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How to Spend 1 Day in Fairbanks

How to Spend 1 Day in Fairbanks

Known as the gateway to the Arctic, Fairbanks is the only major city in Alaska’s interior and is also one of the best spots to view the northern lights. With only one day, you’ll want to take advantage of tours that include multiple activities to pack in as many sights as possible. Here’s how to make the most of one day in Fairbanks. 

Morning: City Highlights

Delve into Alaska’s past and its present with a sightseeing tour of Fairbank’s top history and cultural sights: Start with the Fairbanks Community Museum or the University of Alaska Museum of the North for a crash course in Alaskan history. Then move on to the Tanana Valley Railroad Museum, the Pioneer Air Museum, or the Large Animal Research Station. A guided tour can take you to many of these sights without the hassle of navigating the city, so that you can see as much as possible in a short period of time.

Afternoon: Wilderness Expeditions

Located just an hour’s drive from Fairbanks, White Mountains National Recreation Area offers stunning scenery, nearly endless trails, and plenty of gold-panning opportunities. Opt for a guided hike to Wickersham Dome, which offers incredible panoramas of the White Mountains and the Brooks Range on a clear day. Other options vary by season and include river-rafting trips, guided fly-fishing experiences, ice-fishing tours, and dog-mushing adventures.

Evening: Thermal Springs and Icy Drinks

A visit to the steamy thermal pools at Chena Hot Springs is a must. Due to its unique location, clear skies, and low light pollution, the area is one of the best places in Alaska to see the northern lights, and many tours from Fairbanks combine a visit to the springs with a northern lights viewing experience. You also won’t want to miss the curious ice sculptures in the Aurora Ice Museum or the Ice Bar’s signature cocktail, an appletini served in a glass carved entirely out of ice. 

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13 Tours and Activities | All Fairbanks Tours

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Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour from Fairbanks

Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour from Fairbanks

star-4.5
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.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$175.00
From
US$175.00
Taking safety measures

Fairbanks Autumn/Winter City Tour

Fairbanks Autumn/Winter City Tour

star-5
Discover the winter sightseeing gems of Fairbanks on this 5.5-hour city tour. If you can, snap a shot with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Santa Claus home, learn about the engineering feat that is the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and and visit the Morris Thompson Cultural Museum. At the Museum of the North (Mon-Sat) and the Antique Auto Museum (Sundays only), experience the history, culture and craftsmanship of Fairbanks.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$118.00
From
US$118.00
Taking safety measures

Northern Lights Murphy Dome Viewing in Fairbanks

Northern Lights Murphy Dome Viewing in Fairbanks

star-4.5
Capture the photos of the Northern Lights that you have been dreaming of on this guided night trip to the Murphy Dome from Fairbanks. One of the tallest peaks in the region, Murphy Dome provides one of the best vantage points to witness the Aurora Borealis. Watch the night sky blaze with color while savoring a hot beverage. Hotel transport included.
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  • 5 hours
From
US$100.00
From
US$100.00

Alaskan Heritage and Sightseeing Tour in Fairbanks

Alaskan Heritage and Sightseeing Tour in Fairbanks

star-5
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!
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$105.00
From
US$105.00
Taking safety measures

1-hour Winter Dog Sledding in Fairbanks

1-hour Winter Dog Sledding in Fairbanks

star-5
Enjoy Alaska’s winter landscapes with a team of happy hounds speeding you through across snowy fields. On this dog-mushing adventure from Fairbanks, learn about the popular sport and what it takes to lead a team of dogs. Then take the reins of the dog sled and pull! Enjoy an hour-long thrilling ride before you warm up in a cozy cabin. Hotel transport included.
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  • 1 hour
From
US$174.00
From
US$174.00

Fairbanks City Highlight Tour

Fairbanks City Highlight Tour

star-4.5
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.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
From
US$118.00
From
US$118.00

Chena Hot Springs Day Tour from Fairbanks

Chena Hot Springs Day Tour from Fairbanks

star-4.5
Get a kick out of the Fairbanks Ice Museum and then revitalize your mind and body at Chena Hot Springs on this day trip from Fairbanks. Enjoy a guided tour of the museum filled with displays of ice sculptures, and then warm up at Chena Hot Springs. Surrounded by beautiful Alaskan scenery, immerse yourself in thermal pools of water that soothe sore muscles and aching backs. Enjoy several hours of free time at the rustic lodge resort. Hotel transport included.
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  • 7 hours
From
US$145.00
From
US$145.00

Northern Lights Experience and Cabin Dinner

Northern Lights Experience and Cabin Dinner

star-5
Experience the wonder of the Northern Lights and indulge in a home-cooked meal in one night on this outing from Fairbanks. A driver takes you to an off-the-grid Alaskan cabin for dinner where you can enjoy the lively company of others. Then, face the large north-facing windows of the cabin and witness the splendor of aurora borealis, with a warm beverage in hand.
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  • 5 hours
From
US$185.00
From
US$185.00

Ice Fishing Day Tour

Ice Fishing Day Tour

star-3.5
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 freshly-caught fish.
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  • 7 hours
From
US$250.21
From
US$250.21

River Rafting in Alaska Wilderness

River Rafting in Alaska Wilderness

star-4
Admire the natural beauty of Alaska on a river-rafting tour from Fairbanks. With a guide, you'll float along a scenic waterway to look for wildlife or enjoy the midnight sun, depending on whether you select the morning or evening tour when booking. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 8 hours
From
US$221.83
From
US$221.83

Snowshoe Tour at Chena Lakes

Snowshoe Tour at Chena Lakes

star-5
Escape to a winter wonderland at the Chena Lakes Recreation Area on this snowshoe tour from Fairbanks. As a guide takes you over snow-covered trails at a leisurely pace, watch for wildlife such as moose, birds, snowshoe hare, and foxes. Explore forests and frozen lakes in this tranquil environment, and hear the sound of your snowshoes crunching softly in the snow. This is a perfect budget-friendly activity for the family.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$45.00
From
US$45.00
Taking safety measures

Hike into the Wilderness at Wickersham Dome

Hike into the Wilderness at Wickersham Dome

star-4
Enjoy a full-day tour with a moderately challenging hike at Wickersham Dome in the White Mountains Recreation Area. Your knowledgeable guide shares informative commentary as you take in this spectacular wilderness area in the Alaskan interior. Light refreshments and round-trip transportation from Fairbanks are included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$195.00
From
US$195.00

Table Top Mountain Hiking Adventure

Table Top Mountain Hiking Adventure

Experience the Alaskan wilderness during an easy hike on the Table Top Mountain Trail in the White Mountains National Recreation Area. Take in panoramic views of Nome Creek Valley and Beaver Creek Valley, Mount Prindle and parts of the Alaska Range (on a clear day). If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a moose, bear, hawk or owl. Your guide provides light refreshments during the hike, which is suitable for people with a moderate level of fitness.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$195.00
From
US$195.00


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