The heart of Alaska's Interior, Fairbanks is known for its Chena River cruises and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Museum of the North. Fairbanks is a superior spot for viewing the aurora borealis and a hub for transporation to Alaska's Arctic.
The University of Alaska Museum of the North is a must-stop for Fairbanks visitors. The museum has more than 1.4 million artifacts in its possession, including the state's largest public display of gold; Blue Babe, a 36,000-year-old steppe bison; extensive displays of Alaska Native art and culture; and paintings by Alaska artists like Sydney Laurence, Ted Lambert and Eustace Ziegler.
Also on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus is the Georgeson Botanical Garden, a favorite stop for its brilliant summer flower displays. UAF operates another popular attraction: the Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station, which allows visitors a close-up view of musk-oxen, caribou and reindeer.
Visit the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum at Wedgewood Resort, with its impressive collection of historically significant automobiles produced in the U.S. prior to WWII.
Pioneer Park is a 44-acre historic park created in 1967 as the Alaska Centennial Park, to commemorate the 100th annivresary of U.S. territorial status. Walk through Gold Rush Town, a narrow winding street of authentic old buildings. Most of these pioneer buildings house shops selling food and crafts. Mining Valley has displays of gold mining equipment and is the site of the popular Alaska Salmon Bake. Also in Pioneer Park: the Pioneer Air Museum; the SS Nenana, a national historic landmark; and the Tanana Valley Railroad Museum. The narrow-gauge Crooked Creek & Whiskey Island Railroad offers a 12-minute ride around the park.
Riverboat cruises on the Chena and Tanana rivers are on the Riverboat Discovery. The Riverboat Discovery offers guided walking tours of a Chena River Indian VIllage and visits Susan Butcher's Iditarod sled dogs.
Gold Dredge 8 explores the Alaska's gold mining history, with demonstrations of modern day placer mining mehods and a chance to pan for gold on a real gold claim.
There’s good bird watching in summer in Fairbanks at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. Begin your visit to Creamer’s Field at the Alaska Bird Observatory located at Wedgewood Resort off College Road. The center includes a nature store and trailhead to Creamer’s Field. Guided bird walks and bird-banding demonstrations from May to September.
You can arrange any number of other trips and tours from Fairbanks, either on your own or with a local sightseeing company: fishing the Chatanika River for grayling, driving out to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Viewpoint, or flying to the Arctic Circle, to name just a few.
For more information visit the Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau web site.