Planning Your Fairbanks, Alaska Trip
The City of Fairbanks was founded back in 1901 by E.T. Barnette and has since grown to become the second-largest city in Alaska. The discovery of gold near Barnette’s trading post prompted him to turn what was a temporary stop into a permanent destination. In November 1903, Barnette became the city’s first mayor while the city flourished as thousands of people flocked to the area during the Fairbanks Gold Rush. Today, families from around the globe travel to Alaska to experience unique activities like panning for gold, dining at downtown Fairbanks restaurants, and enjoying prime Fairbanks lodging at Bridgewater Hotel.
There’s no shortage of things to do while visiting Fairbanks. Since the gold rush is what brought so many settlers to this area hundreds of years ago, we recommend you to take a step back in time and try your hand at panning some gold of your own. At Gold Dredge 8, you can board a replica train and enjoy a short narrated ride to the dredge (also known as the mechanical gold pan), and witness first-hand how the dredge worked to collect gold from the frozen Alaskan ground. Before the end of the tour, you’ll stop in for a gold-mining lesson from real Alaskan miners where you’re guaranteed to find gold! You’re sure to have worked up a hunger after your Alaskan mining adventure, so we encourage exploring Fairbanks’ fabulous dining options. Indulge at some of the best restaurants in the Fairbanks area; Chena’s Alaskan Grill, Lavelle’s Bistro, The Pump House, and Silver Gulch, each offering premier dining experiences for lunch and dinner. With some conveniently located in the heart of the downtown area, you could even take a stroll through the town before settling down for a meal.
Exploring Downtown Fairbanks
When searching for what to do in downtown Fairbanks, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the blend of both historic and modern activities. Venture through the Golden Heart Plaza, the main focal point of downtown Fairbanks. You can also tour historic buildings, many that date back to the gold rush. Meander through contemporary art scenes and enjoy tasteful restaurants that suit everyone’s pallet, all the while only experiencing a fraction of downtown Fairbanks’ attractions. Fairbanks is a great location to travel year-round, providing tourists with seasonal events such as the Winter Carnival in March, the Midnight Sun Festival in June and Golden Days in July, as well as museums, shops, and cultural sights that are open year-round. No matter the season, you will always find the perfect outing to complete your trip!
Located in the heart of downtown Fairbanks, Bridgewater Hotel offers guests a boutique-style hotel complete with redesigned guestrooms and public area spaces, exterior building enhancements, and a gift shop. Start your morning at the Bridgewater Café which offers a delicious continental breakfast buffet at a nominal per-person price. Located on the lower level, breakfast offerings include coffee/tea, juice, yogurt, cold cereals, oatmeal, breakfast breads, pastries and more. Bridgewater Hotel is within walking distance of many local shops, a short ride to many popular attractions, just 13 minutes away from the Fairbanks International Airport and just 8 minutes away from the Fairbanks Depot. Guests arriving at Fairbanks International Airport can utilize our complimentary 24-hour courtesy van for transportation to and from the airport or train depot, based upon availability and schedule.
Immerse yourself in the Alaskan culture by exploring the best of what Fairbanks has to offer. Whether it was the dream of striking gold, the cultural richness of the area, or even a seasonal event that enticed you to vacation in Alaska, Fairbanks is the perfect vacation destination on your getaway.