On Wednesdays and Saturdays in the summer, the Tanana Valley Farmers Market (College Rd., 907/456-3276, www.tvfmarket.com) is the place to find locally grown or crafted items, from asparagus and berry pies to Native Alaskan beadwork and polar-fleece booties.
Great Alaskan Bowl Company (4630 Old Airport Rd., 907/474-9663 or 800/770-4222, www.woodbowl.com) sells nesting birch hardwood bowls, all fashioned from a single split log. This is a good made-in-Alaska product to take home with you. A window overlooks the wood shop; the wood shavings are used for packing material and decoration in the showroom.
Galleries and Gifts
Local galleries of note include Alaska House Art Gallery (10th Ave. and Cushman St., 907/456-6449, www.thealaskahouse.com), Expressions in Glass (1922 Peger Rd., 907/474-3923 or 888/574-3923, www.expressionsinglass.net), and The Artworks (3677 College Rd., 907/479-2563).
Gift shops abound downtown; Arctic Traveler’s (201 Cushman St., 907/456-7080, www.arctictravelersgiftshop.com) is the biggest. The Craft Market (5th Ave. and Noble St., 907/452-5495) has a good collection of carved ivory, woven baskets, masks, dolls, and other Native Alaskan arts and crafts.
Alaska Rag Co. (603 Lacey St., 907/451-4401, www.alaskaragco.com) is a unique shop with hand-woven rag rugs made on the premises, plus jewelry, stained glass, and other gifts. (The rugs are woven from locally recycled cloth, and many of the workers are developmentally disabled individuals who could not otherwise find work.) The Spinning Room (516 2nd Ave., 907/458-7610, www.spinning-room.com) sells handspun fabrics, including those made from musk ox wool.
Beaver Sports (3480 College Rd., 907/479-2494, www.beaversports.com) is the place for outdoor gear of all types in Fairbanks, and has the largest selection of canoes in Alaska. They also rent canoes, mountain bikes, skis, and snowshoes.
Go North (3820 University Ave., 907/479-7272 or 866/236-7272, www.paratours.net) has rental canoes, mountain bikes, tents, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and all sorts of other gear, including satellite phones! Also check out Big Rays (507 2nd St., 907/452-3458 or 800/478-3458, www.bigrays.com) and The Prospector (1512 S. Cushman St., 907/457-7372 or 800/495-7372, www.prospectoroutfitters.com) for rugged Alaskan wear.
Get hand-sewn outdoor creations along with fast repairs from Apocalypse Design (201 Minnie St., 907/451-7555 or 866/451-7555, www.akgear.com).
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition