Why you should go: Literally everything is bigger up in America’s last frontier. There’s our country’s tallest peak (Denali), four out of five of the largest national parks, and 22-hour-a-day sunlight that turns out 100-pound cabbages, among other state-fair freaks of produce. The small towns are quirky (here’s looking at you, Homer), the Siberian huskies love photo ops, and moose jerky galore.
Why you should go right now: By now we’ve read the news about Glacier National Park in Montana being mostly gone by something like 2030 (ugh), and that basically means one other scary fact: Glaciers are endangered. For now, Alaska has lots of ’em. Start in Kenai Fjords National Park, where you can hike and camp along the Harding Ice Field and catch views of Exit Glacier, which receded 252 feet in 2016, or, like, 75 million tons of ice.
More sentimentally, Denali National Park is celebrating its 100th birthday this summer. There you can book a seat on the Wilderness Express Dome Train and enjoy panoramic views on your way to this remote northern landscape. If spotting bald eagles, grizzly bears, and humpback whales just isn’t your thing, you’re in luck: Iggy Azalea is headlining this year’s Alaska State Fair in late August. In short, it’s gonna be fancy! -- Ryan MacDonald, Thrillist contributor