Moving To Fairbanks Alaska: 12 Most DEPENDABLE Tips

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If you like a cold climate, beautiful outdoor scenery, and excellent quality of life, moving to Fairbanks, Alaska, is for you.

Fairbanks is the largest city in Interior Alaska and the second largest in the whole state. Interior Alaska is the region within the state flanked by the Alaskan and Brooks ranges, enclosing the vast wilderness. Roughly 120 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the city is found inside the Auroral Oval, which means the Aurora Borealis can be seen in the night sky for 200 nights of the year.

To help you with the move, here are 12 very dependable tips so you can prepare for living in Fairbanks. We’ll talk about how to get around the city, the job market, go-to destinations, and the cost of living in Fairbanks.

Are you ready?

1. Read Up On The Best Neighbourhoods To Live In

The City of Fairbanks is the seat and centre of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The city centre has a population of only 32, 000 while the larger metropolitan area is home to a little over 95, 500. Though these numbers might be relatively low, the whole area is pretty large.

Choosing where to live will be a huge decision as it will greatly impact your day-to-day life. Whether it comes to available amenities, the number of neighbours, or the rent price, conducting due research is very important. Here are a few choices we recommend you consider:

Downtown Fairbanks is perfect for those who love to live in the middle of the action. Downtown has a few historic buildings dating back to the days when Fairbanks thrived on the gold rush and new amenities such as shops, restaurants, and a distinct art scene.

Ester is a small community with only about 2,000 people. It’s great if you want a little bit of space all the while being a few minutes away from the city centre.

The North Pole might not be the North Pole where Santa Claus lives, but this small community is known for its year-long Christmas aesthetic, complete with a Santa Claus House.

snowfield near house

Image Credit:Unsplash

2. Be Sure To Prepare For The Cold Weather

Due to Fairbanks being inland and far up north, the climate usually has long winters and short summers. You can expect snow to fall the most from October to February. Between March to May, snow will still fall but only mildly.

Throughout the year, temperature varies greatly between -13°F up to 73°F. Fairbanks is said to be the coldest large city in the United States. So, if you aren’t used to the cold weather, be sure you will pack the right clothes and footwear, or else you’ll freeze!

3. Find Your Way Around The City By Riding Public Transportation

Despite having a huge land area, only a small percentage of the entirety of Fairbanks North Star Borough has people living in it. So, the best way to find your way around is through the Metropolitan Area Commuter System. This bus service operates on 8 routes and has expanded to several of the neighbours around Fairbanks.

It will also be a great idea if you download the Real-Time Bus Tracker so you can see the schedule of the routes and never miss your bus!

4. Be Sure To Research On The Local Cost Of Living And Adjust Your Lifestyle

The cost of living in Fairbanks is slightly higher than that of the national average by about 24%. This is primarily due to the cost of significantly higher utilities. However, other goods such as food, transportation, housing, and rent are reasonably priced.

According to a recent census, between 2016 and 2020, the median cost of a home in Fairbanks is 217,700 USD, slightly lower than the national median of 229,000 USD. If you are looking to rent, a one-bedroom apartment will fetch anywhere from 1,000 to 1,800 USD based on location.

5. Explore The Job Market For Great Job Opportunities

Though we’ve already talked about the high cost of living, you won’t need to worry about that too much because Fairbanks has a thriving job market. Its unemployment rate is only 5%, significantly lower than the national average.

According to a recent census, the major industries that offer the most opportunities in Fairbanks are:

  • Government agencies
  • Communications
  • Transportation
  • Tourism
  • Finance

Meanwhile, the biggest employers in 2020 are:

  • Fort Wainwright
  • Eilson Air Force Base
  • Banner Health System
  • Alyeska Pipeline Service
  • Fairbanks Gold Mining

Going through job listings for these industries or employers can be a great starting point if you are looking to find a new job.

6. Be Part Of The Local Scene And Join In On Festivals

When moving to a new city, there will be a lot of adjustments. You’ll meet new people, figure out routes, and find the best restaurants, but more than that, you’d also need to get to know the heart of the city. One of the best ways to do that is to participate in local festivals and celebrations.

This is an excellent way to get the vibe of the city and also a perfect way to break the ice between you and your neighbours to build better relationships. If you are looking to add some events to your schedule, be sure to mark these events on your calendar.

  • World Ice Art Championships, February to March
  • Golden Days Parade, July 23
  • Midnight Sun Game, June 21
  • World Eskimo Indian Olympics, July

a couple of people holding a yellow object in front of a starry sky

Image Credit: Unsplash

7. Treat Yourself To The Natural Wonders And Have Fun In The Snow

The state of Alaska is a haven for lovers of outdoor activities, and Fairbanks has its fair share of natural wonders. Do yourself a favour and be sure to set aside some vacation days and visit these destinations and have fun with these activities:

Arctic Circle And Northern Lights Tour takes you into the arctic circle  with Aurora sightings .

Guided Snowmobile Tour takes you deep into the snowy landscape of the Alaskan wilderness atop a snowmobile, one of the most fun ways to explore!

Winter Dog Sledding is another amazing way to explore the outdoors as you are pulled by a gang of fluffy dogs.

Ice Fishing Expedition takes you into the middle of a frozen lake where you can enjoy camping, snack on sausages and buns, and learn how to ice fish which you can then later grill for dinner!

Denali National Park and Preserve is a huge reserve where you can see the natural wonders of Alaska. It has a vast land area where you can go hiking, camping, and so much more.

8. Read Up On The Varying Lengths Of Days In Fairbanks

If you’ve never lived this far north before, the change in daylight hours might be something new to you. Technically, because of the tilt of the earth and its revolution around the Sun, certain places will receive a varying amount of daylight throughout the year.

For Fairbanks, during the winter solstice, December 21, the city will only have 3 hours and 43 minutes of daylight, making it the shortest day of the year. In contrast, during the summer solstice on June 21, Fairbanks experiences 21 hours and 49 minutes of daylight.

In between, you can expect the daylight hours to gradually increase or decrease. Be sure to make necessary arrangements such as eye masks or window blinds to catch some sleep during the summer months. And during winter, you can set up natural light mimicking lights.

9. Learn All About The Rich History And Culture Of Fairbanks By Visiting These Museums

Fairbanks used to be a frequent stopover in the early days of round-the-world flights because it was the halfway point between New York City and Tokyo.

Learning about little historical tidbits like this gives the city a certain personality that makes you appreciate it even more. Give a bit of your time to visit these museums and cultural centres and learn more about the beautiful city of Fairbanks.

Museum of the North is affiliated with the University of Alaska. Here you can learn about Alaska’s cultural heritage and the Circumpolar North.

Pioneer Air Museum is perfect if you are interested in planes, helicopters, and Fairbanks’ roles in aviation history.

Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is where you can learn about the post-Gold Rush era and vintage automobiles.

Fairbanks Ice Museum is your go-to if you wanna learn about and behold the wonders of the art of ice carving.

10. Don’t Be A Stranger To Your Own City And Visit These Go-To Destinations

We’ve mentioned that the temperatures in Fairbanks can get a little difficult when the snow starts pouring in. So, when you still crave the summer warmth, or if you actually like the frigid cold and frolicking about in the snow, be sure to mark these destinations for some much-deserved R&R.

Ski Land is for the sporty types who like to ski or snowboard. Ski land can be found at Cleary Summit, just 20 miles north of Fairbanks.

Georgeson Botanical Garden can be found on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus and is a great place to go if you want to see and learn about subarctic horticulture.

Pioneer Park is a 44-acre park that features the history of Alaska through museums on site along with other amenities.

Chena Hot Springs are a hot spring resort that would be a great destination in those cold winter months. They can be found about 56 miles from Fairbanks and is part of the Chena River State Recreation Area.

11. Keep Track Of Your Relocation Via A To-Do List

A relocation to-do list is a simple yet very effective tool you can add to the process to make your move as smooth as possible. You will need to list down all the elements of the relocation. This might include necessary documents, packaging needs, items you’ll bring/sell, and contact information for your real estate agent or new landlord.

You can then track your progress throughout the relocation. Be sure to label which ones are a priority, tick down which ones are completed and when, add the status and any roadblocks, and write in notes of any additional materials you need.

a river running through a forest filled with trees

Image Credit: Unsplash

12. Seek Out A Professional Moving Company To Make Your Move A Better Experience

Relocating to a new place isn’t easy. To help you out, engage a professional moving company such as Sanelo. We will ensure that your relocation runs smoothly and that you won’t have to worry about lugging around heavy luggage. All the while knowing they are safe thanks to our shipment protection service.

Our team will walk you through the entire process, whether you are moving locally or internationally.

Conclusion On Moving To Fairbanks

There are many good things you can expect while living in Fairbanks. This city offers a high quality of living, access to beautiful natural wonders, and a job market that can offer you fantastic new opportunities.

Fairbanks also has a vibrant culture you explore through the local festivals, museums, and activities. If you’re still unsure and would like to explore guides for other cities, check out information and tips for other Cities such as Juneau, Mesa, and Fort Smith.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving/Relocating To Fairbanks

Is It Cheap To Live In Fairbanks?

The cost of living in Fairbanks is roughly 24% higher than the national average. However, the quality of life is high and a low unemployment rate.

Can You See The Aurora In Fairbanks?

Yes, in fact, Fairbanks is a go-to destination for Aurora viewing. There are a lot of viewing tours based in the city.

How Cold Does It Get In Fairbanks?

Throughout the year, the temperature will vary between -13°F to 73°F. The coldest months are between November to February.

Will Sanelo Be Able To Help Me With My Relocation To Fairbanks?

Yes!. Just visit our website, and look up more information about our services. You can email or call us, and a representative will be glad to assist you through the relocation process.


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