Summer Fun in the Midnight Sun

Fairbanks, Barrow, Anchorage, Valdez

Trip Summary
This Alaska solstice celebration trip begins in Fairbanks with some of the city’s most beloved midnight sun activities, including the Midnight Sun Festival and the Alaska Goldpanners’ Midnight Sun baseball game. After the excitement in the city, you’ll take a trip north of the Arctic Circle to Barrow, where the sun doesn’t set for more than 80 days during the summer.

Day 1 Fairbanks
Time your arrival in Fairbanks for June 20. While most events associated with the summer solstice will be held on the closest weekend to the day itself, the annual Alaska Goldpanners Midnight Sun Baseball Game is held on June 21 no matter what day of the week it is. Start your Fairbanks visit by checking in to your hotel or lodge and paying a visit to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center downtown to explore the exhibits about life in Interior Alaska and get tips from visitor center staff to fine-tune your visit.

Day 2 Fairbanks
Sleep in this morning because you’re going to be up late! (Most hotels in Alaska feature blackout shades on the windows, so the light shouldn’t bother you.) Fairbanks is known for its summer sunshine, so take advantage of the day by renting a kayak and floating the Chena River through town. You can take out at one of a couple local restaurants with big decks overlooking the river and enjoy some wild-caught Alaska seafood and a locally brewed beer for dinner. The Midnight Sun game starts at 10:30 and will last past midnight. While you’re at the ball field, chat with your fellow spectators and you’re likely to discover they traveled from far away to be there for the game.

summer fun in the midnight sun

Day 3 Barrow
Your day begins with a flight aboard Alaska Airlines to the northernmost community in Alaska – Barrow. Upon arrival mid morning, you’ll take a tour of the village with a local tour operator and then be treated to a cultural presentation featuring song and dance of the local Inupiat Eskimo people. Spend the night in Barrow.

Day 4 Barrow
Today is unstructured, giving you the opportunity to explore the village on your own. Consider visiting the Inupiat Heritage Center and take a photo under the iconic whale-bone arches on the coast of the Arctic Ocean. Many visitors also enjoy bird watching in the area. Your flight back to Fairbanks will depart in the early evening. Once you return to Fairbanks, consider adding on to your midnight-sun-themed trip by renting a car and driving south to Denali National Park and Preserve and Anchorage via the Parks Highway, or toward Valdez on the Richardson Highway. With all the daylight, there are ample hours for sightseeing.