6 Epic Destinations With Long (Really Long) Summer Days

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6 Epic Destinations With Long (Really Long) Summer Days
Get close enough to the Arctic Circle in the summer and you can experience the midnight sun, so-called because the sun sets after the clock strikes 12 a.m. (if it sets at all). There’s plenty to do and even more to see, whether you’re a city person or prefer the wild outdoors. Either way, pack your sunscreen and sunglasses and head to one of these six destinations.
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    1. Churchill, Canada
    This small Manitoba town (population 1,318) is known as “The Polar Bear Capital of the World” for good reason. Every year from July to November, some 1,000 polar bears migrate to Churchill’s Hudson Bay, as do thousands of beluga whales. The tundra erupts with colorful blooms in summer, and you can spend the day (all 17 hours of daylight if you wish) snorkeling or kayaking with belugas, learning about the history of dog sledding, and spotting polar bears on tundra tours led by Frontiers North.
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    2. Finnish Lapland
    Want to take in some of the purest air on the planet and quench your thirst with the cleanest water you’ve ever tasted? Head 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle to Kakslauttanen, a resort set on the edge of Urho Kekkonen National Park, Finland’s largest national park. The sun never sets here between mid-May and early August, so you’ll have plenty of time to hike with a husky, kayak the Lutto river, learn about Sami culture, and ride a Finnish horse across the rolling fells. Back at the resort, you’ll sleep in a gold digger’s chalet.
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    3. Narvik, Norway
    Nestled between towering mountains and majestic fjords is the small northern Norway town of Narvik. During the day, you’ll kayak, hike, mountain bike, or stroll the historic town’s streets to find handcrafted goods and local cuisine. And during the rest of the day (yup, it will still be bright at midnight), you can ride the cable car 2,152 feet up to Narvikfjellet Ski Resort’s Upper Mountain Station to take in the spectacular views of the city below and the surrounding fjords.
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    4. Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
    The sun glows nonstop for 100 days and nights in Jukkasjärvi, some 124 miles north of the Arctic Circle, giving new meaning to solar power. You’ll check in at Icehotel and sleep in a suite hand-carved entirely out of ice, which solar power helps to keep from melting. Between fishing, biking, and rafting adventures, you’ll have a drink or two at the Icebar and warm up in the sauna.
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    5. Yukon, Canada
    A summertime visit to the Yukon might be jam-packed with fishing and hiking, photographing scenic vistas and blooming wildflowers, paddling rivers, and sharing stories until the sun sets. That happens at around 1 a.m. and sunrise follows just a couple of hours later. Rent a car in Whitehorse and drive through the historic town of Dawson, then continue on the Dempster Highway toward the Arctic Circle to maximize your midnight sun exposure.
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    6. Reykjavík, Iceland
    For about two weeks in mid-June in the world’s northernmost capital of Reykjavík, the sun sets just after midnight and rises again just before 3 a.m. This is where you go if you want to party during the midnight sun. A perfect day might kick off with coffee at Reykjavík Roasters, followed by a dip in the Blue Lagoon, craft beers at Mikkeller & Friends, a culture boost at Reykjavík Art Museum, and New Nordic cuisine at Apotek. If music is your thing, don’t miss the Secret Solstice Festival happening this year June 15-18.
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