49. Fairbanks, Alaska
Why go: Alaska may be a hike for most people, but its relative proximity to the northwest—a three- to five-hour flight, depending on your location—means you can definitely squeeze a trip up north in a weekend. One of the best ways to see the most of Alaska? Ride the Aurora Winter Train, which chugs through the Alaskan backcountry between Anchorage and Fairbanks from mid-September to mid-May. Alaska is also one of the best (if not only) spots in the U.S. where you can spot the northern lights.
Where to stay: The Chena Hot Springs Resort not only includes unlimited soaks with its room rates, but you can visit the world’s largest year-round ice environment in the world, the Aurora Ice Museum. You can also go sledding with a team of the nearly 100 Alaskan-bred dogs at the Chena Hot Springs Kennel.
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