Fairbanks is a city located in the interior of Alaska. It is also the northernmost city most people visit while on an Alaska family vacation. For some reason, no one wants to head any further north to the Arctic Circle while making memories with their family. If you are one of those people, you will be happy to know there are quite a few things to do in Fairbanks during a family vacation. Today, I am going to share the best things to do in Fairbanks, Alaska with you. I can easily add as many of them as you want to your itinerary, as I personalize it for your family trip to Alaska.
The Georgeson Botanical Garden is a five-acre garden located at the University of Fairbanks. This lush green space is filled with flowering paths, a native Alaska plant garden, wooden bridges, and plenty of areas to sit.
You can only visit this garden between the months of May and September. So, plan your family vacation in Fairbanks carefully if this is on your must-see list.
While you are visiting this university, you may also want to stop in the Museum of the North. Inside, you will see displays of gold, modern art, and so much more.
The most popular display is Blue Babe. That is a thirty-six-thousand-year-old mummified and preserved Alaskan Steppe Bison. Oh, and don’t skip seeing the elaborate Alaskan outhouse.
One of the best places to hike in Fairbanks is the Chena River State Recreation Area. There is a loop called the Angel Rocks Trail. It is just over eight miles long. During your hike, you can see the Alaska Range, Bear Paw Butte, and the Chena Dome.
After your hike, head to the Chena Hot Springs to soak in the healing water. But before you do that, check out the Aurora Ice Museum. This museum is open all year long and is kept at twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit.
A trip on the Wilderness Express Train will take you to Anchorage, Talkeetna, or Denali National Park from Fairbanks. I recommend heading to Denali National Park. There are quite a few things to do within this park. They will all enhance your experience while on vacation in Alaska.
The curved glass dome will allow your family to see three hundred sixty-degree views from your seats.
This is one of the best things to do in Fairbanks that you must plan in advance. I can make your reservations for you as I am personalizing your family vacation itinerary for your Alaska trip.
There are plenty of things to keep you busy at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. Start at the Queen of the Yukon display. This is where parts of the Riverboat Nenana sternwheeler are scattered about.
Then head over to the Tanana Valley Railroad Museum, Pioneer Air Museum, Pioneer Hall, or the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts. Each one will share the history of this area, as well as the people who live there.
The Fairbanks Antler Arch is one of the best places to take family pictures while in Alaska. This arch is made from caribou and moose antlers. Stand underneath and get some pictures making funny faces or doing silly poses to make this an incredible experience.
There are a few different options for Riverboat Discovery rides in Fairbanks. I recommend doing the one that takes you to the Chena Indian Village Living Museum. You will learn a lot about Alaska Native culture and traditions at this living museum.
There are quite a few places to meet sled dogs in Alaska. However, when you are in Fairbanks, you will most likely go to the Trailbreaker Kennel or Paws for Adventure. You can usually participate in sled dog riding tours during your visit. Just don’t forget to snuggle with the puppies during your visit.
Creamer’s Field used to be a dairy farm in Fairbanks. Now, it is a field where migratory birds spend their time. A visit here will have you seeing Tundra Swans, Trumpeter Swans, Snow Geese, and Canadian Geese. You may even spot a moose or two if you are lucky.
You must plan your family vacation in Fairbanks carefully if you want to experience the Midnight Sun. The sun stays out past midnight for quite a few days each year. There is a total of seventy-two days where it is never night in this part of Alaska. That’s a lot of sunlight to experience and extra time to check things off your list!
If you miss the Midnight Sun, you may be able to capture some of the Northern Lights in Fairbanks. Those dancing lights will make you forget all about constant sunlight!
One of the best things to do in Fairbanks is learn about the gold rush in Alaska and pan for gold. During an open-air train car ride at Gold Dredge 8, you will learn about the gold mining history. After the ride, you will pan for gold and hopefully discover a nugget or two.
Christmas is every day at the Santa Claus House at the North Pole! This is an excellent place to stock up on ornaments and other decorations.
Of course, you can’t miss out on a visit with the jolly ol’ Saint Nick and his reindeer. Take some family photos. Bribe the kids with fudge afterwards and you will be amazed at how good the pictures turn out!
The Tanana Valley Farmers Market is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer months. Therefore, you must plan your visit carefully if you want to try local foods.
This outdoor market is the perfect place to grab fresh produce, as well as local souvenirs. Check out the native handicrafts and pottery for unique souvenirs.
If you didn’t get enough of the reindeer at the Santa Claus House, you may want to add the Running Reindeer Ranch to your itinerary. When you arrive, you will learn numerous fascinating facts about reindeer.
Afterwards, you will be allowed to wander through the forest amongst the reindeer. Interacting with these creatures will be your favorite thing to do in Fairbanks! Just don’t forget to snap a few pictures, so you can remember this time forever.
These are some of the best things to do in Fairbanks, Alaska. There are many others, and I can include as many of them as you want when I personalize your Alaskan vacation itinerary. We can discuss it all during our planning session, as I get to know the likes and dislikes of your family. I know you want this to be a special vacation where you make tons of memories, and I will make sure that happens!
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