20 dazzling places to admire the midnight sun

YELLOWSTONE, WY - AUGUST 22: Visitors come and go at the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming on August 22, 2018. Yellowstone is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Whether you’ve left your Thanksgiving travel plans to the last minute or you’ve been prepared for weeks in advance, it’s still one of the worst times of the year for traveling. Airports can be absolute chaos, flights often get delayed or cancelled, and many people are on edge at the prospect of having to deal with family. Everyone makes travel mistakes during the holidays, but if you’re lucky, you may just be able to avoid them and have a smooth and utterly successful trip. In order to figure out how to make your Thanksgiving trip as painless as possible, The Active Times spoke with 20 savvy and experienced travelers to see what they had to suggest from their own personal experience. Their tips were a variety of money-saving ideas, time-saving hacks, and clever ways to ensure your convenience as you take on one of the most difficult times to fly or drive around the country. You don’t want your amazing Thanksgiving destination or cozy family dinner ruined before you even get there, so here’s a handy guide on how to survive Thanksgiving travel.
Slide 1 of 21: At midnight around the summer solstice the sun doesn’t dip below the horizon north of the Arctic Circle, and lingers longer and higher in the sky at latitudes closer to the North Pole. Human habitation is relatively sparse in the Far North, of course, but if you dream of admiring the midnight sun in person, don’t fret: the 20 places that follow are all bathed in summer sunlight around the clock, and offer all the comforts—or at least some of the comforts—of home.
Slide 2 of 21: Billed as the northernmost point in continental Europe, this cinema- and restaurant-equipped visitors’ centre gets direct sunlight from mid-May to the end of July atop a cliff rising 307 metres (1,007 feet) above the Arctic Ocean.
Slide 3 of 21: Set picturesquely on the banks of a wide river, the capital of Finnish Lapland is also the self-proclaimed “official” terrestrial residence of Santa Claus.
Slide 4 of 21: The world’s largest Arctic city is surrounded by a stunning landscape where hiking, rafting, fishing, and cycling are just a few of the outdoorsy pursuits.
Slide 5 of 21: Tucked into a sheltered bay with the sheer rock face of Reinebringen looming above, this town is a prime spot for midnight sunlit views of the rugged and staggeringly beautiful Lofoten archipelago.
Slide 6 of 21: At midnight around the summer solstice the sun doesn’t dip below the horizon north of the Arctic Circle, and lingers longer and higher in the sky at latitudes closer to the North Pole. Human habitation is relatively sparse in the Far North, of course, but if you dream of admiring the midnight sun in person, don’t fret: the 20 places that follow are all bathed in summer sunlight around the clock, and offer all the comforts—or at least some of the comforts—of home.
Slide 7 of 21: The seat of Finland’s Sámi parliament is ideal for taking in views of the midnight sun reflected in Inarijärvi, Lapland’s largest lake.
Slide 8 of 21: Set at the mouth of a 40-km-long (25-mile-long) ice fjord, Greenland’s third-largest town is an ideal spot to watch icebergs reflect the rays of the midnight sun.
Slide 9 of 21: This lakeside Lapland village is on both the Kungsleden and Padjelantala long-distance hiking trails, and also offers day walks up various local peaks.
Slide 10 of 21: Despite being a five-hour drive southeast of the Arctic Circle, the only city in Alaska’s interior still gets sunshine at midnight in late June.
Slide 11 of 21: An hour’s drive northeast of Lake Myvatn’s hotels and restaurants, Europe’s most voluminous waterfall is known for the brilliant double rainbows that form above its glacial waters on sunny summer days (and nights).
Slide 12 of 21: The largest Arctic settlement outside Russia, meanwhile, is surrounded by scenic fjords and rugged peaks, with a graceful bridge connecting the town to the mainland.
Slide 13 of 21: From the scenic shores of Lake Torneträsk to the hilly Lapporten gateway to Lappland, this Arctic park is heaven for hikers.
Slide 14 of 21: Greenland’s capital and biggest town, the gateway to several glorious fjords, is backed by a curtain of stunning peaks and is home to plenty of whimsical artwork.
Slide 15 of 21: The midnight sun gives visitors extra time to explore the spectacular geothermal pools of this hut- and campsite-equipped reserve.
Slide 16 of 21: Many cruise ships dip below the Antarctic Circle in December, allowing passengers to admire the midnight sun at the southern end of the earth.
Slide 17 of 21: Likewise, several cruise companies voyage north of the Arctic Circle in summer, offering close encounters with icebergs, polar bears, and whales.
Slide 18 of 21: Situated on iceberg-filled Frobisher Bay, the capital of Nunavut offers views of the peaks of the Meta Incognita Peninsula.
Slide 19 of 21: The main settlement of Norway’s Arctic Svalbard archipelago is surrounded by peaks and glaciers, with the Arctic landscape home to more polar bears than people.
Slide 20 of 21: Southwestern Greenland’s principal town is scenically set on an inlet in the Davis Strait, its colourful houses ringing a busy harbour.
Slide 21 of 21: The northernmost point of the jaw-dropping Kystriksveien Coastal Route is framed by distant peaks, with the islands to the north providing nesting places for the birds that give the town its title as the Sea Eagle capital.

20 dazzling places to admire the midnight sun

At midnight around the summer solstice the sun doesn’t dip below the horizon north of the Arctic Circle, and lingers longer and higher in the sky at latitudes closer to the North Pole. Human habitation is relatively sparse in the Far North, of course, but if you dream of admiring the midnight sun in person, don’t fret: the 20 places that follow are all bathed in summer sunlight around the clock, and offer all the comforts—or at least some of the comforts—of home.

Nordkapp, Norway

Billed as the northernmost point in continental Europe, this cinema- and restaurant-equipped visitors’ centre gets direct sunlight from mid-May to the end of July atop a cliff rising 307 metres (1,007 feet) above the Arctic Ocean.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Set picturesquely on the banks of a wide river, the capital of Finnish Lapland is also the self-proclaimed “official” terrestrial residence of Santa Claus.

Murmansk, Russia

The world’s largest Arctic city is surrounded by a stunning landscape where hiking, rafting, fishing, and cycling are just a few of the outdoorsy pursuits.

Reine, Norway

Tucked into a sheltered bay with the sheer rock face of Reinebringen looming above, this town is a prime spot for midnight sunlit views of the rugged and staggeringly beautiful Lofoten archipelago.

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

A popular stop on the Ring Road out of Reykjavik, this gorgeous waterfall is especially scenic when illuminated by sunlight at midnight.

Inari, Finland

The seat of Finland’s Sámi parliament is ideal for taking in views of the midnight sun reflected in Inarijärvi, Lapland’s largest lake.

Ilulissat, Greenland

Set at the mouth of a 40-km-long (25-mile-long) ice fjord, Greenland’s third-largest town is an ideal spot to watch icebergs reflect the rays of the midnight sun.

Kvikkjokk, Sweden

This lakeside Lapland village is on both the Kungsleden and Padjelantala long-distance hiking trails, and also offers day walks up various local peaks.

Fairbanks, Alaska

Despite being a five-hour drive southeast of the Arctic Circle, the only city in Alaska’s interior still gets sunshine at midnight in late June.

Dettifoss, Iceland

An hour’s drive northeast of Lake Myvatn’s hotels and restaurants, Europe’s most voluminous waterfall is known for the brilliant double rainbows that form above its glacial waters on sunny summer days (and nights).

Tromsø, Norway

The largest Arctic settlement outside Russia, meanwhile, is surrounded by scenic fjords and rugged peaks, with a graceful bridge connecting the town to the mainland.

Abisko National Park, Sweden

From the scenic shores of Lake Torneträsk to the hilly Lapporten gateway to Lappland, this Arctic park is heaven for hikers.

Nuuk, Greenland

Greenland’s capital and biggest town, the gateway to several glorious fjords, is backed by a curtain of stunning peaks and is home to plenty of whimsical artwork.

Hveravellir Nature Reserve, Iceland

The midnight sun gives visitors extra time to explore the spectacular geothermal pools of this hut- and campsite-equipped reserve.

Antarctic cruises

Many cruise ships dip below the Antarctic Circle in December, allowing passengers to admire the midnight sun at the southern end of the earth.

Arctic Ocean cruises

Likewise, several cruise companies voyage north of the Arctic Circle in summer, offering close encounters with icebergs, polar bears, and whales.

Iqaluit, Nunavut

Situated on iceberg-filled Frobisher Bay, the capital of Nunavut offers views of the peaks of the Meta Incognita Peninsula.

Longyearbyen, Svalbard

The main settlement of Norway’s Arctic Svalbard archipelago is surrounded by peaks and glaciers, with the Arctic landscape home to more polar bears than people.

Qaqortoq, Greenland

Southwestern Greenland’s principal town is scenically set on an inlet in the Davis Strait, its colourful houses ringing a busy harbour.

Bodø, Norway

The northernmost point of the jaw-dropping Kystriksveien Coastal Route is framed by distant peaks, with the islands to the north providing nesting places for the birds that give the town its title as the Sea Eagle capital.

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