The Chena Riverwalk makes for a relaxing self-paced stroll along the Chena River and through the most scenic parks and plazas of historic downtown. It’s best when flowers are in full bloom (July-August). The path stretches approximately 3.5 miles between Pioneer Park and Airport Way, with longer options available. Or—park at Immaculate Conception Church or in the Downtown Transportation Center for a shorter jaunt.
This is the site of the original airfield in Fairbanks, from which the first airplane to leave the ground in Alaska took flight in 1913. Today, residents often use the grassy open areas to fly kites, exercise their dogs, or have a picnic. School children walk between the library and elementary school that border the park to the east and west. Wildlife sightings are always a possibility, particularly for birds and moose.
The Cold Climate Housing Research Center serves the need for safe, affordable, sustainable housing in Alaska. This need is particularly strong in rural Alaska, where shipping in modern building supplies by air can be cost prohibitive. Many families are forced to live in housing that is drafty, inefficient, or even shifting dangerously on a thawing permafrost foundation. Building and insulation methods that work in the lower 48 don’t always swing it up here. That’s where the scientists, architects, and researchers of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center come in.
Bobby Wilken, Owner and Brewmaster, walks visitors behind the counter and through the process from raw grains (stacked in the back corner) to finished beer, which takes three weeks from start to completion. Visitors get a close-up view of the mill, production vessels, and stainless steel storage and fermentation tanks through which the beer must pass. Bobby, an approachable and passionate businessman, breaks down the significance of each step along the way.
Once a month, residents turn out for city-wide gallery openings featuring work by local artists in watercolor, acrylic, oil, sculpture, pen and ink, photography, and mixed media. The art scene in Fairbanks is rich relative to the city’s size, and at no point does it shine through more vividly than on First Fridays.