It's nice in the summer and cold as hell in the winter....lots of cases of cabin fever during that time when it's -35 to -50 outside.
My weekends consisted of Sam's Club, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Sportsman's Warehouse, and sometimes the movie theater. There are no malls there.
BAH and COLA are great but that is only because it is expensive to live there. If I'm guessing your rank correctly, then you will be living off post. At least you have that much going for you. People get annual dividens for living there. You won't qualify for them until after a year of being there IF you decided to change your state of residency. Those dividens are taxable so be prepared come income tax season.
If you like skiing, fishing, outdoors activities, you may enjoy it. If you're looking for malls and party central, you will not have that great of a time.
Good thing is, you will be one of the few who return to the lower 48 who can say they have experienced life in Alaska. Bad thing is, you will be experiencing life in Alaska.
Prepare to drop about $300+ on an engine block heater so that you can plug your car in during the winter months (which are long if you haven't already guessed it).
Little to do up there for young folks which equate to lots of opportunities for trouble.
Frostbite = UCMJ action
Get out of Fairbanks any and every chance you get...Anchorage is nicer and the closest thing to a real city within 8 hours drive or 1 hour's flight.
I personnaly moved at lightspeed to get out of there and move on. I was there 2007-2010 when it was a 3-year assignment. Lucky for you that has changed in the event that you may not love Fairbanks so much.
Anything in particular you would like to know about in more detail?
"There's no such thing as a painless lesson-they just don't exist. Sacrifices are necessary. You can't gain anything without losing something first. Although if you can endure that pain and walk away from it, you'll find that you now have a heart strong enough to overcome any obstacle. Yeah... a heart made Fullmetal."