Memorial Day - Labor Day
Experience the Alaska of 100 years ago! Pioneer Park is an historic village that features original buildings moved from downtown Fairbanks, as well as museums and a Gold Rush town street. But it’s also a theme park with a carousel and train that runs the perimeter, shops, and restaurants. Stay a few hours or spend a full day; Pioneer Park offers fun for the whole family.
The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center in downtown Fairbanks has brochures, maps, free WiFi and telephone, daily lodging availability, and local walking and driving tours. Serving as the regional visitor facility, the friendly and knowledgeable staff have answers to all your questions.
Take a deep breath and explore Fairbanks! With the midnight summer sun shining nearly 24 hours a day, Fairbanks is bursting with energy and things to do. Explore Fairbanks is headquartered at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center which is also the hub of year-round staffed visitor information and services.
You may think of reindeer as flying creatures of the imagination, but here in Alaska they’re very real. And this unique tour gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent animals. Walk among them and pet them—it’s truly a moment made for Instagram.
Alaska’s road to modernization a century ago was a dramatic journey, and the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum explores that journey in fun, vivid detail. On the grounds of Wedgewood Resort—a member of the city’s premier, locally owned hotel group—the museum showcases dozens of historically significant pre-World War II automobiles, and offers visitors a trip back to Alaska’s rugged and exciting formative years.
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.
From Elton John to Motley Crue, from the Lord of the Dance to Disney on Ice, from the Harlem Globetrotters to Jeff Dunham, the Carlson Center is Fairbanks’—and Interior Alaska’s—premier entertainment and sports facility. With its 35,000 square foot arena, the Carlson Center is host to concerts, conventions, tradeshows, and sporting events. It is home to the More...
Built as a cabin in 1896 by prospector Fritz Miller as a stop over on the sled dog trail between Circle City and Fairbanks. After the Steese Highway was completed it functioned as a roadhouse until 1970. It has since burned down, however, items from the Miller House can be found at the Museum in Central.
Some 80 percent of Alaskan land is public space. And no one has more information on it all than the Alaska Public Lands Information Center. Stop by for trip-planning information, interactive displays, and movies on Alaska's wildlife, cultures, and destinations. Whether you like to hike, camp, hunt, fish, view wildlife, or take scenic drives, the center can point you in the right More...
You can’t miss it—the museum looks like a round golden airplane hangar with a model aircraft from Air North mounted on beams outside in a simulated take-off. Inside, you’ll find a few of the earliest aircraft in the state from the 1930s and 1940s used in military, commercial, and bush flights. All this is interpreted for visitors by local experts, who have lived and breathed the aviation industry for decades in Fairbanks, and shared it here since the museum opened its doors in 1992.
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 Sullivan Roadhouse Historical Museum is housed in the oldest roadhouse in the interior of Alaska and is located in the heart of Delta Junction at the End of the Alaska Highway. Built in 1905 by John and Florence Sullivan, the log lodge now houses a museum that focuses on the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail and the roadhouses that operated along its route. Beautifully recreated rooms, as More...
The Downtown Association of Fairbanks has knowledgeable, local staff that are working hard to encourage and foster economic growth that will result in a downtown that is a vital, energetic and an attractive center of the community. Their primary focus is to promote, preserve and revitalize Downtown Fairbanks. Among other projects, they are working on a comprehensive, achievable More...
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.
Veterans’ Memorial Bridge opened with fanfare in November of 2012. A procession of antique cars borrowed from the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and private collections were the first wheels to cross the bridge, keeping in the tradition of historic bridge openings in Fairbanks. Veterans from Fairbanks marched in step and presented the colors at the mid-way point. Local, state, and federal dignitaries were on hand for the event and the ADOT&PF won a publicity award from the National Association of Government Communicators for the bridge opening and ceremony.
Named after Hez Houston Ray, a can-do teacher who came to Fairbanks in 1952. His friends called him an “irresistible force,” when advocating for youth sports, and he was well-known for his unusual and concerted efforts to get any job done. One of his most complex—and famous—schemes involved the development of the Big Dipper Ice Arena that now resides at the Hez Ray Sports Complex.
Referred to as “The Big Dipper” by locals, this is a multi-purpose arena that is open year-round. The Big Dipper features an 85’ x 100’ indoor ice rink with spectator seating for 2,200 that offers youth and adult hockey, speed skating, recreational skating, and sheet rentals for private parties.
The gold rush that started Fairbanks relied heavily on an early railroad to quickly and efficiently move people and valuable goods along a string of mines and supporting communities. The Tanana Valley Railroad Museum illustrates the role of this railroad in Fairbanks’ first industry through historical exhibits, interpretive train rides, and on-site restoration.
June 1st - Labor Day: 8am-8pm (daily)
Ever wondered what would happen if your garden had non-stop sunlight during the growing season? This is your chance to see what’s possible as you view everything from 50-pound cabbages to pansies the size of small children.
Listen carefully among the wild brush and you can hear the whirl of some of the world's most powerful computers and minds. It's a fascinating look at computers and a fun hands-on visit to see what these magical machines can do. The computers are working on research relating to tsunami early-warning systems, Arctic region climate research, and human-computer interface. But the most fun More...
Tetlin is one of only two refuges in Alaska that are road accessible. It harbors a varied landscape, from rugged snowcapped peaks and glacially fed rivers to tundra, forest, and wetlands. The Refuge was established to conserve waterfowl, raptors and other migratory birds, furbearers, moose, and caribou—which lie in abundance within its borders. The visitor center is about 1.5 hours from Tok.
The Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts was built in 1967 and designed to resemble a southeast Alaska tribal hall. The masks on the outside represent animal spirits. Many people think the building looks more like a birthday cake, which is fitting since it was built for Alaska’s 100th birthday. Some Fairbanksans also refer to the center as the Pickle Barrel. The Alaska More...
This Level Parking area was once the site of Old Man Camp, a former pipeline construction camp. There were a total of 31 construction camps operating during the construction of the Trans Alaska Pipeline from 1974 – 1977. These camps were temporary facilities to house the thousands of workers who build the pipeline. Depending on the location, these camps held anywhere from 250 to More...
Reaching deep into a sleeve of hot kettle corn for the kernels at the bottom amid a pop-up city of white tent tops is an easy recipe for a classic afternoon in Fairbanks. Farmers markets double as open-air social halls to run into friends and neighbors while shopping, and also play host to cooking demonstrations, competitions (like the purple vegetable contest), and live music.
Daily tours at the Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station (LARS) at University of Alaska Fairbanks provide visitors with the chance to view muskoxen and reindeer while learning about ongoing research studying the adaptations enabling these arctic animals to survive and thrive in extremely cold temperatures.
Located on Santa Claus Lane, the Terry Miller Memorial Park features a picnic area, children's playground, a spacious gazebo donated by the North Pole Rotary Club and an up close view of the Alaska Railroad as it passes by.
Terry Miller, a former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, moved to the last frontier at seven years old and has the distinct honor of being the son of Con More...
In 1999, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with five local sports non-profits, began the development of South Davis Park. Though the park is still a work in progress, it is used daily throughout the summer by soccer, softball, and canine enthusiasts. Construction of additional sports fields, playgrounds, and a series of walking More...
May 15 - September 15
Home of the Delta Historical Society Museum, Rika's Roadhouse at Big Delta State Historical Park is in a ten-acre state park on the shores of the Tanana River. The Valdez-to-Fairbanks Trail ran through here and continued across the river, aided by a ferry. The roadhouse was built to accommodate the travelers and is a National Historic Site. The museum is a separate building behind the roadhouse and has displays of artifacts from the Alaskan life.
Home of the Delta Historical Society Museum, Rika's Roadhouse at Big Delta State Historical Park is in a ten-acre state…
For an authentic Alaskan celebration, head to Fairbanks in the third week of July. That’s when residents cut loose in honor of their Gold Rush history, during a five-day festival they call Golden Days. Bank managers dress up as sourdough miners, waitress don “fluzie” outfits, and most of the city turns out for races, parades, and great food. It’s a great time to meet locals—who are in a festive, social mood—and to be swept up in a big Alaskan event.
From Alaska native art to polar dinosaurs, you'll find something interesting on exhibit here. Head to the centerpiece of this museum, the Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery, to see the full spectrum of Alaskan art, from ancient Eskimo ivory carvings to contemporary paintings and sculptures.
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.
Mid-May to September
Devoted to all things ice, this museum will put you in a winter mood no matter what the summer temperatures are like. You'll see several large ice displays, a freezer you can go in to feel like it's 20 degrees below zero, a huge-screen slide show with the annual World Ice Art championships, and freezers with huge ice tableaux.