My husband & I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary early in Fairbanks Alaska. We traveled there near the end of February 2020 for 4 nights. So today I am sharing where we ate, what we did & how we finally managed to catch a glimpse of the aurora.
On our first day in Alaska we landed round 3pm, then got a rental car at Alaska Auto Rental which was highly recommended since the roads were icy & they equip all their vehicles with snow tires & engine warmers. We picked up some groceries at the local Fred Meyer then headed to our Airbnb to clean up then headed out to eat dinner.
We ate at a small sushi shop owned by the sweetest couple. Tokyo Express
They serve Miso soup when you arrive then we ordered an Aurora roll & the Spicy Red Light roll. both delicious!
The next day we ate breakfast & headed out to the World Ice Championships to look at the Ice Sculptures. It was incredible to see all the detail that went in to each display that had been carved just days before! The fact that it was so cold they couldn’t melt baffled me too. While we stayed in Fairbanks the weather hit highs of 9 degrees & lows of -25 degrees. Such a different climate than I’ve ever been to!
Here are just a few of our favorites:
After exploring the Ice Sculptures & freezing our butts off we headed to HooDoo Brewing for a bite to eat from their food truck. Hubby got a beer & I went for water. We shared a Reuben sandwich with fries from the food truck which was devoured before I could even think of taking a picture of it. It was Delicious! It was cozy standing by their fire pits, such a fun day in Alaska!
We headed out to the Chena Hot Springs for our third day in Alaska. It was a pretty drive & the longest distance we drove on our trip. We packed our lunch, water bottles, snacks, bathing suits & sandals for the trip. This was the coolest experience. There were icicles hanging from one of the resort roofs as we walked up to the entrance of the hot springs. As we soaked our hair froze & our eyelashes even had frozen water droplets.
It was a nice few hours at the hot springs & I’m so glad we went. We at our lunch as we headed back to our airbnb to clean up for date night at The Pump House!
The Pump house was delicious & the staff was so friendly. Very glad we decided to eat there for date night. We also got the Apple pie with caramel ice cream for dessert. Everything was so good!
Our last full day in Alaska we decided to head downtown & eat breakfast at The Crepery. Oh. My. Goodness. I got the bacon, avacado, brie crepe & it was the best ever. Hubby got the strawberry cheesecake crepe. Yum!
Ok, after the yummy breakfast we walked around downtown for a bit then headed to North Pole, AK. Our waiter from the night before recommended we visit the North Pole & “Santa’s house”. We drove around some streets & found that they are all Christmas related named roads. Also, all the restaurant signs & street lights were wrapped like candy canes! The town is so cute.
After walking around the christmas store we headed back to Fairbanks to visit another recommended place called Midnite Mine which is a local bar that is partly underground! Usually we don’t go to bars, but we had to check it out.
We both got a drink & took in the surroundings. After awhile we headed back to our airbnb to get some rest for some aurora hunting the next morning.
We woke up around 2am to get ready & head out to watch the aurora. the previous night we also went out towards Murphy Dome along the hwy looking or the aurora but just didn’t know where to look or even what we were looking for. So this second night we went out towards the Steese Hwy, we waited a few hours & still didn’t see anything. I decided we had to try one last viewing point. We headed towards Creamers Field. Once we parked & got out of the car (which was below 20 outside) we saw the Aurora! It was so faint but it truly made my night! Unfortunately, it was too faint to take a picture. Although, now I know where to go & what to look for next time we visit.
During & before our stay I used the Explore Fairbanks website (Aurora Tracker tab) & the Aurora Chasers Aurora Cam to get used to what to look for & know whether or not we had a chance of seeing the Aurora while we were in Alaska. Those two websites were so helpful while we were out aurora viewing. I would suggest going out earlier than we did 12am-5am to get a more optimal chance of seeing the aurora if it’s a clear night between the months of September through March (aurora season). I highly recommend the two sources above which provide real time information on your viewing chances. Also, if your are inexperienced in seeing the aurora, Creamers Field on the right side of the building is (in my opinion) your best viewing point on a clear night.
Thank you for reading! Whether you are planning a trip to Alaska or enjoy reading travel story’s I hope you enjoyed reading about our experience! We would love to visit Anchorage at some point during their summer season, it looks gorgeous!