Fairbanks, Alaska is by far and away the largest city in the interior of the state and stands around approximately forty to fifty thousand residents when military and students are figured in. This city is one of a kind and distinctly Alaska, sprawling across many square miles and open to a huge influx of tourists every year. There are many sites worth seeing around Fairbanks, and if you want a bar crawl that gives you the full range of the Interior Alaskan experience then you will want to make sure to include these six destinations on your itinerary.
Stop #1: The Oasis. The Oasis is an excellent sports bar that also serves a lot of food and even has a sit down "restaurant style" section that is mostly separated from the main bar area, although you can get food on either side. The menu is classic bar fare, although there are often daily or weekly specials that are dishes more common with a family style restaurant. You can't go wrong with the chicken fingers or wide array of burgers, but if you really want to dive in the deep fat fried foods, then you want to order the combo platter.
The combo platter is a little of everything, and enough to stuff four very hungry guys with hot wings, chicken strips, waffle fries, fried zucchini, jalapeno poppers, fried mushrooms, fried cauliflower and more. Basically, you can clog four arteries easily. The selection of beer at the Oasis is pretty good, as well, ranging from the basics to $1 cans of PBR to local favorites like Alaska Oatmeal Stout or other specialty beers from local breweries. It's a great blend, and also the best bar to catch the game at. Located a mile from the University, it's in a good central location in Fairbanks.
Stop #2: The Blue Marlin. The Blue Marlin seems like a weird name for a bar almost 400 miles from the nearest ocean and thousands of miles from the nearest marlin...but there you go. The Blue Marlin is a dive bar, and one that is uniquely Alaskan. The upstairs of the building is a youth hostel while the basement and back make up the bar area. There's a grilling section outside that is a popular get together place for grilling, and a wide variety of beer and liquor make this place popular. The bathroom walls are completely covered with different graffiti, and don't be surprised if you find yourself reading for minutes on end. This is also a popular stop for local UAF students, who live just up the hill.
Stop #3: Ivory Jack's. Located on the outskirts of town with a giant gravel parking lot, this bar also has an inside that screams roughing it in interior Alaska. The food here is pretty good, the beer selection solid, and you'll see a lot of locals coming in with their dogs. This is a great place to hear genuine Alaska stories and to experience a favorite local hangout. Sometimes local musicians will play here, which adds to the draw. Definitely a can't miss stop.
Stop #4: The Blue Loon. The Blue Loon is located a few miles outside of Fairbanks and is the main draw for major shows. When you hear about the music scene going on up the west coast, any Seattle names touring Alaska are most likely hitting the Blue Loon when they hit Fairbanks, AK. This spot is a little more expensive, but they have major shows on the weekends and a wider selection of liquors than most places. This is where you go to see some serious entertainment, and some weekends have an amazing blend of people from local hipsters to college students, rough necks to upper class locals all in the same place. It's worth taking a peek at their show line up and hitting them up for a night for the experience, but bring enough cash.
Stop #5: The Golden Eagle. The Golden Eagle is technically located in Esther, five miles or so outside of Fairbanks, but it's worth a stop for anyone visiting the Interior who wants a taste of the local flavor. The Golden Eagle is closed throughout the winter, and is definitely a low key drinking place. The interior is uniquely Alaskan in decoration, and there's a large grill where you can grill your own food or buy some ground beef right there and cook up your own burgers. It's a nice way to make up a great evening meal and also enjoy the company of locals and a few beers. This is another one of those bars that really sticks out as uniquely Alaskan.
Stop #6: The Red Fox Bar & Grill. The Red Fox Bar and Grill is a good place to go for the full bar and grill experience when that's what you're feeling, and is slightly more conventional which is comfortable for many people. This isn't a bad stop at all, but it is definitely 6th out of 6 if you're looking for a specific Alaska experience. The Red Fox remains an excellent sports bar and grill.
If you want to visit Fairbanks, Alaska and get the most out of your bar hopping experience then use this list as your guide to getting the best experience from your summer Alaska bar hopping experience.