Top 10 Things To Do in Fairbanks, Alaska
By Annie DuffyFairbanks emanates a quality of light, energy and warmth found nowhere else on Earth. Our northern lights will change you, while our summer midnight sun charms you. Greet the Arctic wilderness on our doorstep or be amazed by our magnificent neighbor, Denali. Be transported into our gold rush past or engaged in the art and culture of our vibrant and diverse city. Make your journey into the heart of the Last Frontier and experience the light, energy and warmth found only in Fairbanks, Alaska. Things To Do for Fairbanks, Interior and Arctic Alaska
THE AURORA DISPLAYS ROCK IN THE FAIRBANKS REGION
Why do we have some of the best aurora viewing in the world? Fairbanks sits under what is called the Auroral Oval, a ring-shaped region around the North Pole. Our location offers a great balance of occurrence, frequency and activity. Intensity varies from night to night, with the best viewing from late evening through the wee hours of the morning, from late August to April. During any two-week period, there will be aurora visible on an average of nine out of 10 clear nights and an active aurora on four out of 10 nights. If you stay a minimum of three nights and are actively out during the evening hours, your chances of seeing the aurora increase to 90 percent.
Photo By AK RCP
ENJOY THE STILL LIFE
One of the signature features of the University of Alaska Museum of the North’s expansion is the “Place Where You Go to Listen.” Award-winning composer John Luther Adams created an ever-changing musical ecosystem that gives voice to the actual real-time rhythms of daylight and darkness, the phases of the moon, the seismic vibrations of the earth and the dance of the aurora borealis.
Photo By obfusciatrist
Add another notch in your golfing belt by teeing-off at 10 p.m. during the summer and play 18 holes in daylight! Share the northernmost golf courses where a fox may abscond with golf balls.
SIMPLY A-“MAZE”-ING!Be a kid again on your hands and knees in twirlees, slides and mazes constructed of Fairbanks ice – the “Arctic Diamond” – at the annual World Ice Art Championships late February through early March. Larger-than-life-size blocks of ice are transformed into art. Look for the pre-cursor at North Pole’s Holiday on Ice in December and ice art located at businesses all around Fairbanks.
WITNESS RURAL ALASKA LIFESTYLE
Learn from the subsistence lifestyle of Athabascan Alaska Natives whose ancestors have inhabited this land for thousands of years. Of the 42 tribal communities in Interior Alaska, only 11 are accessible by road. Now reached primarily by bush plane, the villages were built on the rivers for trade and the river continues to be a highway link to one another.
CARS, VINTAGE FASHION, AND ALASKAN HISTORY UNDER ONE ROOF
The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum collection houses over 70 historically significant automobiles produced in the United States prior to World War II. Can you believe U.S. car manufacturers used electric, internal combustion, and gas powered motors as early as the late 1800s? Historical Alaskan photographs line the walls and a vintage fashion collection follows the cars through time.
ZANY UNDER THE MIDNIGHT SUN
Midnight Sun Festival is Fairbanks’ largest one-day event and held downtown each summer solstice in June for 12 hours. The annual baseball ritual on summer solstice played with no artificial lights at 10:30 p.m. is the Midnight Sun Baseball Game. The Alaska Goldpanners have yielded major league players. Both part of a zany event-filled days during our zany time of all-day daylight.
Photo By GPBob
HAVE AN ICE DAY
Sipping that martini from an ice glass and photos ops of ice sculptures can be yours year-round at the Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Or in summer, go to the Ice Museum in downtown Fairbanks to learn about the World Ice Art Championship or the wonders of the aurora.
KIDS TAKE TO THE RUNNERS
Junior Yukon Quest trains the young ones for what lies ahead in conjunction with the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race each February.
Photo by Chena Hot Springs Resort
DENALI NATIONAL PARK
Just a short two hour drive down the highway. See Mt. McKinley “The Great One” in person!
Photo By Donna62
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