The Alaska Railroad operates year-round, connecting Anchorage and Fairbanks. Watch landscapes drenched in ivory, sapphire blue skies, and wild moose glide past your large windows from the warmth of the Aurora Winter Train. Spend a night in Fairbanks under the emerald glow of the aurora borealis, or get your adrenaline going in Anchorage with endless options for ice climbing, cross-country skiing, and dogsledding.
Must-See: Stop at the Aurora Ice Museum in Fairbanks, the world’s largest year-round ice environment, created from more than a thousand tons of snow. Don a complimentary parka and head to the bar for an appletini served in an ice glass.
Where to Stay: Get off the beaten path at the remote Winterlake Lodge on the Iditarod National Historic Trail, where visitors fly over ice-glazed peaks and glittering lakes to reach a 15-acre adventurer’s paradise.
Fun Fact: Auroras make weird noises—spectators often report the sounds of crackling and hissing during powerful displays.
One of Oregon’s Seven Wonders, this 363-mile stretch of coastline is punctuated by moody landscapes, towering waves, craggy headlands, and spectacular winter storms. There’s no shortage of stops on the scenic route from Astoria to Brookings—explore quirky coastal communities, spot sea lions at Shore Acres State Park, watch dancing jellyfish at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and explore 79 state parks.