Fun & Weird

A Hundred Dollar Bills Ya’ll!

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Actually way more than a hundred. Almost all the walls and ceilings in the Chatanika Lodge Restaurant are covered with signed dollar bills. It reminded me of McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, Fl.

Chatanika Lodge was the last stop of our last day in Fairbanks. We started off with a trek to North Pole (how can you not go when it’s less than 30 minutes away?). Despite my rather candid review from the summer, my friend still felt rather let down by the experience.  Not much I could do about that, since all I said is that we’d see reindeer and visit Santa’s house, which is what we did…

Santa Claus House North Pole Alaska

Santa Claus House in the summer looks much like it did in March, sans flowers

We grabbed lunch at the Mexican place in town, but apparently we should have visited Pagoda Restaurant which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives for the walnut shrimp.

It did not take long to see the North Pole sights and still had several hours until our flights left, so we dcided to check out Chatanika Lodge. It had been recommended as a great place to see the Northern Lights but fortunately our place wound up being perfectly situated. If you need a good view though, this is likely to be a great place to go — good 360 views and very little, if any light pollution.

It’s a 30-45 minute drive out of town on Steese Hwy and along the way you’ll pass a viewing area for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

Trans-alaska oil pipeline warning sign

Keri trans-alaska pipeline viewing fairbanks

The restaurant is much what you might expect — the usual selection of bar food with Alaska prices. A comfortable atmosphere with friendly people and an adorable dog!

chatanika lodge restaurant fairbanks

We were there around 4, early for the dinner crowd, and got to hang out with a few locals and one or two other tourists. And spent some time checking out the bar tradition of autographing a dollar bill to be posted somewhere on the walls and ceiling.

Keri chatanika lodge restaurant fairbanks interior

The bathroom was rather amusing — double sinks and one enormous stall with swinging doors that don’t latch.

chatanika lodge restaurant fairbanks restroom

I was sad that we were apparently a few weeks too early for the Chatanika Days which features outhouse races and human bowling!

If you’re on a tight schedule and not going for the Northern Lights, it’s probably not worth the time it takes to get out there. But if you’re looking for things to do or need a place for the Aurora Borealis, it’s a fun time.

More from this trip

Snow for the Iditarod
BBQ & Fat Birds in Anchorage
Is Anchorage to Fairbanks the Most Scenic Flight Ever?
Seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska
Experiencing the Ice Art Chamionships

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


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