After evening pickup from your Fairbanks or North Pole hotel, take a leisurely drive northeast of the city, perhaps spotting a fox, beaver, or moose along the way, before reaching Chena Hot Springs Resort.
Engage in a variety of activities while you wait for the sky to darken to view the northern lights. First, tour one of the most unique museums you’ll ever visit, the Aurora Ice Museum, constructed out of over 1,000 tons of ice and snow. Marvel at ice sculptures by world-renowned carvers Steve and Heather Brice, whose work includes life-size jousters on horses and a two-level tower with a circular staircase.
Fancy a drink? Head over to the museum’s bar, settle in on a caribou fur–covered stool and purchase a cocktail poured into a martini glass carved out of ice. For food, check out the offerings at the Aurora Café or the Chena Hot Springs Resort Restaurant (own expense).
Or, put on your bathing suit and work on loosening those knots in your back. Slip into the resort’s hot springs, which swirl with lake water averaging 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) all year. Escape to an outdoor hot tub and unwind under the stars. A heated indoor pool is also available.
Then, dress warmly and meet your guide for a small group outing to watch for the northern lights. You’ll be taken to prime viewing locations at Chena Hot Springs, a great spot to witness the green and purple ribbons of light dazzling the sky. If you prefer to be indoors, you can see the action from inside the Aurora Café. Either way, you’ll be holding a warm drink as you gaze at the celestial wonder.
Afterward, enjoy transport back to your hotel, with a commemorative certificate of your viewing experience at Chena Hot Springs Resort.