Fairbanks Travel Guide

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Courtesy of Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Fairbanks

If you have extra time, Georgeson Botanical Garden is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center
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    #1 in Fairbanks
    Museums, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center is a great first stop to pick up maps and information on things to do in Fairbanks. In addition to exhibits on the natural history of the region and the cultural history of Alaska natives, the center offers a free film on Alaska's history and nature. What's more, on the first Friday of every month, the center hosts a free reception featuring the work of an Alaskan artist from the interior region. This is also where you'll find the city's famous Antler Arch, a piece constructed with more than 100 moose and caribou antlers collected from all over interior Alaska.

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  • #3
    Chena River State Recreation Area
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    #3 in Fairbanks
    Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Chena River State Recreation Area, which sits just east of Fairbanks, is a popular spot in the summer for hiking, kayaking, fishing and camping. In the winter months, locals head to this area for ski touring and snow machining – the local term for snowmobiling. The 254,080-acre preserve also offers several developed campgrounds and public-use cabins, as well as picnic areas and pavilions for family gatherings.

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  • #4
    Georgeson Botanical Garden
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    #4 in Fairbanks
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Georgeson Botanical Garden is part of the School of Natural Resources and Extension at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The nationally recognized garden was created by Christian Georgeson in the early 20th century – one of several experimental agricultural stations in the state – to learn what crops would grow best in the Alaskan climate and to share information and techniques with local residents. The garden continues this work today through plant trials and research, but it also contributes to the community with creative annual events like the Dead End Poets Society. The garden boasts a giant hedge maze and at one of the many dead ends, visitors will find poems written by local students.

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  • #6
    HooDoo Brewing Company
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    #6 in Fairbanks
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    You won't find unusual flavors at this local Fairbanks brewery. Bobby Milken, born and raised in Fairbanks, started HooDoo Brewing Company to offer beers in classic English, German, Belgian and American styles. The open-concept taproom allows visitors to see the process while enjoying a glass or growler of their favorite brew. The brewery – the first in Alaska to harness solar power for its operation – offers free tours on Saturdays. Known for its Kölsch and American IPA, the brewery also features a variety of seasonal releases on tap.

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