3 Days in Fairbanks: Suggested Itineraries

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The second-largest city in Alaska, Fairbanks is full of interesting attractions and memorable experiences. While you could easily spend weeks exploring all this city has to offer, it’s not always possible to have unlimited time. To help you plan a long weekend, here is a suggested itinerary for three days Fairbanks.

Day 1: Explore the attractions at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is home to an array of worthwhile attractions, especially for those interested in learning about nature and culture. First there is the Georgeson Botanical Garden. North America's northernmost botanical garden, the attraction focuses on researching and showcasing high-latitude flora. Walking around the Georgeson Botanical Garden you'll be immersed in a world of colorful flowers, aromatic herbs, fresh vegetables and sweet fruits, all separated into specific themed gardens like the Dye Garden, Family Food Garden and Dorothy Truran Memorial Herb Garden. There are also peaceful ponds for quiet reflection.

Also make sure to visit the University of Alaska Museum of the North, where you can peruse 1.4 million artifacts and specimens relating to Alaska's natural, artistic and cultural heritage. Some items you’ll find include ivory carvings, Native tools, a 36,000-year-old mummified steppe bison and beadwork handicrafts from the mid-1800s. There are also educational films to help give you a narrated visual.

Near to the campus you can visit the Large Animal Research Station to learn about animals the live in the high-latitude north. Originally started in 1979 in an attempt to repopulate Alaska with muskoxen, the attraction now also has reindeer and caribou. It's a great place to see local wildlife up-close in a peaceful setting and learn about these beautiful creatures.

Day 2: Get to know Alaska’s rich history at Pioneer Park

Opened in 1967 as part of the Alaska 67 Centennial Exposition, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase, Pioneer Park is Alaska's only historical theme park. Within the park's 44 acres (109 hectares) you’ll find an array of attractions, restaurants, museums, shops and art spaces.

Learn about Eskimos and Indigenous cultures at the Alaska Native Museum; view aircrafts and aviation memorabilia at the Pioneer Air Museum; enjoy fresh local salmon at Salmon Bake; or take in a live performance about Fairbanks at the Palace Theatre. There are more than 30 attractions in all, so you can easily spend all day roaming around here.

Day 3: Immerse yourself in the Alaskan outdoors

No trip to Alaska would be complete without exploring the beauty of its wilderness. Luckily, there are many opportunities to do this when in Fairbanks. One popular stop is the Chena River Recreation Area and Chena Hot Springs, which encompasses 254,080 acres (102,823 hectares) of beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation. Hiking trails abound, as do opportunities for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, ATVing, camping, climbing, photographing wildlife, skiing, snowmobiling and, of course, relaxing in the park's steaming namesake hot springs.

Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge is another place that’s great for enjoying the outdoors in Fairbanks. Located at the site of the historic Creamer’s Dairy, this 2,000-acre (809-hectare) refuge is full of field, forest and wetland hiking trails as well as opportunities to see migratory birds like ducks, geese, swans, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, pintails and golden plovers. You might even see some larger wildlife like moose.

Fairbanks is also a great home base for taking a day tour to the Arctic Circle, the Earth’s northernmost circle of latitude. Here you can enjoy raw natural beauty as well as experience authentic Eskimo culture. Interestingly, depending on when you visit you'll experience 24 hours of day or night.
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Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour from Fairbanks

Pair aurora borealis with spa treatments and you get a northern lights experience like no other. This night trip from Fairbanks takes you to Chena Hot Springs Resort for an exciting but relaxing array of activities. Discover eye-popping sculptures at the on-site Aurora Ice Museum, and then unwind in the resort’s legendary mineral water baths. When the conditions are right, a guide takes your small group to the best locations to watch for the ethereal northern lights, with warm beverages in hand.
  • Duration: 11 hours
From
US$175.00
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  • Duration: 11 hours
From
US$175.00

Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks

Imagine yourself on the TV show 'Ice Road Truckers' on this tour that takes you along the Dalton Highway (aka Alaska Route 11) from Fairbanks to the edge of the Arctic Circle. During your 14-hour journey into the Alaskan wilderness, cross the Yukon River and set eyes on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, one of the world’s largest pipeline systems. On the return drive, watch for the northern lights (aurora borealis). Food, warm drinks and hotel transport are included in this small-group experience limited to just eight people.
  • Duration: 14 hours
From
US$225.00
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  • Duration: 14 hours
From
US$225.00

Snowmobile Adventure from North Pole

Speed through winter landscapes on this 90-minute snowmobile adventure in North Pole. Follow an expert guide into the Chena Lakes Recreation area on remote mountain trails leading you across frozen lakes and rivers, and keep an eye out for wildlife. Then, park the snowmobile and wind down your adrenaline with a warm beverage, along with some snacks.
  • Duration: 1 hour
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US$95.00
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  • Duration: 1 hour
From
US$95.00

Arctic Circle Day Trip from Fairbanks with Lunch

Journey to the Arctic Circle from Fairbanks for a first-hand experience of the Earth’s northernmost circle of latitude in one of our climate-controlled vans. Here, in the summer and winter, the sky is completely dark or light for 24 hours a day! Travel along the famous Dalton Highway and spot wildlife (no guarantee) as you cross the Yukon River. When you arrive, learn about the area’s indigenous culture, take a walk with your guide, snap photos of the arctic landscape, and enjoy a free delicious warm stew amidst the incredible surroundings. You’ll take home an official Arctic Circle certificate to commemorate this amazing Alaska experience. Make sure to dress weather appropriate and we recommend to wear some sturdy shoes to be able enjoy this trip.This small-group tour is limited to eight people, ensuring you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide.
  • Duration: 12 hours 30 minutes
From
US$200.00
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  • Duration: 12 hours 30 minutes
From
US$200.00

Alaskan Heritage Tour in Fairbanks

Get to know Alaska’s past and present on this 5.5-hour tour in Fairbanks led by an informative guide. Enjoy the Museum of the North’s story of Alaska’s natural and cultural heritage, and admire the art installations at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center. Browse dog-mushing memorabilia at the Yukon Quest Log Cabin, before exploring Pioneer Park (seasonal) that features attractions celebrating Alaska’s notable historical hallmarks, including the Gold Rush. Visit all these sites as part of a small-group or private tour — your choice!
  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
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US$105.00
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  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
From
US$105.00

Fairbanks City Highlight Tour

Get to know Fairbanks, called the ‘Golden Heart City,’ on this 5-hour sightseeing tour. Visit the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center for an intro into the city’s history and culture, and admire the architecture at the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North. Feast your eyes on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the world’s largest pipeline, and wrap up your day at the Santa Claus House in the North Pole. Hotel transport included.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
US$115.00
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
US$115.00

Ice Fishing Day Tour

Catch your lunch during this ice-fishing tour from Fairbanks. Experienced guides take you from your hotel along a scenic drive to a prime fishing location at a frozen lake. Pick up traditional fishing techniques and then cast your luck into the water. Admire the Alaskan wilderness and finish the outing with a warm, cooked lunch of just-caught fish.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$238.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$238.00

Chena River Canoe Adventure from Fairbanks

Want to experience the Alaskan outdoors in an exciting but safe adventure? On this full-day guided canoe tour from Fairbanks, paddle along the gentle currents of the Chena River. Pass forests of spruce and catch sight of bald eagles, moose and foxes. Make stops along the sandbanks to capture more views of the beautiful landscapes, and enjoy coffee and a lunch break along the way. This small-group outing ideal for families and beginners includes hotel transport.
  • Duration: 10 hours
From
US$237.50
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  • Duration: 10 hours
From
US$237.50


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