While we once (ahem, college) thought nothing of staying up past midnight, these days it takes something truly special to keep us awake past our bedtime. And nature’s light show definitely fits the bill. Quick astronomy lesson: The northern lights are actually solar particles blown into the earth’s magnetic field, creating an awe-inspiring colorful display of emerald green, magenta, turquoise and more swirling through the sky. Although they’re present all year round, the best time to see them is from late September to late March. Here are six spots around the world where you can check viewing the magical aurora borealis off your bucket list.
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, UNITED STATES
Located 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks is one of the more accessible spots to glimpse the aurora borealis in Alaska thanks to its international airport and array of hotels. And at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, you can catch the action while soaking in mineral-rich hot springs. The resort also offers aurora snow coach tours and the option for (sleepy) guests to request a phone call when the lights appear in the sky.