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We visited the Georgeson Botanical Garden in Fairbanks, Alaska in August 2017 as part of our Alaska summer road trip. Driving from Los Angeles, we finally reached Fairbanks and spent four days there - our northernmost point along the route. The Georgeson Botanical Garden was surprisingly interesting and beautiful. I took so many photos they simply had to be turned into a blog post at some point 😉
Visiting the Georgeson Botanical Garden in Fairbanks, Alaska - What you need to know
Location: 117 West Tanana Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska
Entrance fees: a recommended donation of $5 per person. No one at the gates, just a box where you can place your donation.
When to visit? June 1 – Labor Day / 8am – 8pm I doubt the lock it up during the rest of the year but this is Fairbanks, so the rest of the year it's probably covered in snow.
What else do you need to know?
This is part of the University of Fairbanks and is actually a research facility. That's not a bad thing. Rather than a flower garden, you're visiting a place where they test a variety of plants for agricultural use. And also flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.
Our own visit to the Georgeson Botanical Garden
We visited on an August 20th 2017 which happened to be a Sunday. I was worried this could mean the gardens would be busy but we pretty much had the place to ourselves (as you can see in the photos). We arrived around noon and just walked right in. There was no one at the gates but there were signs and posters explaining about the garden.
We entered the gardens, expecting this to be a smallish place. The area was larger than expected and much more interesting than just a regular garden. After all, this place is very close to the arctic circle. The extreme climate has its affect. So does the midnight sun during summertime.
Turns out, plants in this regions adapt by making the most of summertime. Unlike what you might expect from what sounds like alpine weather, the plants here are lush, vibrant in color and sometimes very very large. The garden has examples of huge midnight-sun Alaska cabbages -
It's hard to realize how large those cabbages are without seeing a grown man next to one-
There's so much to this place than veggies. Walking around, it took us a full hour to just see the place. You could easily spend another hour letting kids play in the Babula Children's garden -
There's a playground there where kids can climb and jump and overall enjoy being outdoors. That area of the garden also has a beautiful little pond with a stream. Perfect location for a picnic -
As I said, there were only a handful of people around, so no shortage of blissfully peaceful places where you can sit on a bench and take in the surrounding Alaskan views. I really wished I had a book and some free time to just stay there, soaking up the calm positive vibes.
Overall, we had an amazing time in the Georgeson Botanical Garden. This is a perfect little place to spend a few hours in Fairbanks, Alaska. If you read my post about visiting Fairbanks, AK, you know that you could easily fill in a few days with activities there. But if the weather is nice and you have one hour or even a bit longer, I suggest adding this garden to your itinerary. And while you're in the area of the university, join in on a walking tour of LARS - the Large Animals Research station too.
Finally, lots of photos!
I couldn't stop taking photos so I'm going to share some of my favorites here and wrap this post with eye candy. If you've been to the Georgeson Botanical Garden, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought. Also, as always questions and feedback are welcome!