Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pre-trip planning: Days 6 and 7: Fairbanks

So, we have two days in Fairbanks.  These are the possible activities that I have as possibilities:

  • Riverboat Discovery--this is probably a likely activity.  I haven't made reservations yet, but I need to call because I bought the TourSavers coupon book on Cyber Monday for a discount and there is a coupon in it to get a tour free when you buy one.  I've heard great things about this, and you figure--outdoors and culture.  Since I posted this, I booked the 9 AM tour on our second day (Day 7). 
  •  Gold Dredge #8--I had thought all along that this might be an activity, and it still might.  However, we might save our gold panning for Crow Creek Mine, so this is not a definite.
  •  Gold Daughters is another option to pan for gold.  Still, though, I'm learning toward Crow Creek for now.
  • Pipeline Visitors Center--for whatever reason, there is a pull for me to see the pipeline.  So we will likely swing by.
  •  University of Alaska/Museum of the North--culture again, you know?  I haven't tortured the kids with a lot of museums yet, so it might be time.
  •  University of Alaska/Large Animal Research Facility--This might be interesting as they give tours.  
  • Creamer's Field for a hike
  •  Pioneer Park--maybe the Big Stampede Show?  Or the Golden Theater Review?  Salmon Bake?  

I am looking forward to seeing Fairbanks.  There sounds like there is a lot to do there, so I don't know why many say to "skip it".  Maybe because the scenery pales in comparison to some of the other scenery in Alaska?  Because the possible activities sound comparable to other places folks visit in the Lower 48.

Update on 5/2--We now have a dinner reservation at the Salmon Bake and then reservation to see the Golden Theater Show at Pioneer Park after that on Day 6.  There is a TourSaver coupon for the show.  This will allow us to see Pioneer Park for a bit as well.  There might be time between the dinner and the show, or maybe we'll get to the park a bit earlier.

On Day 7, we need to leave in enough time to visit the Santa Claus House in North Pole.  I think we'll be OK, since they are open until 8 every day in the summer.  Under the advice of some Alaska pros on Trip Advisor, we are staying in Delta Junction this night and not Fairbanks.  Delta Junction puts us 1 hour and 45 minutes closer to our next destination...not to mention, we won't have to spend time at the Santa Claus house on Day 8.  I hear that there is a lot to see as we drive toward our next destination.  We have a room reserved in Delta Junction that has 2 queen beds and a pull out couch, so we should be OK.

There is no breakfast served here, but there is an IGA grocery store close by...and they open at 6:30 AM, so we can probably get something from the bakery.  An IGA is probably a good place to restock our snacks/food supplies.


  1. Hello!

    My name is Ilaura Reeves and I own Gold Daughters in Fairbanks. I stumbled across your blog and am very flattered you are considering us for gold panning! We just updated our website and are really excited for this upcoming summer! I am blown away with all of the planning that you've put into your vacation and applaud your research! I was born and raised in Fairbanks and I can tell you you have a great selection of activities. The Pipeline View Point is located directly across the street from us and is an impressive sight (not to mention it's free!) My family goes to the Salmon Bake at least once every summer. I've yet to go to the Golden Theatre but I've heard great things!

    Creamers Field is one of my favorite places to go on a walk and I would highly recommend the University Museum of the North. There is another impressive museum called the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum if you like antique cars. Lastly, the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center is also really nice (and free).

    For my personal food recommendations: I really like the Cookie Jar for breakfast, Pita Place for lunch, Thai House for dinner, and Hot Licks for ice cream anytime of day :)

    I really hope you have a wonderful trip up to the far north!

    -Ilaura Reeves

  2. Hi Ilaura,

    Thank you for such a detailed comment and suggestions. It is nice to know I'm headed in the right direction, coming from a local. Who knows? Maybe we'll see you when we visit!

    Thanks again!