I grew up going to Chena Hot Springs Resort and while it is certainly not fancy, it is unusual and definitely worth the hour or so drive to get there. Visitors could easily spend an afternoon enjoying the area. Located at the end of Chena Hot Springs Road, there is the resort, the Aurora Ice Motel (a must-see,) a restaurant and the famous Geo-thermal Hot Springs. The hot springs are open year round and have an indoor swimming pool and hot tubs as well as an outdoor hot tub and a large lake. Children are only allowed in the indoor pool and the outdoor hot tub. But parents can take turns going into the lake, which is really quite spectacular. Set amongst the local granite rocks and surrounded by birch, aspen and spruce trees, the setting is relaxing and very Alaskan. The water is a comfortable 105 degrees outside. The biggest downside would have to be the locker rooms, which are cramped and outdated, not to mention the strong sulphuric smell which takes a bit of getting used to.
And if you are brave enough to visit Alaska in the winter, never fear! Visitors can still enjoy the hot springs by relaxing in the dark, steamy lake and then jumping into the cold snow! I guarantee you will never forget it. No matter what time of year you go, the experience is unique and not to be missed if you visit the Fairbanks area.