Road Trips: Fairbanks

Alaska: The Last Frontier (Part 2)

An Alaska trip is considered by many Tech fans to be a rite of passage. There are those Husky fans who have made the epic journey, and those who are planning one. Fairbanks is the furthest north WCHA team, a full six-hour drive from Anchorage (that's the same as St Paul, Minnesota to Houghton, mind you), so the destination is the perfect place for arctic sightseeing, winter landscapes and a hockey road trip.

If you're making the drive to Fairbanks from Anchorage, there are a few stops you need to make on your way. Talkeetna, Alaska is a very cute town of 876 people on the trip north and features a ton of things to do for a town its' size. Grab a pizza at Mountain High Pizza Pie or a drink at Denali Brewing. A lot of the real true "best stuff" to see on the way from Anchorage to Fairbanks is seasonal and closed now for the winter, so it would be justifiable to fly. But you'd be missing out on seeing Talkeetna.

So you're: traveling with friends

While there is plenty to do and see for a few days in Fairbanks itself, one of the most touristy things to do in the area is the hour drive over to the Chena Hot Springs. The Hot Springs have several winter activities fans of the UP would love, like outdoor hot tubbing and natural hot spring soaking, an ice sculpture museum, and many holiday traditions like horse drawn sleigh rides. There are a few breweries in the Fairbanks area worth hitting up. Silver Gulch is a well-known hotspot for interesting beers such as their "Silver Gulch Tundra Apple Ale" or "Osculum Inflame" Spiced Belgian Golden Quad. Not into wild and crazy beers? They also brew more standard lagers and ales. HooDoo Brewing is right in Fairbanks proper and is good for the 21+ crowd, but keep in mind they close at 8:00 pm daily.

So you're: traveling with family

For those with kids, or kids at heart, head over to the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska. Since we're already into the holiday season, Santa is on his regular season schedule 10-6 everyday except Sundays where he is free to take wishes 12-6. With Fairbanks being less than 200 miles from the arctic circle, the northern lights are almost always a possibility. Check out this aurora forecast for daily visibility details.

Due to Fairbanks being so close to the artic circle, northern Lights over Fairbanks are visible even in the lightest of solar activity (Photo credit: Lisa Brose).

Due to Fairbanks being so close to the artic circle, northern Lights over Fairbanks are visible even in the lightest of solar activity (Photo credit: Lisa Brose).

So you're: traveling with fellow Tech students

There is no MTU Alumni Association event this weekend for meeting up with fellow Techies before the games, but there is the UAF Wood Center Pub on the Fairbanks campus where you'll be sure to run into some Nanook hockey fans. The pub is only a quarter mile from the Patty Ice Arena and looks like a good place for cheap beer and good nachos according to yelp.com reviewers.

Hail to thee, dear old Wood Center Pub!!! Without your cheap wood paneling, cheesy nachos and wonderful selection of pitchers and reasonable prices, I never would’ve survived five years of a quality university education... Go there, you must. Drink there, you will. Yoda deems it so.
— Yelp user Alaskafiregirl F. regarding the UAF Wood Center Pub (Apr. 14th, 2011)

If you're looking for something cheap to do to kill some time, stop at the scenic turn off on your way to dinner at Silver Gulch Brewing for a photo op with the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline and learn a little more about it.

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip to Anchorage and, as always, "Go Huskies!"

If you have a suggestion for a destination in an away city, please feel free to reach out to us through the form on the About page. We'd love to hear your recommendations!

Cover photo credit: Lisa Brose