If the sun never goes down, it's never bedtime, right? Keep the party going around the clock on vacation at these five epic destinations to experience the midnight sun.
1. Sodankylä, Finland
Calling all movie buffs! Every June, Sodankylä celebrates its Midnight Sun Film Festival. The sun literally does not set here, so in order to create a movie-like setting, there are tents set up across the festival grounds. The lineup mostly features contemporary Finnish films and other fan favorites, with a few emerging directors thrown into the mix. When you're not engrossed in a flick, head to the lakeside to see the sun's reflection glisten over the water. All in all, it’s a pretty chill spot to savor the summer solstice.
2. Grímsey, Iceland
Iceland isn't icy all the time; in fact, summer is a great time to visit. Things really heat up (ahem) during Reykjavik’s Secret Solstice Music Festival. Singing, dancing, revelry, and probably debauchery will ensue, thanks to the city's rowdy nightlife scene. That said, Reykjavik is a bit below the Arctic Circle, so your best bet of catching the Midnight Sun in all its glory is to take a boat to the island of Grímsey. Located right on the arctic boundary, the otherwise small town is filled to the brim with fellow sun worshippers.
3. Fairbanks, Alaska
Alaska may be part of the United States but it feels worlds apart during the summer months. While most people consider Alaska a winter destination, that couldn't be further from the truth: Fairbanks normally has a population of about 30,000 people but when summer rolls around, the place is packed. The Midnight Sun Festival kicks off on June 19th this year, followed by a week of celebratory events. There's a midnight baseball game, a tradition since 1906, which is a must-do.
4. Svalbard, Norway
Ready for a rugged adventure? If so, head straight to Norway's Arctic Ocean outpost, Svalbard, for a wild ride through the wilderness. Truth be told, it's not terribly easy to get here so you'd need to fully commit. Either fly into Longyearbyen or opt for an organized Arctic expedition cruise. It will all be worth it once you spot polar bears, Arctic foxes, reindeers, and more along the way. As for the timeline, there’s flexibility: The arctic islands of Svalbard have no setting sun from April through late August.
With only 50 or so days of daylight each year, the town Inuvik in the Northern Territories truly comes alive in summer. In fact, to combat the otherwise dreary winters, many of the houses are painted in bright, bold colors that act as a sort of light in the darkness. There are two different ways to celebrate the midnight sun in Inuvik: Join the Midnight Sun Fun Run, or take in local culture during the Great Northern Arts Festival every July. Regardless of when you visit, don't leave town without taking a snap of the igloo-shaped church. It’s quite the sight!
Still looking more ideas? Consider the Falkland Islands, Murmansk in Russia, Patagonia (Argentina and Chile), or Greenland. Beyond that, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and even Tasmania are great bets, too.
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