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Downtown Fairbanks from the Chena River

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Northern Lights in Fairbanks

Basic InfoEdit

  • Summer tourist season in Alaska officially starts May 15 and ends September 15. However, Fairbanks is lucky in that there is both a winter and summer tourist season, though many attractions/events are only open during the summer tourist season. Tourists who travel to Alaska in the summer typically want to see the midnight sun, enjoy the beautiful days of Arctic summer, cruise coastal Alaska, ride the Alaska Railroad, see the Alaska Panhandle, glacier and whale watch, and enjoy the variety of sights, sounds and spectacles that Alaska has to offer without being too cold. On the other hand, Winter tourist season starts November 15 and ends March 15; most tourists who travel to Fairbanks in the winter are interested in see the aurora ("the northern lights"), participating in dog-mushing (locally known as "sledding"), watch the Iditarod, or Yukon Quest sled-race, enjoy snowmachining, ski-joring, skiing, ice-carving and learning about local Alaskan/Arctic life. Winter tourists can see temperatures from +20F to -60F (as was the case in early 2009), and see the unique brand of life that flourishes, even at that temperature.

EventsEdit

FairbanksMignightSun

Midnight Sun in Fairbanks

Minus55Fairbanks

-55F in Fairbanks!

Annual events are listed in chronological order, for ease of use. Dates are noted in general terms (the weather plays a large part of event scheduling), with certain events being held on the same day each year (usually solstice day events).

Places/Things To DoEdit

RichardsonHighwayFairbanks

Richardson Highway outside of Fairbanks

FairbanksLightsAurora

Lights of Fairbanks with Auroral Storm

MooseYardFairbanks

Moose come right up to your front door in Fairbanks!

  • Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge - Creamer's Field was original a dairy, which became a Migratory Bird Sanctuary in 1974. Located at 1300 College Road, Creamer's Field hosts tours, nature walks, bird observations and community events year rounds. Birds from all over the world converge on this spot every year to breed, and observers are found year-round with binoculars in hand. Wedgewood Resort, a local hotel, is located at one of end of Creamer's Field, with nature trails connecting to the hotel grounds.
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks - The flagship campus of the University of Alaska system, UAF is a land-sea-space grant institution, boasting a wide array of academia. From the Geophysical Institute (built by 27 different countries to study oceans, volcanoes, the atmosphere, and space/aurorae) to the Arctic Region Super Computing Center (ARSC), UAF is a world renown institute for graduate and post-graduate studies. The Poker Flat Research Range is operated by the Geophysical Institute, and is the world's largest land-based rocket range. There are many interesting things to see and do on UAF's campus, including the UAF Museum of the North (see next entry). There are many local Alaskan Native arts to see, and the campus hosts many events throughout the year (this is also where the Alaska Constitution was signed in 1955).
  • UAF Museum of the North - Opened in 2005, the Museum of the North is home to world-class Alaskan/Arctic/Cirumpolar exhibits and displays. Exhibits tour throughout the year, while the museum has a large collection of constant displays. Worth a stop anytime of the year.
  • Georgeson Botanical Gardens - The Georgeson Botanical Gardens are located on the west side of UAF's campus, accessible by Sheep Creek Road (to the west) and Tanana Drive (to the east). GBG is both a research station and public garden display, with events throughout the summer. GBG hosts trials for world-wide plants, and also conducts numerous experiments for Alaska-hardy plants. Beautiful displays are found mostly from mid-July to mid-August, with peak bloom in early August.
  • El Dorado Gold Mine - Located between Fox and Fairbanks, the El Dorado Gold Mine dates back to the early 1900's. Originally a placer mine til the 40's, El Dorado Gold Mine became a tourist stop in 1990. Owned by Alaska Riverways Inc (who also own the Riverboat Discovery), the El Dorado Gold Mine holds tours of the mine and train tours throughout tourist season (May 15 - September 15). Truly, a historic and fun Fairbanks attraction!
  • Pioneer Park (Alaskaland) - Located at 2300 Airport Way, Pioneer Park is a 44-acre part commemorating early Alaska History. While there is no admittance fee, some of the museums within the park do charge a small fee. The park itself has river access, with Paddler's Cove renting both canoes and kayaks for day floats (also offering van pick-up for longer excursions). Pioneer Park has many shops, restaurants and attractions, and hosts one of Fairbanks' only putt-putt golf course. Most notably on exhibit is the Gold Rush Town (35 restored building from Fairbanks' original days), the "Harding Car" (the railway car President Harding used to visit Alaska to celebrate the completion of the Alaskan Railroad), Pioneer Air Museum, and the SS Nenana sternwheeler, which carried cargo and passengers during the early days of Fairbanks.
  • Alaska Salmon Bake - A required stop for any summer visitor, the Alaska Salmon Bake has been serving up its namesake for over 30 years. The Alaskan Salmon Bake serves three types of fish (Salmon, Halibut and Cod) and Prime Rib. There is a full salad bar buffet, complete with over 30 items (including bread and beans). Alcohol (beer and wine) can be purchased at the park, and there is a nightly show ("revue") at 8:15. Make sure to stop by the Desert Hut for fresh chocolate cake, blueberry pie, and many other local specialties. There is a small gift shop as well (Pick-n-Poke) for when your meal is complete. The grounds are rife with a dazzling array of local flowers and woodwork, and locals love this place as much as tourists! Open from 5:00pm - 9:30pm, the Alaskan Salmon Bake offers hotel pick up on its own buses.
  • Riverboat Discovery - The Riverboat Discovery company operates three sternwheelers that ply up and down the Chena River, offering spectacular views of Fairbanks, and the area surround the city. Charters are available if needed, but the main tours run daily throughout tourist season (May 15 - September 15). Tours typically leave in the morning (8:15am) and have you back by 1:00pm. There is a large giftshop located on-site, and the company has buses that can pick up from hotels around town. From their website, "You will see a bush plane taking off from a "bush" style runway, visit the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher, and gain insight into the ancient Athabascan Indian culture. Alaskan Native guides who have worked and lived in Alaska will take you on a personalized tour of the Chena Indian Village." This is an attraction loved by locals as much as tourists, as well.

RestaurantsEdit

Bars, Pubs, NightlifeEdit

SuburbsEdit

North Pole, Alaska Population: 1,778
College, Alaska Population: 13,428
Ester, Alaska Population: 1,978
Fox, Alaska Population: 353
Harding-Birch Lakes, Alaska Population: 216
Moose Creek, Alaska Population: 542
Pleasant Valley, Alaska Population: 733
Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska Population: 5,400
Salcha, Alaska Population: 854
Nenana, Alaska Population: 402
Two Rivers, Alaska Population: 588
Chatanika, Alaska Population: Unincorporated
Chena Hot Springs, Alaska Population: Unincorporated

Organizations/SocietiesEdit

Local Business/Community DirectoryEdit

Place Name Business Directory

LinksEdit

wikipedia:Fairbanks Example

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