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Getting answers to frequently asked questions
Visitors often don’t know what to expect when visiting our State . There are many misconceptions about Alaska and Alaskans. Here are some answers to questions that may be nagging you.
What is the weather like there? What should I pack?
Unlike much of Alaska, Fairbanks weather is fairly predictable. It will no doubt be cold in the winter and warm in the summer. While winter temperatures can reach as cold as -60 degrees, you’re more likely to find temperatures ranging from 0 to -20. Summer temperatures, by contrast, can and often do reach into the 80’s. We get very little rain thanks to the Alaska Range. During the summer months, you may find a few rainy days or even a passing shower or thunderstorm but most days are dry.
The key to dressing well in Fairbanks is layering and dressing appropriately for the weather. If you are coming anytime during November - March consider bringing warm winter boots (the snow here is dry), a warm winter coat (down is favored by locals), a hat, gloves and perhaps even long underwear.
If you're coming during the warm summer months, bring clothing appropriate to the season. You'll find locals during these months decked out in shorts, t-shirts and light business clothing. It doesn't hurt to pack a raincoat or umbrella just in case. Don't forget your sunglasses and sun protection if you are concerned about UV rays. Remember, the sun shines here close to 21 hours per day.
Those planning an adventure in the backcountry should consult with their guide or chosen outfitter for what to bring. If you're still unsure, consult with the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Finally, if you forget a necessary item, don't panic. You can always buy gear here.
What sort of food will be available?
Fairbanks features both American and a variety of foreign cuisines. including Thai, Mexican, Italian and many others. If you are diabetic or have food allergies, it is best to advise your server of any special needs you may have. Vegetarian meals can be found in most eating establishments. Vegan meals, while available, may be more difficult to come by. Kosher food may be difficult to find in restaurants here so plan accordingly.
What about visitors with disabilities?
Most hotels, restaurants and tour companies offer special facilities and/or services for visitors with disabilities. For more information about planning your trip, contact the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau.
What about visitors from foreign countries?
Visitors flock to Fairbanks from all over the world. Many companies sponsor group travel to Fairbanks. Individual travelers, however, have no problem navigating our community.
Almost all Fairbanks businesses accept major credit cards and travelers checks. Should you require access to U.S. Dollars, ATMs are widely available for cash withdrawals.
Most telephones in Fairbanks will allow users to place international calls, either by paying collect, with change or by paying with a calling card. Internet facilities can also be found here, either at our public library or at one of the Internet cafes located within our community.
What should I know about safety?
Fairbanks is a safe community and holds no overt threats to travelers. Our community is served both by the Fairbanks Police Department, the Alaska State Troopers, the Fairbanks Fire Department and several volunteer fire departments operating outside of the city limits within the Borough. Travelers are more likely to run into potentially hazardous weather conditions than crime here. With that said, standard common-sense procedures (such as locking your vehicle, locking your room, and avoiding any potential dangerous situations) should be followed when traveling in or around Fairbanks. Should you encounter trouble, simply dial 911 for local police or fire.
What should I know if I’m bringing my family?
Fairbanks is a family-friendly community. Many of the activities and services that can be found here may be enjoyed by children of all ages. By all means, bring the entire family.
What should I know if I’m bringing my pets?
Fairbanks is a pet-friendly community—within reason. Animals are not generally allowed in places of business including shops, restaurants, or lounges. Some hotels will allow you to stay with a pet. Be sure to ask well in advance, however, as this is not always the case. Those that do allow pets will usually have a pet policy that you should be aware of.
Should you decide to bring your pet, you’ll be happy to know that Fairbanks features several veterinary clinics, pet and feed stores, as well as a dog park. Fairbanks does have a leash-law for dogs so unless you are at the dog park, please be sure to keep your animal leashed. Also, pets should never be left unattended in vehicles on days where cold winter temperatures or hot sunny days may injure their health.
For more answers to commonly asked questions, visit the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau web site.
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