Fairbanks Alaska

Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 06:08 PM
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Fairbanks Alaska

I am planning a first trip to Fairbanks, I am flexible on dates. I want to see the northern lights(of course), I would also like to go to Denali and see some local favs like farmers markets and shop the local stores anything else that is a must see in Fairbanks. I need tips for traveling on a budget. I want to get the most for my money and see everything I can see.
When is a good time to visit and what is the best way to get around? A rental car or public transport and shuttles.
travelintina is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 06:17 PM
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I am also open to visiting Anchorage. Would it make more sense to stay in anchorage and just do a overnight trip to see the lights somewhere else.If so, where would one suggest?
travelintina is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 07:21 PM
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You don't have a guarantee that the lights will be out anytime you visit.
wintersp is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 03:55 AM
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The time of year that you are most likely to see northern lights, are times when places like Denali will not have much open and wild life will be least active, many whales visiting southern sites etc.

If the lights are your focus, then go far north in the winter and hope for sunspots, which might make them seen farther south. If seeing wildlife is important, visiting Denali, doing trips on the water, go in the summer.
emalloy is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 07:35 AM
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What is your tolerance (and expectation) for cold? Fairbanks is frigid. The average temps for SEVEN months of the year are sub-freezing.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 09:56 AM
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If your goal was strictly NLs, then I'd say head to Fairbanks in the winter; but you have several other "AK desires" so, here's what I think:
- fly into and out of Anchorage or Fairbanks (depends on air fares, schedule, and where/what you want to see/do)
- travel the 1st week of September
- rent a car (book the car as soon as possible & check frequently over the next 12 months for a better rate; a better rate will come up if you are diligent)
- accommodations can be pricey, so book hostels and/or car camp one night & use a hostel the next (to get a more comfortable bed & a shower)

- to see NLs, you need dark (once we're through mid-August, we have plenty of darkness), clear skies. This is usually better the farther north you get from Anchorage (I've been very lucky in the Denali and north of Denali area). You also need the aurora to be active (no guarantee).

Travel dates...
- 1st week of September... Denali & other AK activities are still fully open, good chance for wildlife, farmer's markets (in FB or ANC) still running, dark skies (for NLs), fall is in full swing (beautiful)

Good luck
sdpryde is offline  
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