Fairbanks has more to offer the visitor than the Fred Meyer farthest north. The old downtown is pleasant and easily explored on foot. Home to the University of Alaska, the associated museum has an extensive display of artifacts that explore Alaska's history. If Fairbanks is your last stop before heading back to the Lower 48 and you still haven't seen a bear, the museum has a very big one on display, dead of course. Check out the Ice Museum if you want to view the creation of icy sculpture, or visit Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge on the outskirts of the city for migratory bird viewing.
If you just want the chance to get a feel for the Fairbanks vibe, rent bikes downtown and follow some of the city's bike routes.
In winter strap on skis for a run down Moose Mountain north of Fairbanks, or take a dogsled tour.
Other attractions are further from the city and require transport. Chenah Hot Springs is 57 miles from Fairbanks. Watch for moose wallowing around in the ponds along the way. Rainbow trout can be fished out of Chena Lakes Recreation Area, or cast a line into Chena River for grayling.
There are a few hikes close to Fairbanks but for bigger wilderness head out to the White and Pinnell Mountains.
Fairbanks is 350 miles north of Anchorage.