The largest city in the interior region of the last frontier definitely has its misconceptions. While many view this town to be far too cold and dark for their liking, we know that the good things about this town far outweigh the bad. When you go from -50 degrees in the wintertime to almost 100 degrees in the summertime, sure – the temperature swings are hard to get used to. But what this really does is it limits the year-round population to people who truly are dedicated to living the real, rugged Alaskan lifestyle.
Fairbanks is not only a gold mining mecca-land, but it is the most epic place to dance under the Midnight Sun or make snow angels under the Northern Lights. If you love the great outdoors, you’ll fall head over heels in love with the town of Fairbanks. Choose from endless hiking trails, beautiful kayaking spots and convenient places to rip up river on a jet-ski right from the heart of downtown. From fishing on the Chena River to world class hunting spots – Fairbanks has something for everyone. Read on to learn why the ‘Golden Heart City’ is truly one of the most underrated places in all of Alaska.
Although the largest town in the interior region of the 49th state, you can't help but feeling like you are in small town USA when in Fairbanks. The local charm, friendly people, quaint shops and delicious eateries make you feel comfortable, cozy and right at home.
After one visit to the town of Fairbanks, don't be surprised if you think the book/movie 'A River Runs Through It' was based on this town. The stunning Chena River runs through the town and provides a bounty of natural resources and activities for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. The Chena River is actually a tributary of the larger Tanana River, which is about 584 miles long.
Go fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, jet-skiing, canoeing and so much more on the Chena River. And when (parts of) it freeze in the wintertime, bust out your snowmachine and enjoy the most epic, endless outdoor playground of your life.
For those outdoor lovers that enjoy utilizing their alternate forms of transportation, the Chena River is also an excellent spot for bush pilots to take off and head out to the backcountry. Or take the float plane out for a scenic spin and show all of your friends and family the beautiful town of Fairbanks from an aerial perspective.
The Veteran's Memorial Bridge which crosses the Chena River was named in honor of all veterans in the state of Alaska. This special place is very near and dear to the hearts of locals and fellow residents throughout the last frontier. After it was completed in 2012, visitors to Fairbanks have been seemingly drawn here to view all the flags and to pay their respects to the men and women from Alaska who have served our country and defended our freedom.
The military influence in Fairbanks is very prominent. Both Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright Army Post add greatly to the beautiful community, bringing strong and proud men and women from all over the country to last frontier.
Endless hiking and biking trails are all over the city of Fairbanks. These outdoor adventure spots are great in the summertime but can also be used in the wintertime for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
Easy access to prime hunting is another reason to fall madly in love with Fairbanks. Go out and bring home moose, caribou, bear and so much more. If you are someone who likes to live off the land, Fairbanks is a great home base for you.
One of the most popular attractions in Fairbanks is Chena Hot Springs Resort. When the temps drop for days, weeks and months on end during the wintertime, everyone heads to Chena for a great natural mineral springs soak. This place is truly one-of-a-kind. It is relaxing and adventurous all at the same time. A huge win for Fairbanks!
Also located at Chena Hot Springs Resort is the Aurora Ice Museum. Suit up in a parka and enjoy incredible ice sculptures, an ice hotel and a drink at the delicious ice bar.
Another beautiful thing about the town of Fairbanks is the amount of museums. If you love to learn, Fairbanks is the place for you! The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and the University of Alaska Museum of the North are among two of the most beloved spots in Fairbanks. If you just have a day to spend in town, these places are a must visit.
And on the topic of education, it's impossible to ignore the stunning views of the Alaska Range that can be seen from UAF. If you get distracted in class from a glistening alpenglow in the distance, we have a feeling that your teachers will understand.
History runs strong throughout the town of Fairbanks. The start of it all with the Gold Rush is something that influences almost every aspect of the towns culture, and rightfully so. With the largest open-pit gold mine in Alaska (Fort Knox Gold Mine) still in operation, mining is still a very relevant and lucrative part of the strengthening economy.
Even the restaurants in Fairbanks are beautiful and unique. Adorned with rustic touches and taxidermy that is sure to tell a great story, dining out in Fairbanks is all about comfort, coziness and mouth watering happiness.
One of the most beautiful things about the town of Fairbanks is its ability to bring the community together. Events like the Rubber Duckie Race have been going on for years and years - each year continuing to grow in size. There goes that amazing river again, bringing people together and creating magical moments.
Talking about the town of Fairbanks without paying tribute to the dog mushing community would just be crazy and so wrong. From the Yukon Quest race to the Iditarod, Fairbanks welcomes the dog mushing community with arms wide open. Bouchard's Visitors can enjoy the International Dog Mushing and Sled Museum and many other mushers who do dog sled tours all year round. So to make a long story short... you must love dogs!
And although there are misconceptions about Fairbanks being this frozen land where the sun never shines and it is too cold to go outside for months on end - don't be fooled. Fairbanks is magical. It is stunningly beautiful all year long. You just have to get outside and enjoy it, even if it means throwing on an extra layer (or five layers).
And perhaps the best kept secret about Fairbanks is that it is truly one of the best places in Alaska to view the Aurora Borealis. When the bright colors of the northern lights are dancing away in the nights sky, you've hit the lottery if you're lucky enough to be in Fairbanks.
What do you love most about the town of Fairbanks? We’d love to hear about your favorite memories in the Facebook comments below!