Fairbanks Quick Facts
|Borough||Fairbanks North Star|
|Area||84.69 sq mi|
|Lat-Long Cordinates||64.8378° N, 147.7164° W|
|Time Zone||AKST (UTC-9)|
About Fairbanks City
Fairbanks is a city in the Fairbanks North Star borough of the north western American state of Alaska. It lies in the Central Tanana Valley, on the confluence of the River Chena and the River Tanana, which forms the southern border of Fairbanks. To the north of Fairbanks is a mountain range that reaches the White Mountains and Yukon River, while to its west and east lie low valleys separated by hills. The city was founded in 1901 by Captain T.E Barnette and was incorporated on November 10, 1903. It is named after the 26th Vice President of the United States, Charles W Fairbanks.
The city of Fairbanks is a home rule city and the second largest city in Alaska. It is considered the gateway to interior Alaska. It was once known for its gold and it witnessed a gold rush in the 1900’s. Even today, gold mining is an important industry here. Apart from this, major industries in Fairbanks include oil, gas, coal mining, military, and tourism.
Which is the best time to visit Fairbanks ?
Summer in Fairbanks is short, but this season attracts the maximum number of visitors. The climate is great for outdoor exploration and tourists from all over the world come to see the Northern Lights and midnight sun, which commences with the summer solstice. But if you love snow, then winter is the season for you.
Airport and Public Transport in Fairbanks
Fairbanks has an extensive network of road and railway transport. The Fairbanks International Airport connects Fairbanks with several international destinations. Public transport in Fairbanks is provided by Metropolitan area Commuter System.The Alaska Railroad provides regular train service between Fairbanks and other parts of Alaska and in summer runs special trains for tourists.
Accommodation in Fairbanks
Hotels in Fairbanks remain pretty full throughout summer, so it is better to make your accommodation reservations in advance. Some popular luxury hotels in Fairbanks are River Edge Resorts & Cottages, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and Regency Fairbanks Hotel. Some popular budget accommodations in Fairbanks are Billie’s Backpackers Hostel, Super 8 Motels, Alpine Lodge, and Borealis Inn. There are also many B&Bs to choose from like A Bed & Breakfast Inn on Minnie Street, A Downtown Log Cabin Hideaway, A Moose in the Garden B&B and A Townsite Gardens B&B.
Museums in Fairbanks:
Plan a visit to the Pioneer Air Museum and Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum and learn about the aviation history of Alaska. The Fairbanks Community Museum tells the story of the city through the exhibits relating to the gold rush, dog mushing, and Alaskan Winter. Another museum that is dedicated to the history of Fairbanks is the Circle District Historical Society. If you like cars, then you cannot miss the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum that houses as many as 70 antique cars! Fairbanks also has a museum that celebrates its snow- the Fairbanks Ice Museum. The museum has sculptures made of ice and their sheer beauty and magnificence simply captivates the visitors. Alaska has a rich native culture and you can explore this in the Alaska Native Heritage Center and University of Alaska Museum of North. Go for gold in Fairbanks!! Visit the Gold Dredge No.8 and El Dorado Gold Mine and enjoy panning for gold.
Parks, Garden, and Nature
Enjoy the beauty of wildlife in the Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary or go bird watching in the Alaska Bird Observatory and Creamers Field State Migratory Water Fowl Refuge. The Chena River Recreational Area is known for its breathtaking landscape and hot springs. This place also has some popular hiking trails. Also visit the historic Alaska Pioneer Park which was built to mark the 100th year of purchase of Alaska from Russia. Other notable parks and gardens in Fairbanks are Kiwanis Park, Growden Memorial Park, Glass Park, and Fairbanks Community Garden.
For many, visiting Fairbanks is synonymous with viewing the Northern Lights and the midnight sun. But the city has a lot more to offer. Dog mushing is the official state sport of Alaska and in Fairbanks; you get a lot of opportunities to try your hand at it. Well at least you can catch the best dog mushers in action in the Yukon Quest – an annual event held in Fairbanks. If you like to play golf, then do visit the beautiful Fairbanks Golf and Country Club and North Star Golf Club. Winter in Fairbanks means a lot of snow and the city turns into a paradise for snow lovers. You can go snowboarding or skiing at the Moose Mountain and Mount Aurora Skiland.
Enjoy theatrical performances at the Alaska Bake and Salmon Theater and Fairbanks Shakespeare Theater. Catch some dancing at the Kodiac Jack’s and the Blue Loon. If you want to spend the evening listening to some good music, the Big I Bar, Marlin, Howling Dog Saloon, and Malamute Saloon are the best bet.
Where to eat in Fairbanks
Every part of Fairbanks has restaurants that will tantalize your taste buds. Head to Aloha BBQ Grill and enjoy a Hawaiian meal in Alaska! If you are in mood for some Asian food go to Thai House Restaurant, Lin’s Asian Bistro, Seoul Gate Restaurant, or Ichiban Noodles. To get good American food head to Turtle Club, Pump House, Wolf Run Restaurant Ivory Jack’s, or Cookie Jar Restaurant. Want something sweet? Indulge your sweet tooth in the Bakery Restaurant and Lavelle’s Bistro.
Where to shop in Fairbanks
Go shopping in some of the popular shopping centers in Fairbanks – Bentley Mall, West Valley Plaza, Chena Pump Plaza, Cooks Auto Mall, Shopper’s Forum and Washington Plaza. Buy handmade items from Alaska House Art Gallery, Expressions in Glass, Gallery 49, Craft Market and Two Street Gallery LLC. Fairbanks is known for its gold, so invest in some jewelry. Alaskan Gold Rush Fine Jewelry and Bishop’s Jewelry Gallery of Gold & Diamonds are well known jewelry stores. Pick souvenirs from Arctic Traveler’s Gift Shop, Elegant Memories Antiques, and Mark Knapp Custom Knives at the Cutting Edge. If you are looking for some sports gear, go to the Apocalypse Design Inc, Big Rays, and Hydz.
Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a public research university. Another important educational institute is the UAF Community Technical College. Spend some days at Fairbanks, the “City with the Golden Heart” and rest assured that it will be a vacation to remember.