Georgeson Botanical Garden#4 in Best Things To Do in Fairbanks
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.
Although many visitors noted that recent budget cuts resulted in many overgrown beds, most still said it was worth a visit for a peaceful walk among the native Alaskan plants. Some families also complimented the childrens garden and outdoor labyrinth, as well as the raised viewing area facing the Alaska Range.
The Georgeson Botanical Garden is located at the School of Natural Resources and Extension at the University of Alaska and is free to the public, although donations are encouraged. The best way to reach the garden is by car; it's located a little more than 5 miles northwest of downtown Fairbanks. The garden is open daily from June 1 to Labor Day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free Garden at a Glance maps are available at the welcome kiosk. See more information on the garden's website.
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#1 Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center
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.
Most recent visitors said this free museum was an ideal first stop for learning about Alaskan life, with a good mix of history and culture. Many found the central downtown location convenient, and families particularly enjoyed the interactive displays for kids. Some visitors were disappointed that the informative movie only runs once per day, but all travelers complimented the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
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