Planning a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska? This great state is best experienced outdoors, and the best attractions are spread out, requiring a car for the optimal vacation experience. To best enjoy the natural landscapes and summer festivals, visitors can rent a car from Fairbanks International Airport or from one of several car rental companies around town.
Car Rentals in Fairbanks
Having a car is important in this small city. Most cars have four-wheel drive, which can be necessary even in the warmer months. To rent a car from the airport, Fairbanks International Airport offers several popular car rental options including Avis Alaska, Budget Car Rental, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz, Thrifty, and more. The car-rental counters are on the first floor right next to baggage claim. Both Enterprise and Alaska Auto Rental have locations just miles from the airport as well. To get the best price on a rental, use Skyscanner, which compares over 800 car rental sites, as well as flights.
Driving Around Fairbanks
Fairbanks International Airport is conveniently located right off the main autoroute, George Parks Highway. This 323-mile-long stretch connects Anchorage to Fairbanks and offers a number a scenic day drives to Alaska's most popular destinations like Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley. Visitors can enjoy several popular walking tours and historical sites off the road. Without stopping, the drive is about 7 hours and there are several rest stops on the road.
What to Do in Fairbanks
Drive outside Fairbanks to sit under the stars and see the northern lights during the summer. The sun shines almost 24 hours a day during Aurora Season, during which there are a plethora of performances, art galleries, and festivals. The Chena Hot Springs resort outside of Fairbanks offers the famous mineral water baths near the Northern Lights.
It's well-know that ice palaces are thrilling places to visit. The Aurora Ice Museum is well worth the 60-mile drive. This ice structure exists year-round and is carved from 1,000 tons of ice. Have a drink at the ice bar underneath the ice crystal chandelier that mimics the color changes of the northern lights. The museum has a multitude of original ice sculptures.
The Kenai Fjords National Park covers 669,984 acres of untouched natural landscapes. Here glaciers created the fjords. This unique natural wonder is a must-see, as is the wildlife that includes black bears, humpback and killer whales, puffins, seals, and moose. It is one of three national parks in Alaska that can be reached by driving. There are boat tours around what is called "Alaska's playground," which is great for mountain climbing, fishing, camping, kayaking, and scuba diving.
Fairbanks is home to a number of galleries and a popular venue for artists, especially during the summer. The Two Street Gallery in downtown Fairbanks features Alaskan artists who are invited to come meet with visitors the first Friday of every month. There are paintings, prints, textiles, photography, jewelry, and ceramics inspired by the landscape and wild life such as the Northern Lights, glaciers, and the City of Fairbanks.
Fairbanks is known as the "Golden Heart City" and the gateway to Denali. It also has a sky that can be lit up by both the aurora borealis and the midnight sun. Renting a car from Skyscanner makes seeing all that Fairbanks has to offer easy.