What should you know about traveling to Fairbanks in the winter months?
Believe it or not, March has become one of the busiest months in the year. People from all around the world come to enjoy a wide variety of specialty winter activities: our international ice carving competition, the northern lights, and several dog mushing competitions.
But you say how can I be warm then? Not to worry. While it seems that you might freeze in the winter months, most people come with a typical winter coat and prepare to dress with layers–long underwear, a warm long-sleeved shirt, a sweater or fleece layer and then the coat. Similar guidelines follow for the lower body; long underwear, pants, and perhaps snow pants. Warm boots are a good idea, particularly if you plan to stay outside and walk around the ice park, or wander outside and wait for the aurora to appear.
What about getting around? We always recommend renting a car, because while Fairbanks is small, you will find you really won’t be able to walk around to visit the places you want to go or restaurants where you want to eat. Road conditions, generally speaking, are no worse than other places that get snow, and frankly, they may seem quite a bit better due to staying frozen or even showing bare pavement. There is a public bus system that you may find helpful if you choose to not rent a vehicle.
What’s open then, you ask. Lots! You will want to visit the Morris Thompson Cultural Center, as well as the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We have an amazing amount of talent in Fairbanks, which results in plenty of options for theatrical and music productions, and art displays. Consider heading to one of the local coffee shops where you’ll find a wide array of local talent, happy to entertain you in just about any genre you could imagine. Special events abound: dog sled races, concerts, downhill and cross country skiing.
What are you waiting for? Time to get started on planning your visit–summer or winter!