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Things to do in

Fairbanks

Our most recommended things to do in Fairbanks

Fairbanks: Moonlight Dog Sled, Dinner, & Northern Lights

1. Fairbanks: Moonlight Dog Sled, Dinner, & Northern Lights

Experience the beauty and wild side of Alaska. Yanking on their lines and ready to run, your dog team will be anxious to carry you away from your Fairbanks accommodation to this spectacular viewing of the Northern Lights.  Most of the sled ride takes place in an open area so should the Aurora begin early you will have a thrilling view of the sky from the dogsled. The Aurora Borealis is one of the planet's most breathtaking phenomena. In Alaska, a land that stays dark for most of the winter, these spectacular lights bring the sky to life with other-worldly colors that shimmer and dance across the sky.  The yurt is only a short drive from Fairbanks but far from the obstructing glare of city lights. Be treated to a hearty midnight dinner in an off-the-grid yurt.  Stay warm with hot drinks and lively conversation in the comfort of your yurt while waiting for the Aurora. The large north-facing windows of your yurt offer the perfect Aurora viewing opportunity. However, should you decide to go outside for photographs or a full view of the sky, you will need to dress in warm layers.

Fairbanks: Aurora Ice Museum Ticket and Guided Tour

2. Fairbanks: Aurora Ice Museum Ticket and Guided Tour

Step into a winter wonderland, no matter the season with this guided tour of the Aurora Ice Museum. Admire stunning ice-sculptures and stay warm with the use of a cozy parka. Have the option to select a tour with or without a tasty appletini that is served in an ice glass. Meet your guide at the Chena Hot Springs and head over to the museum to begin your chilly adventure. Step into environment that is kept continually at a cool 25° Fahrenheit (-7° Celsius) by a special absorption chiller. Go over some of the iconic ice sculptures and interesting facts about the museum with your guide before having the chance to free roam and take pictures of the fantastical ice shapes that are vibrantly lit.

From Fairbanks: Arctic Circle Northern Lights Full-Day Trip

3. From Fairbanks: Arctic Circle Northern Lights Full-Day Trip

Alaska is a land of constant change. On this full day tour, you will have the chance to experience some of the best and most unique things that make your Alaska trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Beginning at 1 PM, get picked up from your hotel and venture up to the Arctic Circle (66.5622°) north of the Equator, where you can have your pictures taken and receive a "Cross the Circle-Certificate." It is here that explorers have been venturing for centuries, drawn by the power the planet has to offer. As you continue your day, pass the Trans-Alaska-Pipeline. Here you can glance one of the world's largest pipelines, which stretches over 800 miles (1,287km). It is a crude oil pipeline privately owned by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and here you will learn the engineering and building process of this epic land-crawling beast. Judge for yourself its impact on the landscape around it. After the pipeline, head straight for the banks of the mighty Yukon River. Walk right up to the edge of its banks, where you will gaze out over the beauty in front of you. From here, head to the high plateau of Finger Mountain, where you will hopefully see moose, fox, bears, and perhaps even a mysterious lynx if you're lucky! Up on the mountain, snack on sandwiches, sweets and hot drinks. Through the night, travel back to Fairbanks. Soon, if we're lucky, the Aurora Borealis appears. This natural light display is caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms high in the atmosphere. The result is a breathtaking display of light that can be bright enough to read a newspaper by! Drive through the night, gazing up at the spectacular Northern Lights, before arriving back in Fairbanks around 3 AM.

Fairbanks: Dog Sledding and Mushing Experience

4. Fairbanks: Dog Sledding and Mushing Experience

Enjoy an unforgettable experience of dog sledding Alaskan Huskies in Fairbanks. Listen to a local guide and musher talk about their four-legged family members, who are raised as puppies and cared for by this elite team. Take in the beautiful scenery while gliding across the snowy Alaskan landscape and experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Northern Lights Tour

5. From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Northern Lights Tour

The Northern Lights are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on the planet and on this night tour, you will have the chance to see these marvels of nature for yourself. Your evening begins between 4~5pm when you will be collected from your hotel in Fairbanks and head approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the Chena Resort. Here you will first have a chance to cool off (before heating up) in the spectacular Ice Museum. This building, built entirely out of ice, boasts a full Ice Bar and chandeliers built painstakingly out of hand-crafted ice.  At 8pm, you can soak your cares away in the warm and inviting Chena Hot Springs. You'll be pleased to know that the resort makes use of the first low-temperature binary geothermal power plant built in Alaska and is working on several alternative energy projects, including production and use of hydrogen and vegetable oil for fuel. The resort is conducting collaborative experiments in greenhouse production of vegetables with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. All in all, the resort is absolutely beautiful and you can soak in its natural springs for at least two hours. By 12:00 midnight, you can begin to look out for the Northern Lights. Soon, if you are lucky, the Aurora Borealis will appear. This natural light display is caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms high in the atmosphere. The result is a breathtaking display of light that can be bright enough to read a newspaper by. Around 2:00 AM, depart back to Fairbanks and arrive around 3~4am. The night will surely be one you will never forget.

Alaskan Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis Lodges

6. Alaskan Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis Lodges

Book a visit to one of these luxurious Fairbanks lodges for a stunning view of Aurora Borealis. The viewing night begins right at the Fairbanks accommodation where guests marvel at the beauty of the Northern Lights from the comfort of these cozy lodges. Guests are picked up and transported to one of the best viewing lodges in the Fairbanks, Alaska area. The lodge is carefully selected to ensure that guests can gaze upon the Northern Lights with ease. Trust the experts to provide you with an incredible vantage point for spying the famous phenomenon. Outside of Fairbanks and away from the city lights, these wide open areas ensure a perfect way to take in Alaska's winter sky. Enjoy the sights from inside the lodge, or even step outside to snap some photographs of the brilliant sky.

Northern Lights & Chena Hot Springs Tour

7. Northern Lights & Chena Hot Springs Tour

Located 60 scenic miles from downtown Fairbanks, experience the Aurora Ice Museum and the Chena Hot Springs Resort on a guided tour. Get the chance to spot the famed northern lights. Start your trip with a guided tour through the Aurora Ice Museum, displaying magnificent ice sculptures that will leave you amazed. Enjoy a cocktail in a glass made of ice (optional and not included in price). Then, head over to the resort. Enjoy a meal at the restaurant that offers locally cultivated vegetables and Alaska caught wild salmon (not included in price and dining is optional). Afterward, soak in the Chena Hot Springs' legendary healing mineral waters. Take a short stroll up to the Aurorium to watch the beautiful and breathtaking Aurora Borealis dance overhead in the dark nights (visibility of northern lights not guaranteed). The activity center is a great location to warm up while waiting for the northern lights. There will be plenty of time for photography to ensure you will not forget this experience.

North Pole: 1-Hour Snowmobile Tour

8. North Pole: 1-Hour Snowmobile Tour

Your 1-hour snowmobile tour will begin at our headquarters in North Pole with a brief safety orientation and a cup of hot chocolate, tea or coffee. Then, you’ll be whisked off to explore the local breathtaking surroundings by snowmobile, through a beautiful winter wonderland. Cross frozen lakes and rivers, see scenic mountains, endless remote trails and hopefully some wildlife along the way. Look out for moose, foxes and snowshoe hares. The Chena Lakes Recreation area offers a variety of beautiful and well-maintained trails, lakes and rivers ensuring that you have the adventure of a lifetime. This area is easily accessible and great for beginner riders but also far enough out of the city to give the sense of the Alaskan wilderness. 

From Fairbanks: Northern Lights and Arctic Circle Tour

9. From Fairbanks: Northern Lights and Arctic Circle Tour

Experience Alaska like you have never seen it before while enjoying a scenic drive and narration from your expert guide. Travel along the famous and rugged Dalton Highway (well-known from the TV show Ice Road Truckers) to the Arctic Circle. Hear about how the summer nights are white and the winter dark. Take a selfie or have your photo taken with your certificate to mark your crossing of the Arctic Circle. Have a once-in-a-lifetime experience comfortable transportation and personalized service. Enjoy a flexible travel itinerary to ensure guests can take advantage of unique photo opportunities. The tour will incorporate many stops for your viewing pleasure. Please note that seeing wildlife or the Northern Lights is not guaranteed.

Fairbanks: Interactive Day Mushing Adventure Tour

10. Fairbanks: Interactive Day Mushing Adventure Tour

Get an authentic taste of the “Last Frontier” on this mushing tour experience in Fairbanks. Meet the dogs and experience the excitement with them as they power down the snow International Yukon Quest trail. Stop at the half-way point to take unbeatable photos. Start your experience getting to know your group of adventurers in an authentic Mongolian yurt warmed by a cozy wood stove. Once geared up for the elements, step outside to be introduced to your canine team. Learn about handling the huskies and how to harness and hook up a team, then take off into the snow. Mush amongst snow-capped black spruce through the twists and turns of the slough. Keep your eyes peeled for moose. Take advantage of beautiful sun-drenched photo opportunities with your fellow adventurers before returning back to the Mongolian yurt to warm up from the trail and get an opportunity to purchase souvenirs to remember the adventure.

Frequently asked questions about Fairbanks

What are the best day trips and excursions from Fairbanks?

The best day trips and excursions from Fairbanks are:

North Pole, Alaska

Other Sightseeing Options in Fairbanks

Want to discover all there is to do in Fairbanks? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Fairbanks

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 214 reviews

Buckle up and prepare for a bumpy ride. I would recommend sitting towards the front for sure. Towards the back and in the middle you get views of the backs of peoples heads and the windows fogged up quite a bit. Even with that, I still rated it 5 stars because there were a lot of stops for stretching and pictures. It was a fantastic experience overall. Seeing the pipeline, Yukon River, Arctic Circle and wrapping it up with an incredible northern lights viewing were just awesome. You will ask yourself several times “why did I do this” but in the end, you will realize it was worth it!

Before the tour, the team was great about communicating pickup coordination and knowing what to expect. Great guides who gave great info about the lights and knew where to go for optimal chance of viewing. Helped the participants learn to take photos of the night sky using their iPhones or androids. Gave plenty of time at the various stops for viewing the sky.

Tony was awesome! He was very patient with our group and all the photo ops. We stopped at the pipeline, Dalton Hwy sign, several great photo ops, saw 3 bears, a special friend Frank, coyote, and a porcupine. The northern lights did not disappoint. We stopped 2x to take photos...even saw them dancing!

Our tour guide Ed was excellent! Very knowledgeable and responsive. The tour to the resort was well worth the price and we got to see the Auroras!

Cultural experience of being with a great story teller while waiting for the Northern Lights to appear.