Those who have never been to Fairbanks will want to read up thoroughly on Alaskan climate and weather conditions, especially if they are going in the winter. Even in the summer, the city is subject to wild temperature swings, thunderstorms and even snow, though in general temperatures stay above 50°F (10°C). It is not a good idea to rent a car in Fairbanks during the winter unless you have had experience with driving in very cold climates, as ice fog is a common occurrence and the icy roads make for rather hazardous conditions. However, winter is the best time to see the aurora borealis, which often grace the skies above Fairbanks.

Visitors may also be surprised to find the ease and widespread use of airplane travel in Fairbanks. There are numerous small landing strips located in and around the city, as this is usually a better way of getting around the Alaskan interior in the winter. Several charter companies hire out helicopters and small planes for visitors.

Tourists should also remember that, due to Alaska’s northern latitudes, hours of daylight during the year can range from 3 hours to 21 hours. Counting dusk and dawn, when there is still enough light to see by, lamps and headlights are not required at all for a few weeks during the summer, when there is 24 hours of usable light.