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Best of Fairbanks Guide

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Fairbanks
Don't be fooled by the initial appearance of this sprawling city with the typical fast-food spots, malls and hotels; this region in the heart of Alaska's interior has a lot to offer. If you're lucky enough to be here between late September and early April, you can view the spectacular Northern Lights, or aurora borealis. At the old Gold Dredge No. 8, you can pan for gold, just as people did at the turn of the century in this gold-rush town. The town's gold mining heritage is also reflected at the University of Alaska Museum and Alaskaland Pioneer Park, a Wild West-style theme park that recreates early Fairbanks and includes a replica of a Native American village. Fairbanks is a starting point for some great... more Don't be fooled by the initial appearance of this sprawling city with the typical fast-food spots, malls and hotels; this region in the heart of Alaska's interior has a lot to offer. If you're lucky enough to be here between late September and early April, you can view the spectacular Northern Lights, or aurora borealis. At the old Gold Dredge No. 8, you can pan for gold, just as people did at the turn of the century in this gold-rush town. The town's gold mining heritage is also reflected at the University of Alaska Museum and Alaskaland Pioneer Park, a Wild West-style theme park that recreates early Fairbanks and includes a replica of a Native American village. Fairbanks is a starting point for some great adventures, such as the scenic 160-mile Steese Highway Drive or the McKinley Explorer railroad that runs to Denali National Park and Anchorage. Energetic outdoor types can hike, mountain bike, canoe, cross-country ski or take a slow river-float trip; others can relax on a river cruise aboard an authentic sternwheeler riverboat. less

All things to do » Things to do

Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
Owner description: This unexpected gem at Wedgewood Resort features a remarkable collection of antique cars and historic fashions, plus entertaining displays on Alaska motoring history. With over... more Owner description: This unexpected gem at Wedgewood Resort features a remarkable collection of antique cars and historic fashions, plus entertaining displays on Alaska motoring history. With over 100 vintage outfits exhibited alongside automotive works of art, visitors are treated to a visually stunning trip back to a time when cars and fashion dominated the luxury goods market. The museum's automobile collection features over 85 American-made vehicles, including beautifully restored horseless carriages, nickel touring cars, rakish speedster, elegant classics, and early racecars. From rare marquees like Compound and Argonne to well-known names like Packard and Stutz, visitors will be amazed at the beauty, innovation, and history of these rolling masterpieces. All but a few of the automobiles are driven each summer, making this a true "living museum."Home to more than 600 textiles from the 18th to the Mid-20th Century, the museum presents one of the largest historic fashion collections on permanent display in the Western United States. The exhibits include enchanting examples of men's and women's fashions, from silk bustle dresses and motoring dusters to shimmering flapper shifts and dapper tuxedos. Antique accessories including historic hats, shoes, jewelry, and more complete the scores of vintage elegance. Historic photos and videos located throughout the galleries vividly illustrate the extreme circumstances faced by Alaska's pioneering motorists. Although dreadful road conditions and severe climate were unkind to their vehicles, some of these early cars survived and several are exhibited in the Alaska Gallery. These include the Territory's very first automobile, built in 1905 by a man who had never seen a car before! At the Sourdough Roadhouse, children and adults can don period clothing and climb aboard a 1911 automobile for photographs along the Old Valdez Trail. less
Attraction type: Museums
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Running Reindeer Ranch
Running Reindeer Ranch
Owner description: Enjoy a walk through the boreal forest of Alaska with our curious and gentle reindeer. Ruby, Olive, Willow, Jasper and Rufus (and now Rosie and Daisy!) will be your guides as you... more Owner description: Enjoy a walk through the boreal forest of Alaska with our curious and gentle reindeer. Ruby, Olive, Willow, Jasper and Rufus (and now Rosie and Daisy!) will be your guides as you enjoy the beauty of Alaska’s interior. See them romp free through the forest doing "reindeery" things. After our walk we will return to the house for a light refreshment and to finish up the conversation. Each time you come will be a unique experience. We are open year round by appointment only. Same day reservations sometimes available. Tours in the summer are weekdays evenings at 7 pm and weekend mornings at 10, winter tours on weekends only and full moon nights. Winter cut off temperature -65 F.(That's a joke, it really never gets that cold, we cut off when you don't want to do it, we are always game! Reindeer love the cold!) less
Attraction type: Ranches
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Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center
Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center
Attraction type: Visitor centers
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University of Alaska Museum of the North
University of Alaska Museum of the North
Owner description: See the state's largest collection of gold and a mummified steppe bison, explore the art of Alaska and discover treasures from thousands of years of cultural history. The... more Owner description: See the state's largest collection of gold and a mummified steppe bison, explore the art of Alaska and discover treasures from thousands of years of cultural history. The University of Alaska Museum of the North is a thriving visitor attraction, a vital component of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the only research and teaching museum in Alaska. The museum's research collections - 1.5 million artifacts and specimens - are organized into 10 disciplines (archaeology, birds, documentary film, earth sciences, ethnology/history, fine arts, fishes/marine invertebrates, insects, mammals, and plants) and serve as a valuable resource for research on climate change, genetics, contaminants and other issues facing Alaska and the circumpolar North. less
Attraction type: Museums; History museums; Natural history museums; Specialty museums
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University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Attraction type: Colleges & universities

All places to eat » Places to eat

The Crepery
The Crepery
Ranked #1 of 201 Restaurants in Fairbanks
Cuisines: Coffee Shop, Dessert, Café, Creperie
Pita Place
Pita Place
Ranked #2 of 201 Restaurants in Fairbanks
Cuisines: Mediterranean
Bad 2 Da Bone
Bad 2 Da Bone
Ranked #3 of 201 Restaurants in Fairbanks
Cuisines: Barbecue
Chena's Alaskan Grill
Chena's Alaskan Grill
Ranked #4 of 201 Restaurants in Fairbanks
Price: $10 - $35
Cuisines: American, Bar, Family Fare
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Thai House Restaurant
Thai House Restaurant
Ranked #5 of 201 Restaurants in Fairbanks
Cuisines: Asian, Thai
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery

All accommodations » Where to stay - Budget

Billie's Backpackers Hostel
Billie's Backpackers Hostel
$33 - $62
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Sven's Basecamp Hostel
Sven's Basecamp Hostel
$20 - $65
Minnie Street Bed and Breakfast
Minnie Street Bed and Breakfast
$49 - $215
Ranked #11 of 44 Fairbanks B&B and Inns
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All accommodations » Where to stay - Midrange

Mount Aurora Lodge
Mount Aurora Lodge
$110 - $220
A Moose in the Garden Bed & Breakfast
A Moose in the Garden Bed & Breakfast
$99
Ranked #1 of 44 Fairbanks B&B and Inns
Alaska Heritage House
3.0 of 5
Alaska Heritage House
$78 - $202
Ranked #2 of 44 Fairbanks B&B and Inns
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.