PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour
Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights
Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure
What Can You Do In Fairbanks, Alaska In The Summer?
Fairbanks is the largest city in Alaska’s Interior region and is the second largest city in the state. It’s also the gateway to Alaska’s Arctic region and is a very popular base camp for visitors who want to experience the state’s unique wintertime activities, like dog sledding, glacier hiking, and Northern Lights viewing. But did you know that Fairbanks is one of the best cities to visit in Alaska in the summer? It is! Keep reading to learn more about what to do in Fairbanks, Alaska in the summer.
Our 7 Favorite Summer Activities In Fairbanks!
Fairbanks is one of the most accessible cities in Alaska. Visitors can get there by plane, train, or car (down the George Parks Highway). Even cruise ship passengers visit Alaska’s northernmost “port” as part of a ground tour add-on or extension during cruise season! Fairbanks is an iconic destination, offering a wide variety of activities for everyone!
Summer In Fairbanks #1: Riverboat Discovery Tour
Take a trip down the Chena River on the Riverboat Discovery for a journey back in time. This old-fashioned, sternwheeler boat transports you back in time with a fully narrated three-and-a-half-hour tour. Visit an Iditarod dog kennel to learn about the sled dogs that have made Alaska famous and enjoy a quick stop at a riverside fish camp, where you can learn how Alaska natives prepare salmon for smoking and drying. The trip ends at Chena Indian Village, where you can tour an authentic Athabascan village and learn more about native Alaskan culture and heritage before returning to Fairbanks.
Summer In Fairbanks #2: Gold Dredge 8
If you want to learn about Alaska’s Gold Rush, one of the best cities to visit in Alaska in the summer is Fairbanks. Fairbanks is home to Gold Dredge 8, a gold-mining camp that operated from 1928 to 1959 and extracted millions of ounces of gold from the frozen Alaskan ground. Start your tour with a ride on a replica of the Tanana Valley Railroad to the dredge, then enjoy a guided tour through the dredge as well as the Main Camp and Mining Museum which are full of artifacts from the dredge’s heyday. Visitors will also have the opportunity to pan for gold after a lesson from real Alaskan miners!
Summer In Fairbanks #3: Dog Sledding
If you’re wondering what to do in Fairbanks, Alaska in the summer, the answer is dog sledding! Believe it or not, you can go dog sledding in Alaska on your summer vacation. During the summer months, many kennels offer visitors the chance to experience this uniquely Alaskan activity behind a team pulling a cart. Some kennels also offer guests the chance to hike with the team, to witness their summer training regimen, and gain insight into the care given to these incredible athletes.
Summer In Fairbanks #4: Walking Tours
Fairbanks offers guests a variety of walking tours to suit all ages and interests. To get a sense of early Fairbanks, you can take a stroll through a historic neighborhood to learn the stories behind the buildings that once housed bars, banks, and private residences. Or, visit Pioneer Park to experience a recreation of the city during its pioneer days and get a sense of life in the early 1900s in Fairbanks. You can also take the Fairbanks Downtown Art Tour, which showcases a community art project of 13 oversized murals spread out across the city and depicting a variety of Alaskan themes.
Summer In Fairbanks #5: Chena Hot Springs Tour
If you’re visiting Fairbanks, make sure to take a trip to one of the area’s most popular attractions. Chena Hot Springs is home to the Aurora Ice Museum, the world’s largest year-round ice environment, and features intricate statues carved from ice. Have a drink at the Aurora Ice Bar, then relax in the healing geothermal springs that make this resort so special.
Summer in Fairbanks #6: Museums
Fairbanks is one of the best cities to visit in Alaska in the summer for its museums! The city is filled with museums, where you can learn about Alaska’s history, culture, and pioneering spirit. Start at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, then spend the afternoon at Pioneer Park. Enjoy a visit to the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum to learn about the evolution of the automobile from 1898 to 1936, or stop by the University of Alaska Museum of the North to visit the natural history and cultural galleries that showcase Alaska’s five distinct regions.
Summer in Fairbanks #7: Kayaking
Alaska is a dream for those who love the outdoors. From hiking to skiing, or dog sledding to glacier trekking – there’s something for everyone. During the summer months, kayaking in Alaska is popular with local residents and visitors. In fact, one of the easiest ways to explore Fairbanks is on a kayak trip down the Chena River. Take a guided and narrated two-hour paddle along the river to learn more about the historic city, while keeping your eyes open for waterfowl, beavers, muskrat, mink, and fox. After the tour is done, you can catch a shuttle back to town before the sun sets.
Other popular options for kayaking in Alaska near Fairbanks include striking out on your own! Experienced paddlers can rend a kayak at Tanana Lakes Recreation Area or Chena Lake Recreation to explore the area on their own. Most kiosks rent canoes, kayaks, or SUPs for guests to use. Other popular areas to explore include Paxson Lake and the Upper Gulkana River, which features Class II whitewater rapids for the more adventurous explorer!
For those who want to focus their Alaskan vacation on outdoor activity, tour operators in the Fairbanks area do offer multi-day, guided river trips by kayak. The options range from beginner to experienced, so consider that before you book. Whether you spend a half day, full day, or multiple days on the water, you are sure to get a unique perspective of Alaska from the seat of your kayak.
A Summer To Remember In Alaska
So, what is there to do in Fairbanks, Alaska in the summer? The answer is easy – everything! Creating a bucket list of dream items before you visit the city is easy. It’s fitting all of the activities in before you have to leave that is the real challenge