If your travels bring you to Fairbanks, Alaska, carve out time to visit the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska. With 2.5 million artifacts and specimens, the museum tells the fascinating stories of Alaska’s diverse cultures, vast geographic areas, natural history and much more. The well-curated exhibits bring the world of the North to life, and you will leave with a deeper understanding of the unique place that is Alaska.
When you walk into the lobby, you are greeted by a 43-foot bowhead whale skeleton suspended overhead, the only complete specimen on display in North and South America. The whale was a young male harvested by Alaskan Native hunters off of Alaska’s north coast.
In the museum, you will meet Blue Babe, a mummified steppe bison that was preserved in the frozen tundra for 36,000 years, since the Ice Age. You’ll learn about the plight of the Aleut Natives during WWII, when they were forced to evacuate their homeland for safety. And you’ll view the largest public display of gold nuggets in Alaska, precious relics from the Gold Rush era when Fairbanks and other boom towns were teeming with hopefuls with gold fever. These are but a few of the museum’s exhibits.
Plan to spend two hours for a cursory walkthrough, longer for a more in-depth visit. To learn more about the Museum of the North, go to uaf.edu/museum. Plan your adventure in Fairbanks at explorefairbanks.com.