Summer Solstice in Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs

This Summer Solstice post is coming to you from Fairbanks, Alaska. We also talk about our side trip to Chena Hot Springs. We recorded the intro at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center.

Hanging out in Fairbanks

We’ve been camping at Walmart. It can be a little noisy, but otherwise, we haven’t had any problems.

We like Lunch Cafe and have been a few times now. They’ve got lots of vegan options, so we highly recommend checking them out. Go for brunch if you can.

lunch cafe in fairbanks alaska.

The Co-op here is excellent. We’ve been there a few times as well. They have organic produce, vegan yogurt, cheese, and meats, bulk bins to restock, and environmentally friendly household products.

fairbanks alaska coop.

The Walmart is fine, and we pick up things here from time to time since we’re living in their lot. But the Fred Meyer behind it seems to have better prices on most of the groceries we buy.

We met some viewers, Tom and Fay, at Walmart – they’re our neighbors. We’ve been hanging out with them off and on during our stay. They’ve got some great RV stories.

We’ve mostly been working and walking around town. Downtown is cute with some cool architecture and loads of street art.

antler arch in fairbanks alaska.

mural in fairbanks alaska.

art deco building in fairbanks alaska.

old theater in fairbanks alaska.

A side trip to Chena Hot Springs

It’s no secret that we love hot springs, so we decided to leave Fairbanks and spend the weekend at Chena Hot Springs. It’s only about 60 miles from Fairbanks. Nearly half that road is full of frost heaves though so prepare for a bumpy ride.

chena hot springs sign in alaska.

The Chena Hot Springs Resort is a whole complex. We were there for the hot springs, which had some of the best water we’ve experienced, but there are loads of other things to do there. In addition to the hot springs, they have an indoor heated saltwater pool and two hot tubs. The pool was filled with kids when we were there. The hot springs are 18+.

chena hot springs alaska.

There are several trails on the property. We walked out to Beaver Pond and also followed the Monument Creek trail, which was especially pretty since it mostly follows the creek.

beaver pond at chena hot springs.

monument creek at chena hot springs.

The complex also has a restaurant, landing strip, horseback rides, 4-wheeler tours, and more. They have a penned area with some reindeer if you’ve never seen one up close.


The RV sites were all dry camping. They have a dump and a fresh water station. Many of the sites were along Monument Creek, and we could hear the water babbling through the RV. Who needs a white noise machine?

chena hot springs campsite.

There is a faint 2G cell signal on Verizon, but nothing on AT&T or T-Mobile. They do have WiFi access you can purchase. We got 12 hours for $2.50, but you have to buy it online on the splash page to get that price. Otherwise, it’s $8 if you buy it at the office.

Dealing with 24-hours of sunlight

We haven’t had too much trouble going to sleep, but when you wake up in the night, and it’s still light out it is very confusing to your body. So we popped into Lowe’s and bought more Reflectix to black out our bedroom windows. Now it’s like a cave back there and perfect.

Check out all the videos in our Alaska 2018 adventure here.

Laura Nunemaker

About the Author

Laura Nunemaker

vegan. full-time traveler. rv dweller. food lover. cow petter.

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