I reached the end of my Alaska inland cruise in Fairbanks. Here are a few things to do in Fairbanks.
Gold Panning at Gold Dredge 8
At Gold Dredge 8 you can learn about the Alaska gold rush. More importantly, you can learn how to pan for gold yourself here. Once you’ve panned for gold, any gold you find will be valued and you can take it home with you. Finally, you may wish to skip this if you already visited Klondike Gold Dredge, one of the things to do in Skagway Alaska.
Museum of the North
Alaska is a huge state full of history and natural wonders. Learn all about Alaska from Arctic dinosaurs to the native cultures here. Read about the latest events on the official museum website.
Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
When you’re researching the things to do in Fairbanks, the last thing which comes to mind is vintage automobiles. However, there is a fine collection of cars on show at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. All vehicles are pre-World War II dating from 1898 up to 1936. Simply put, if you’re interested in historic cars, you must visit.
Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center
Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center is a must visit for anyone passing through Fairbanks. Firstly, you can talk with local experts who have a lot of knowledge on the whole of Alaska. Secondly, you can see Alaska Native art as well as listen to music and stories. Lastly, do check out the entrance gate which has become a top Instagram spot in Fairbanks.
Hire a Car to Explore Fairbanks Alaska
Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge
Birdwatchers could be in for a treat at Creamer’s Field. Depending on the season you may see different types of Grebes, Loons and Cranes. Additionally, you may see ducks, geese, wigeon’s, teals, golden eyes, scoters and coots. Other shore birds are commonplace here too as well as hundreds of species. Spotting birds is fun but do also take time to appreciate the stunning surroundings. On my visit to Juneau, I saw a Golden Eagle sat on a floating iceberg.
Pioneer Park is often included on your inland cruise itinerary. As a matter of fact, cruise passengers arrive at Pioneer Park on a historic sternwheeler riverboat. Once inside the park there are enough activities to keep you occupied for the whole day. I particularly enjoyed photographing the reindeer and taking my photo with a native Alaskan.
Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary
Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary offers an easy walking trail around a lake. This trail is perfect for wildlife viewing therefore bring your camera. Alternatively, enjoy the walk as you take in the breathtaking landscapes and breath in the fresh Alaskan air.
Georgeson Botanical Garden
The climate in Fairbanks and Alaska results in some rare flowers. Why not visit the well kept Georgeson Botanical Garden to see what’s in bloom when you’re in town? It’s particularly famous for peonies.
Visit the North Pole
Did you know it’s possible to visit the North Pole in Fairbanks? There’s a suburb of Fairbanks called North Pole which is home to Santa Claus House which sells everything for tourists. A picture with the North Pole sign is certainly a unique one! Lastly, you can arrange a letter from Santa inside Santa Claus House.
You need a bit of luck to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). If they’re strong enough and it’s a clear sky you can see this natural wonder of the world from within Fairbanks town. However, to see the Northern Lights in all their glory I recommend you visit Cleary Summit when the sky is clear. One night in Iceland, I saw the Northern Lights from central Reykjavik.
Chena Hot Springs and Ice Museum
For me, Chena Springs is the Blue Lagoon of Alaska. Relax in steaming hot springs surrounded by a beautiful landscape. As a matter of fact, Chena Springs is one of the things to do in Fairbanks which will fill up your Instagram feed. It’s not unusual to see girls posing in the water as they attempt to get the perfect shot! Lastly, read about the Blue Lagoon of Iceland.
If you didn’t get the perfect shot in Chena Hot Springs then you have 2 types of shots to take in the adjacent Aurora Bar. Firstly, you may take a shot of drink. Vodka may warm you up in the ice! Secondly, the bar is a perfect setting for an Instagram shot – enjoy!