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For other places with the same name, see Fairbanks (disambiguation).

Fairbanks [21] is a town in Interior Alaska, 1488 miles (2395 km) from the start of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, BC. It is the second-largest city in Alaska and, being a junction of several major highways, will be a likely stop of most visitors to the state.

Fairbanks proper may be like a lot of towns in the lower 48. There's a Costco, a Wal-Mart, a Home Depot and a McDonald's. Don't let this fool you. The greater Fairbanks area's residents are true to their roots. There are plenty of Alaskan originals here.



Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 0 7 24 42 60 70 72 66 54 32 11 1
Nightly lows (°F) -18 -14 -2 20 38 49 52 46 35 17 -4 -15
Precipitation (in) 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.6 1.4 1.9 1.8 1.0 0.8 0.7 0.8
Snowfall (in) 10.8 8.6 6.6 3.4 0.8 - - - 1.6 10.9 13.6 13.8

Check Fairbanks's 7 day forecast at NOAA

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Fairbanks International Airport (IATA: FAI) (ICAO: PAFA), 6450 Airport Way, [22]. Serves both remote destinations in Alaska's interior and international cities. Direct flights are available from Anchorage, Barrow, and Seattle. Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air [23] and Era Aviation [24] serve Fairbanks year round and are the primary air carriers. Delta Air Lines operates in Fairbanks though their service is seasonal. Frontier Airlines provides seasonal direct flights from Denver.

By car[edit]

If you are driving up from Anchorage, the George Parks Highway is a beautiful trip. Plan plenty of time in your schedule for sight-seeing, meals and photographs. During the summer, when the roads are clear, the trip can easily be made in 7 or 8 hours, with stops for snacks and bathroom breaks - depending on road construction and motorhome-convoy-slowdowns. You will pass through Denali National Park on your way which is a popular attraction. However, if you plan to stay the night have reservations well in advance. By "lower-48" standards, accommodation near the park is either "4-star" or "rustic". Both can be pricey, but worth every penny, especially if you spend a day in the park.

Though many think Denali Park is the highlight of the trip there are long stretches of breath-taking beauty. It is not uncommon to see moose, caribou, dall sheep, bear, and other wildlife along the road - have your camera ready. There are plenty of gas stations scattered along the route, but as expected, the prices are much higher than in Anchorage or Fairbanks. Fill up before you leave.

There are several good places to eat along the way as well. Most places will have specialties like reindeer or buffalo on the menu as well as more traditional fare.

All in all, you should make the drive at least once. It's worth it.

By train[edit]

During the summer the Alaska Railroad provides daily service between Anchorage and Fairbanks, stopping in Denali National Park and other spots along the way. Trains depart Fairbanks at 8:15AM, and arrive from Anchorage at 8:15PM. Fares vary throughout the season, with rates between $167 and $210 for a one-way ticket between Fairbanks and Anchorage. Rail tickets can be booked at Alaska Railroads website [25].

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

By far, the easiest way to get around Fairbanks is by car. Major car rental companies are located at the airport and downtown.


Multiple taxi companies provide transportation throughout the city.

By bus[edit]

Bus service, although infrequent, provides transportation throughout the downtown area. Fares are $1.50, or $3 for a day pass. [26]

See[edit][add listing]

Trans-Alaska Pipeline

  • Creamer's Field, [27]. Located in the northern part of town off of College Road, Creamer's Field Wildlife Refuge is a former dairy that is now a migratory stopover point for countless numbers of Canada geese, sandhill cranes, ducks, and other bird species. Numerous trails lead through the refuge and there is a visitor center located within the old farmhouse.
  • University of Alaska Museum of the North, on University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, [28]. An excellent collection of exhibits about the nature, history and cultures of Alaska; the displays on the Northern Lights are particularly trippy. 15 May-15 Sep 9AM-7PM with shorter hours during the rest of the year. $5, $3 for youths age 7 - 17, children 6 and under are free.
  • Ice Alaska, [29] where the World Ice Art championships take place every year usually around February end or early March. Ice sculptors from all over the world come here and sculpt stunning ice sculptures. These sculptures are worth visiting both during day and night (due to the glow from ice).
  • The aurora during winter. Fairbanks' position under the "Auroral Oval"—a ring-shaped region around the North Pole—makes it one of the best places in the world to see the aurora borealis. This location offers a great balance of clear nights, occurrence frequency, and activity that draws people from all over the world. These beautiful and mysterious curtains can be seen from mid-August to April, and range in color from green to red to purple, with the brightest and most common being a yellow-green. Intensity varies from night to night, with the best displays happening in the late evening to the early hours of the morning. When the nights are clear and dark enough, there will be aurora visible an average of eight out of ten nights. If you stay a minimum of three nights and are actively out during the evening hours, your chances of seeing the aurora increase to 90%. Ask your accommodation's front desk if they offer a wake-up call if the aurora appears. No guarantees, but the longer you're here, the better your chances of seeing a great show.
  • Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, 101 Dunkel St., Fairbanks AK 99701 (From Airport Way, turn onto Noble St. toward downtown Fairbanks; follow Noble to Wendell Ave; the center is at corner of Wendell and Dunkel), 907-456-5774, [1]. 7 days a week: summer 8am-9pm; winter 8am-5pm. The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center (MTCVC) serves as the regional visitor center for Fairbanks and Interior Alaska. The Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alaska Public Lands Information Center and Tanana Chiefs Conference Cultural Programs have teamed up to be your first stop for visitor information. You’ll find knowledgeable and friendly staff and volunteers, racks of informative brochures, daily vacancy listings, local walking and driving tours, telephone, WiFi and Internet access and answers to all of your questions. Enjoy daily free films and programs on Alaska’s natural and cultural history in our 100-seat high-definition theater and stroll through an exhibit hall featuring 9,000 square feet of museum-quality interpretive displays and dioramas depicting Interior Alaska’s people, landscapes and seasons. The center also offers cultural programs and performances, artisans’ workshop and demonstration area, an Elders’ gathering area, cultural and environmental education classroom, and an Alaska Geographic Store. Free.  edit

Pioneer Park is a must it is awesome and it is free.

Do[edit][add listing]


If you are visiting Fairbanks mid-May through the end of September, there are several tours that allow tourists to learn the history and culture of Fairbanks. The tours described below are the most popular and advised tours to take while visiting Fairbanks. All major lodges in the area can set you up on a number of local tours.

Riverboat Discovery is arguably the best tour you can take while staying in Fairbanks. This tour departs twice a day and lasts three and a half hours. You have the ability to go at 8:45AM or 2PM. While enjoying a beautiful day on the Chena River, you will have the opportunity to see and learn a lot about Alaskan Native culture and Fairbanks. This tour demonstrates a bush pilot airplane taking off from the Chena River. The tour stops for an hour at the Chena Indian Village where passengers are taken through a tour by Alaskan Native guides. The riverboat also stops at an Athabascan fishing village where passengers see how fish are cut and prepared. One of the most exciting aspects of this tour is that you are able to witness "Nuchalawoya," an Athabascan Indian term meaning "the wedding of two rivers"--in this case the Chena and Tanana Rivers. [30]

Gold Dredge 8 is another tour run by the Binkley family who also operate the Riverboat Discovery. This attraction, opened in summer 2012, combines the best of and expands on two already successful gold mining attractions, El Dorado Gold Mine and Gold Dredge No. 8. Located about twenty minutes outside of Fairbanks in Fox, you are taken on a two-hour tour of Alaska's gold mining history. Beginning on a small train, you will learn how miners historically panned for gold and how current gold miners operate. Meander through Gold Dredge No. 8. Described as either a floating workhorse or a mechanical gold pan, Gold Dredge No. 8 extracted millions of ounces of gold from the frozen Alaskan ground. Each person on the tour gets to pan for actual gold! Everyone finds gold and the staff at Gold Dredge 8 will weigh it for you to see how much you actually found. [31]

Fairbanks City Tour is available through Princess Tours, or any of the major lodges in the area. This tour runs everyday at 8:30AM and lasts for three hours. This tour takes you to downtown Fairbanks where you are able to tour Golden Heart Park and the Visitor's Center. While on this tour, you also get to view the Trans-Alaska Pipeline that was built in the 1970's and continues to transport oil to this day. The Fairbanks City Tour takes its passengers to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum and Botanical Gardens. [32]


The Midnight Sun Baseball Game is held every summer on Summer Solstice. The Alaska Goldpanners are the farthest north semi-professional baseball team. What makes this event so special is that the sun barely goes down in Fairbanks on Summer Solstice. The game begins at 10:30PM and last the whole nine innings without getting dark. Throughout its one hundred years of existence the Midnight Sun Game has never had to turn on artificial baseball lights.

Fairbanks Golden Days is a week long event that was created to celebrate the discovery of gold in Fairbanks in 1902. The event is usually held toward the end of July. Throughout the week people are able to participate in several activities. However, the highlight of the week is the Golden Days Parade. This parade showcases marching bands, antique cars, clowns, jugglers, and several decorated floats. Enjoy watching the parade as it goes through the heart of Fairbanks. During this week make sure you wear a Golden Days pin or take the risk of getting "arrested" and put in the Golden Days jail!

Following the Golden Days Parade is the annual Rubber Duckie Race. Every year at this time 6,000 plastic yellow rubber duckies race the Chena River to win cash and prizes worth up to $30,000.

Another event, associated with golden days, is a "must see": The Red-Green Regatta. Picture 40+ homemade "boats" floating down the Chena River all created using liberal amounts of duct tape and imagination.

During March, the Yukon Quest dog race starts (or finishes, depending on the year) downtown. Additional mushing races also start downtown in March. Also in March, across the river from Pioneer Park there's an international ice carving competition with all sorts of beautiful artwork created which (usually) lasts until April.


Pioneer Park is definitely something that all tourists should visit while staying in Fairbanks. Pioneer Park includes several gift shops, the Alaska Civic Center, an aviators museum, a native village, fishwheel, President Harding's rail car, mining tunnel, miniature golf course, playgrounds, merry-go-rounds, Pioneer Museum, and the S.S. Nenana which is an old sternwheeler that used to travel Alaskan rivers. Pioneer Park is set up like an old Gold Rush Town, which makes the activities and surroundings very fun.

Chena Hot Springs Resort is located sixty miles outside of Fairbanks. Along your way out to Chena Hot Springs you have a very good chance of seeing moose and other wildlife. Once you arrive at the resort you have a variety of things you can do. The swimming area includes an indoor pool, three indoor hot tubs, an outdoor rock pool, and two outdoor hot tubs all using water from the hot springs. Enjoy relaxing in the rock pool under 24-hour daylight! Another must do while visiting Chena Hot Springs is the Aurora Ice Museum. The Aurora Ice Museum is the largest year-round ice environment. Everything in the museum is made of ice including a bar, polar bear beds, full-size game of chess, and an ice tower. If you're interested in hiking while staying at Chena Hot Springs, you must hike Angel Rock.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was built in 1975 and was constructed to carry oil from the oil port in Prudhoe Bay down to Valdez, Alaska the northernmost ice-free port, covering 800 miles of land. The pipeline has transmitted more than 15 billion barrels of oil since 1975 and continues to carry on average 735,000 barrels of oil every day. This represents approx 3.5% of the United States daily oil consumption. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is one of the largest pipelines in the world.

Dog Sledding - Fairbanks has lots of dog sledding operators and its a popular winter activity for tourists. Most of the operators have variety of options like 30 minutes, 4-5 hours or even days. Some of the operators are:

  • Paws for Adventures [33]
  • Chena Dog Sled Adventures [34].

See Northern Lights - Fairbanks is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights. The northern lights are best seen between September and Mid-April on cold clear nights.

Arctic Circle Tour - (NATC) 3820 University Ave S, +1 800-208-0200

Visit North Pole, with a car, meet Santa Claus. Mail postcard and letters from the North Pole post office, but select the special slot or box for special Santa cancellation.

Flight see - Alaska has few roads. Getting around is about flying. Sure, it isn't cheap. Sample flights include village mail runs, Arctic Circle flights, Barrow or Deadhorse, and numerous other small villages. Some people hitch plane rides from the general aviation side of the airport as well as the float plane base. Bush pilots are for hire.

Buy[edit][add listing]

For those who have been camping extensively, one of the first things to look for in Fairbanks is a shower. Practically every laundromat in town also offers showers for between $3 and $7. Most will provide a towel and liquid soap, but be prepared for a quick cleaning as nearly all will utilize timers that turn the water off after only a few minutes.

  • The Red Fox located on 2nd street next to Soapy Smith's has a large collection of furs and leathers. And it has the smell.
  • Pro Music in Fairbanks Alaska, [35]. Fairbanks Alaska's largest music store. 300 Front St, +1 800-478-1994 or +1 907-456-1994.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Alaskaland Salmon Bake, 2300 Airport Way (in Alaskaland), [2]. Alaskaland is the mother of all cheesy tourist stops and is heavily trafficked by tour buses filled with foreigners and senior citizens, but for the hungry budget traveler the salmon bake probably provides the best value in Fairbanks. This all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of grilled salmon, halibut, ribs, lemonade, and blueberry dessert can be had for $31 per person (2008 price), which by Alaska standards is a bargain. Summer only, 5PM-9:30 PM, seven nights a week.  edit
  • Alaska Coffee Roasting Co, 4001 Geist Rd, [3]. Alaska Coffee Roasting Co is a small coffee shop, offering a small variety of food items as well. Is frequented by locals, college kids, and tourists alike. Alaska Coffee Roasting Co roasts their own coffee and offers specialties such as wood oven baked pizza.  edit
  • El Dorado Bar & Grill, 530 3rd Avenue, [4]. Mexican restaurant located in Downtown Fairbanks.  edit
  • Lane's Quickie Tacos, 3412 College Rd Suite 1, [5]. Mexican fusion restaurant known for their many unique tacos such as the Jamaican Me Crazy and The K-Pop Sensation. Draft beer is also available.  edit
  • Loose Moose Cafe, 3450 Airport Way. Has huge burgers made from Buffalo meat and a do it yourself topping bar. Frozen meat is also for sale here.  edit
  • The Turtle Club, 2098 Old Steese Hwy N Fairbanks, AK 99712, [6]. A bit out of town, the famous prime rib and great salad bar make it worth the drive. A very Alaskan establishment.  edit
  • The Pumphouse, 796 Chena Pump Rd, [7]. has some menu items with game meats  edit
  • Pikes Landing Riverfront Dining & Sports Bar, 4438 Airport Way, +1 907 479-6500, [8]. 11:00am to midnight. Great outdoor deck, fine dining indoors  edit
  • Wolf Run, 3360 Wolf Run. famous for decadent desserts  edit
  • Cookie Jar, 1006 Cadillac Ct, [9]. Excellent breakfast, with delicious cinnamon rolls  edit
  • Ivory Jacks, 2581 Goldstream Rd, +1 907-455-6665, [10]. Ivory Jacks offers casual meals to fine dining. Located just north of town in Goldstream Valley. There is an open mic every Saturday at 10PM where performers get to take a free CD home of their performance.  edit
  • Lin's Asian Bistro, 1900 Airport Way, +1 907 479-8866‎. Slightly upscale Chinese dining, with an emphasis on presentation and a contemporary re-interpretation of American-Chinese cuisine.  edit

Fairbanks also has an abundance of good Thai restaurants. Ask a local, and they'll point you the right way. A couple are:

  • Lemongrass, 388 Old Chena Pump Rd, +1 907 456-2200, [11].  edit
  • Bahn Thai, 541 3rd Ave, Fairbanks, AK 99701. also with an "Express" location near UAF  edit
  • Thai House, 412 5th Ave, Fairbanks, AK 99701, [12].  edit
  • Pad Thai, 3400 College Rd.  edit
  • Siam Dishes, 338 Old Steese Hwy.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • College Coffeehouse, 3677 College Road Unit 4, +1 907 374-0468 (fax: +1 907 374-4442), [13]. Coffee and snacks served in an environment perfectly suited for broke college students. Great for studying, chatting, or listening to the frequent musical guests. Internet access (wireless & LAN) is available, with fifteen minutes free with any purchase, and prices of $2 per fifteen minutes thereafter.  edit
  • The Marlin, 3412 College Rd, +1 907 479-4646. The late-night college bar for the UAF area. Just down the hill from campus. Subterranean. Funky. Legendary. Hangover Lounge Tuesdays. Open Mic Wednesdays. Live Music Thursday-Saturday.  edit
  • The Blue Loon, 2999 Parks Hwy, +1 907 457-5666, [14]. Theatre and Club in the Gold Hill area. Hosts several outdoor live events in the summer. Bar and grill.  edit
  • One traditional Fairbanks cruise is known as "The Bar Float". The Chena river runs right through the center of town, with several of the bars that may be accessed right from the river. You can start at the put in near Pioneer Park, where Peger Road crosses the Chena River. There, they also rent canoes and kayaks. From here, you can float downriver past the bars known as The Boatel, Chena's, Pikes Landing, and finally taking out at The Pumphouse. The chena is an easy-going river, but there's plenty of motorboat, canoe, jetski, and even airplane traffic during the summer so, as always, have a designated driver to keep it safe.
  • Bun on the Run, 3480 College Rd (parking lot of Beaver Sports), +1 907 479=2867. Bakery and Sandwich shop with outdoor seating. Homemade everything at an affordable price, has been a local favorite for 25 years. Summer only.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Pike's Waterfront Lodge, 1850 Hoselton Rd, +1 907 456-4500 (fax: +1 907 456-4515), [15]. Rates vary wildly depending on specials, day of week and time of year. Great art collection, free wireless, free airport pickup, fridges and microwaves in all rooms. 208 rooms. Has cabins.  edit
  • Super 8 Motel, 1909 Airport Rd, +1 907 451-8888 (fax: +1 907 451-6690), [16]. Very much like every other Super 8 Motel in America. Rates average about $130 per night in the summer, and about $70 per night in the winter.  edit
  • Comfort Inn, 1908 Chena Landings Loop, +1 907 479-8080 (fax: +1 907 479-8063), [17]. Another national chain, this hotel offers an indoor pool and free breakfast. Rates around $160 per night in the summer, $80 per night in winter.  edit
  • 7 Gables Inn & Suites, 4312 Birch Ln, +1 907 479-0751‎, [18].  edit
  • Regency Fairbanks Hotel, 95 Tenth Ave, 907 459-2700, [19].  edit


  • Billies Hostel / B&B, [20]. Around $30 per night, clean, spacious and friendly. Only downside is the distance from the center of town. Close to the rail and airport though. Good Internet access with free wireless and a few desktops scattered about. Each bed is assigned a daily chore. Recommended.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Airline. Take a flight back to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines [36] or Era Aviation [37].
  • Denali National Park. 120 miles (193 km) south of Fairbanks on the George Parks Highway, Denali is vast wilderness preserve that is the home of North America's tallest mountain, the 20,320-foot (6394-m) Mt. McKinley (Denali).
  • Dalton Highway
  • North Pole is famous for being the town that celebrates Christmas 365 days a year.

Routes through Fairbanks
Dalton Hwy Alaska 11 shield.png  N noframe S  North PoleDelta Junction
End  N noframe S  Denali N.P.Anchorage (via Alaska 1 shield.png)

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