fairbanks in the summertime and are disappointed about missing out on the amazing snowmobiling thrill - take a deep breath, ATV rides in Fairbanks provide a similar riding thrill for summer tourists!

You can explore the vast wilderness in Alaska on those all-terrain beasts and head out into the remotest corners of the region.

The surface in Fairbanks is undulating, which lets you have the maximum thrill on your ATV.

The rocky terrain is interlaced with muddy splash puddles and steep climbs to test your ATV driving skills to the core.

Dog Sledges

Dog Sledges
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One of the best winter experiences in Fairbanks is dog sledding on the snow-covered slopes.

You can get a taste of the wilderness as you race your canine-driven snow vehicles around the vast expanses and touch remote and far-off points.

It is a thrilling sport and also gives you extra brownie points in the education department as the musher will teach you all about this exciting activity.

You will learn about the rich history of dog sledding when it was used as the primary means of transport in the snowy peaks.

You will enjoy learning a little about the interesting culture around dog-sledding and how it has evolved throughout the years.

Running Reindeer Ranch

Running Reindeer Ranch
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Reindeers are exciting animals, and interacting with them is pretty awesome.

If you are an animal lover and would love to know about the habits of these awesome animals, you should head out to the Running Reindeer Ranch.

Here, you can fondle, feed, pet and catch some photos with the beautiful reindeer.

This family-owned ranch can be reached after journeying through picturesque forests on offer on both sides.

The owners are reindeer-enthusiasts and will fill you in with interesting reindeer trivia and tales!

Finally, the Running Reindeer Ranch celebrates its visitors by offering them delicious cookies and refreshing lemonades before they start out on their journey back!

Chena Springs

Chena Spring
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You can take a dip into the warm waters of the Chena Hot Springs while there is snow all around to have the ultimate experience! Not for the faint-hearted!

These hot water springs are located a few miles away from Fairbanks and the waters here are warm and pleasant throughout the year.

There is a huge resort built around these springs. The Chena Hot Springs Resort houses the famous ice museum, which is a wonder of human craftsmanship.

The resort also draws a large portion of its power from geothermal energy and is an active promoter of this renewable energy resource.

You can also enjoy a multitude of fun activities at the resort. These springs are yet another good location to watch the Northern Light show from!

Aurora Ice Museum

Aurora Ice Museum
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The Aurora Ice Museum is the perfect foil to the Chena Hot Springs, located right next to the latter.

Designed in the form of a beautiful igloo and constructed out of 1,000 tons of solid ice and snow, this unique museum exhibits artifacts of ice art.

Take a look at some of the beautiful ice sculptures of different styles. Some of them are done in beautiful colors which shimmer in dazzling patterns on the ice surfaces.

Others are crystal clear and resplendent in their pristine simplicity.

Finally, relax at the ice bar and enjoy your favorite cocktails, all served in beautiful ice glasses.

Our personal recommendation is to try out their vodka martini – and of course, you would want it shaken, not stirred

World Ice Art Championship

Display at World Ice Art Championship
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We are not done with ice art just as yet! Fairbanks hosts the World Ice Art Championship sometime in February-March, and if you happen to be in Fairbanks at that time, you must visit this amazing event.

This annual competition is held in the vast Tanana Valley Fairgrounds and attracts hundreds of talented artists every single year.

The artists display exquisite sculptures carved out of ice blocks to provide arts connoisseurs with a new medium to explore. This contest is the world's largest Ice Art contest!

North Pole

Santa Claus House in North Pole
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The North Pole is a small town located just south of Fairbank. It is actually situated on the northernmost extremity of the earth and reaching it comes with a feeling that is difficult to describe in words.

This town is in Christmas mode all year round. This tradition started when the famous Santa Claus House was built here many decades ago.

Kids can especially have a fun riot in this town where Santa seems to be always patrolling the streets to drop gifts for the little ones.

You can also lay your hands on beautiful and creative Christmas-themed souvenirs at the many little galleries and shops around here.

Riverboat Discovery

Riverboat Discovery
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The Fairbanks version of the riverboat ride is unique and will leave you with many fond memories to cherish for life.

You cruise in the boat for over three hours in the splendid clear waters of the Chena and Tanana Rivers.

The views of the surroundings are stunning and make perfect material for your vacation photos.

You will find a dog sled training area along the way and the owner will surprise you by showing off his well-trained little pups as they go about pulling sleds.

Further down, you halt at a Native Alaskan village. You will get to see the famed Eskimo way of living first-hand from close quarters here.

You will also roam in the Indian Chena village and enjoy interacting with the indigenous population here.

Finally, you can watch a seaplane majestically take off and land beside the sternwheeler (dont miss it!)

Denali National Park

Denali National Park
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The Denali National Park and Preserve are situated close to Fairbanks. Everyone should take a tour of this famous national reserve on their visit to Fairbanks.

The best way to enjoy exploring this national park is to head out to Denali Basecamp on an air taxi ride. From here, you can launch your climb up to the top of Denali.

This is the highest peak in North America. You would feel much better about yourself if you attempt this challenging climb and even more if you conquer it!

Get sumptuous bird-eye visuals of the magnificent Kahiltna glacier as you fly over it. Ride the Denali shuttle service bus to go around the park and catch amazing views of the rich flora and fauna here.

Hike around to your heart’s content and you will come across some amazing animal species. Observe them as they go about their business.

The weather here is quite unpredictable. Make sure to carry enough supplies and clothes to withstand harsh climates on your climb to the Denali summit.

The famous Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad
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The famous Alaska railroad lets you reach tourist spots around Fairbanks quite quickly, while giving you plenty of opportunities to enjoy the numerous beautiful sights along the way.

The railroad can connect you to Anchorage, Talkeetna, Whittier, Denali, and Seward, among other tourist destinations in the region.

The journey in the Alaska Railroad is a special experience both because of the unique train and technology used here, and also because of the stunning scenes of the landscape.

You can opt for Goldstar Service to have the ultimate luxury train experience on this ride!

Museum of the North

Museum of the North
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You can soak into the rich history and traditions of Alaska at the impressive University of Alaska Museum of the North.

This is a goldmine for digging all kinds of information about Alaska in a fun and visual way.

You can come to know about wildlife in Alaska, native art as it is practiced in contemporary Alaska, and the famous Alaska gold rush by going through the many artifacts on display.

This museum famously houses the only ice age’s steppe bison mummy in the entire world!

Flightseeing

You can enjoy stunning aerial views of Alaska by undertaking a flightseeing tour over its vast interiors.

You can book one with the Arctic Circle Air Adventure from Fairbanks itself.

You will catch quick views of the famous Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Brooks Mountains, and the Yukon River.

The best sight would be, though, to look at the magnificence of the Gates of the Arctic National Park from above.

Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle
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You can breathe in as much of your Arctic excitement as you please by venturing out on a full-day tour into the snow-covered expanses of the Arctic Circle!

We agree that this is one of the riskier undertakings to attempt on this list.

If you are a true explorer at heart, though, the danger will be all the more reason for you to complete this journey and reap ample excitement and thrill as rewards!

Winter Sports

Yukon quest race in Fairbanks
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If you are a thrill-seeker, but your thunder is in adventurous winter sports, then Fairbanks is the perfect winter holiday destination for you.

Participate in the many winter sports on offer here and enjoy amazing adrenaline rushes.

Skiing and snowboarding are the two most popular activities that are loved by hundreds of tourists visiting Fairbanks during the winter months.

Fairbanks is the perfect winter holiday destination. As mentioned above, this place is packed with attractions to enjoy.

The Northern Lights shower remains the crowning jewel of any visit to Fairbanks.

So, if you are searching for a tourist hotspot for your next winter holiday, we say think no more and book your tickets to Fairbanks, Alaska right away!