That’s Antarctic, not Arctic.
I also drove to Inuvik and also up to Prudhoe Bay. Both places are blah unless you want to just take a dip in the Arctic Ocean.
For the money, I’d suggest going to Kaktovik, Barter Island in the fall, after the whaling season, but before the ice comes completely in. That’s when the polar bears come onto land from the icepack to feed on the whale carcasses. The accommodations at The Waldo Arms are spartan, but comfortable for a few days, and the food is decent. The place is basically a bunch of metal storage units that have been welded together and finished (sort of) inside.
You can only get to Barter Island by air, from Fairbanks. But before you go, you need to contact somebody about a tour for the bears. I don’t recall who we used, but he had an old 4WD schoolbus that he used to take tourists out to the bone pile. Any tour business in that part of the world is going to be a shoestring operation, unless you go to Churchill up in Canada to see bears, but you’re going to spend a buttload of money to do that.
So that’s the awesome part. Other items: weather is always chilly in the true Arctic. It rarely gets above 50F or so. Further south, toward the Arctic Circle, it gets significantly warmer, and by the time you get to Fairbanks, which is dead center in Alaska, summer temps are easily hitting 80 or 90F. Northern lights are best seen in winter months, obviously, but there is no guarantee that you’ll see them, so I wouldn’t plan my trip based solely on that expectation.
Ease of travel is a relative thing. Rental car companies in Alaska usually expressly forbid you from driving on unpaved roads, which rules out a drive to Prudhoe Bay or even over the Top of the World Highway to Dawson. The latter is the worst road in the state, in my experience. A really great drive is over the Denali Highway from Paxson to Cantwell (or the reverse). There is lodging at Paxson Lodge and many places to stay on the other end near Denali Nat’l Park. The views along this road are spectacular and it’s probably my favorite drive in the state. It’s mostly gravel, however, so you’re back to rental car problems. If you take it slow, you shouldn’t have any problems, though. I’ve driven it many times in a motorhome and had no issues. The above areas are all sub-Arctic.