Wheelchair attendant are very nice and accommodating compared to most US airports that I have encountered. The airport itself is relatively small, making it easier to navigate with limited mobility. The bathroom near baggage claim is larger and more accessible than the one on the arrivals floor. With a small airport comes limited food options, with few gluten free and vegan options. FYI…the Delta check in counter doesn’t open until exactly two hours before your flight leaves.
Sophie Station Suites
This is an awesome locally owned and operated hotel, with a full kitchen in each suite that gives you all you need to make your stay welcomed. Hotel shuttle to and from the airport has limited availability and is not wheelchair accessible. However, the modified queen room is spacious enough for those with limited mobility. In addition to the space in the suite itself, the bathroom has ample room for wheelchair turn around. The shower is not roll in but has a shower seat with room to transfer and dual controls, one reachable from the shower seat to the handheld head and one further to the fixed head. Grab bars for the toilet are aptly placed. The downside to the bathroom however is there is no seat in the bathroom itself, which can be a concern for those with limited mobility to aid in dressing and other activities.
Hoodoo Brewing Company has been crafting world class ales and lagers in Fairbanks since 2012. Come in and enjoy their taproom, fill a growler to enjoy at home, or hang out in the Biergarten which has a rotating selection of local food trucks! Brewing delicious craft beer for thirsty Alaskans since 2012. A ramp is provided on the side of the building and steps in the front, however be careful of slickness in certain weather conditions. Outside seating is bench seat, which may be difficult for those with limited mobility but can allow for wheelchair roll up. Inside seating is higher bar seating, making it difficult for wheelchairs and those with limited mobility alike.
Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center
This free museum should be your first stop in Fairbanks as it gives an in depth look into the cultural and life in Alaska and has hundreds of brochures to help plan the remainder of your trip! The website gives an overview into the facility accessibility for those with many types of disabilities and I can attest to its accuracy. However, if there are any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact them as I have found their service to be outstanding and friendly. Handicap parking is available and close to the facility entrance. There are handicap door buttons, however it may be limited due to COVID restrictions with entering and exiting the building. All of the visitor material and museum is located on one floor, with small ramps to some of the museum exhibits. Manual wheelchairs are available for use within the facility. There are many exhibits within the museum that have low lighting, which may present a problem for those with low vision. Visitors needing audio description may borrow an electronic device that plays a narrated description of the Morris Thompson exhibits, at no cost. Numerous exhibits are tactile throughout the visitor center, with touch tours available upon early request. For those visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing, Infrared assistive listening systems are installed in the theater, and headsets may be used at any seat. Headsets with induction neck loops are available for visitors who use hearing aids and cochlear implants with a “T” switch. Captioning is available for a selection of theater films as well.
You can drive up to the secondary parking lot to visit Antler Arch even though it is a short distance away from the museum entrance.
The Fudge Pot
10/10 would recommend the fudge here at The Fudge Pot. There is the cutest little gift shop, in addition to a cafe. The cafe has very limited vegan and gluten options. There is also a flight of stairs to enter this location, which is not compatible for those in a wheelchair or limited mobility. However if you can climb the steps, definitely head on over to this place! The season pumpkin fudge is to die for!
Fairbanks Ice Museum
The Fairbanks Ice Museum is located in the The Lacey Street Theatre building and is an Art Deco architectural showpiece theatre. For $15, you watch a short movie about how the ice sculptures are made and a little bit of museum history. Then the lights go on and you are awed by the ice sculptures that are present. There is limited room for a wheelchair to maneuver and many of the sculptures require a step or two to sit on. It is worthwhile to see the spectacular artistry. Visitors then get the chance to watch an artist demonstrate how they make ice sculptures. Theater seats are small and there no is no designated handicap seating, however a wheelchair is able to pull up in the aisle area and the staff is willing to provide as many accommodations to visitors as possible.
Chena Hot Springs Resort
Located about an hour and a half outside of Fairbanks, Chena Hot Springs Resort provides camping, accommodations and a myriad of activities for visitors. Ample handicap parking is located near almost every entrance for visitors, however there is a distance from the space to the activities center which is on an uneven gravel pathway. The check in desk of the resort itself does have a step up, and the restaurant has limited space in between seating. The Ice Museum does have steps to get to the bar and other various sculptures and does get crowded as they let in a certain number of people per session. If you drink, I HIGHLY recommend the awesome experience of drinking an apple martini from an ice glass at the ice bar! A short drive around the resort parking lot will allow you to reach the pool area, which has a larger handicap bathroom stall and a roll in shower (although you may not be able to reach the controls and there is no bench). There is a ramp and railings into the hot springs. A water wheelchair is available for use in the pool area so that a person may be wheeled into the hot springs. Be careful though, as temperatures in the hot springs can get up to 106 degrees F and higher!
The Cookie Jar
The Cookie Jar Restaurant is a locally owned and operated (for 35 years!) restaurant that grew from a little bakery into a full service restaurant which service breakfast all day, lunch and dinner. Featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, one of the things they are known for is their LARGE cinnamon buns! Tables here are very close together which may be a problem for those with limited mobility, but if you can make it work the food is worth it!
Santa Claus House
The North Pole, Alaska is home to the world’s largest Santa, 42 feet tall. He’s checking his list twice for those who are naughty or nice! All the streets are lined with candy cane street lights and are festively named. We visited Santa Claus House, which is my own personal heaven, a store filled to the brim with Christmas decor and other festive things to purchase! Outside they even had real live reindeer! The store is pretty easy to navigate even with mobility issues and there is space between displays for a wheelchair turn around. Many of the items here can be touched and are displayed on Christmas trees, making a tactile experience a little easier. Although the store is large, there are ample benches within the store and a cafe with a large seating area, if you need a bit of a rest from all the shopping. Although the reindeer are a bit of a walk away from the store, you can drive over there and there is handicap parking at both locations.
Bingo is taken VERY seriously in Alaska, with over 100 locals coming every night of the year to Chena Bingo. Doors open at 6pm and bingo starts at 7:00pm, where for $4 you can boards for 8 games and possibly walk away with $5000 each night. The also have an assortment of pulltab games for a chance to win up to $500 instantly!!! There is a snack bar that has specials every night, however there are limited vegan and gluten free options. Although the tables are set up in rows, those with limited mobility can access them easily as the facility has plenty of space. The caller both announces the numbers and the numbers are located on screens throughout the facility, as they are called. This is fun for the entire family!