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Trip to Fairbanks

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Savannah, Georgia
posts: 5
reviews: 4
Trip to Fairbanks

We are planning a trip to Fairbanks 11/29/13-12/3/13. Though I do not have our flight booked yet, I think we will arrive late afternoon on 11/29. A couple in our early 50's. We enjoy a laid back relaxed type of vacation. This is our anniversary, so we do want to have a nice dinner at least one night. I have a few questions please?

1. I have looked at the Hampton Inn & Suites, staying in a kingsize suite, any thoughts?

2. I have read mixed reviews on the 2 ice musuems, Aurora Ice and Ice Museum, which do you suggest?

3. I love Christmas and want to visit The Santa Claus House. Is their web-site accurate on what it's all about?

4. Would the Georgeson Botannical Gardens be worth a visit during the winter?

5. We are from the deepsouth, so not accustomed to driving in ice and snow. If we visit the places I mentioned, would we need to rent a car or is public transportation a viable option?

6. Restaurant suggestions, fine dining and casual?

Thank you

haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
posts: 6,889
reviews: 28
1. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

Have not been to Fairbanks in the winter, but I would hazard a guess that there will be nothing to see in a botanical garden in Alaska during the winter......

USA
Destination Expert
for Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,317
reviews: 44
2. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

http://www.santaclaushouse.com/visit.asp

To us, it was a christmas store.

I would include the Museum of the North.

http://www.uaf.edu/museum/

Have fun planning!

ps Can't you add a couple of days!??

Savannah, Georgia
posts: 5
reviews: 4
3. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

I wish we could extend our trip, but no, those few days are the best we can do, because of jobs.

About the Santa Claus House, so it was really no more than just a store?

The web-site talks about meeting the reindeer and taking pics in Santa's sleigh. I love a good Christmas store, but was hoping it might be a little more.

Savannah, Georgia
posts: 5
reviews: 4
4. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

Thank you, I wasn't sure. The gardens in St. Louis are beautiful in the winter so I wondered if these would be as well.

USA
Destination Expert
for Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,317
reviews: 44
5. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

I'll defer to others regarding North Pole LOL. I've only been there in the summer, not the holiday season, like you will be.

Wasilla, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Alaska
posts: 2,313
reviews: 79
6. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

To answer your rental car question... You will be severely limited without one...

Savannah, Georgia
posts: 5
reviews: 4
7. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

Thank you. Will driving be difficult for someone not accustomed to snow and ice? I don't mind driving, in fact I enjoy it and can drive anything, but I have never driven in snow or ice.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
posts: 25,535
reviews: 31
8. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

So I am curious - why the trip to Fairbanks in winter? :)

MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
posts: 13,115
reviews: 24
9. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

coalminer - we have a winner!! I was wondering the same thing. :-)

The main reason people come to Fairbanks in the winter is for the Aurora Borealis, which was not mentioned at all.

I would think late February/early March would be a much more conducive time for such a visit - more to do, warmer, more daylight. Just my thought.

Re: Santa Clause House - basically a Christmas store. I have been there in summer once and tried once in winter (their website was very deceiving as to winter opening times so they were closed when we went in the winter). They have some reindeer outside but that is about it. Other than that, a relatively large Christmas ornament store.

Savannah, Georgia
posts: 5
reviews: 4
10. Re: Trip to Fairbanks

Our anniversary is December 2 and we like to travel. So for anniversary and Christmas gifts we take trips. I LOVE the winter, snow and all. If it weren't for family, I would have moved to the deepest part of Alaska years ago.

Thank you for the feedback on the Santa Claus House.

I did not mention the northern lights because I have done some research on them and didn't really have any questions.