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Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

11 Best Places to See the Northern Lights

While many in the United States might be sick of the cold, some of the coldest regions in the world have their own awe-inspiring natural beauty to warm the heart and soul. For anyone planning a cold weather adventure, you may consider one of these prime viewing locations, because while there are many places where one can see the Northern Lights, they are best viewed in particular parts of the world.

CNN Travel writer Maggie Wong compiles the 11 top viewing spots in her recent article: Jokulsarlon, Iceland; Fairbanks, Alaska, United States; Paatsjoki, Finnish Lapland; Unstad, Lofoten, Norway; Cairngorms National Park, Scotland; Kangerlussuaq, Greenland; Yellowknife, Canada; Tromsø, Norway; Abisko, Sweden; Muonio, Finnish Lapland; Southern Hemisphere, End of a Contentment.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that many people are familiar with, but not everyone understands. Better known as “the Northern Lights” the natural event is referred to by scientists as an aurora. Wikipedia describes an aurora:

“Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere), where their energy is lost. The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying colour and complexity. The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles. Precipitating protons generally produce optical emissions as incident hydrogen atoms after gaining electrons from the atmosphere. Proton auroras are usually observed at lower latitudes.”

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Anastasia State Park, FL, USA

If you are looking to squeeze in one last burst of summer fun – we’ve only got about 27 days left of the season – Anastasia State Park in Florida might be an calm, easy last minute vacation spot. Rated as one of America’s “prettiest beach campsites” by CNN Travel, the park offers many activities for all ages and is located just minutes from downtown St. Augustine which has even more to offer vacationers.

Jody Victor‘s Crew found that Anastasia State Park has 1,6000 acres of vibrant ecosystems which house all kinds of wildlife. There are approximately four miles of beach to explore and visitors can experience a panorama view of sea, sand and a 19th century lighthouse from the dunes—this spot is highly recommend for romantic sunset viewing.

There is also an estuarine tidal marsh, home to much of the parks plant and animal life. For the adventurous there is a self-guided nature hike that leads visitors through the maritime hammock and eventually on to ancient sand dunes. Historians will appreciate a visit to the Coquina Quarry, an archaeological site where coquina rock was mined to construct the nearby Castillo de San Marcos National Monument—this site is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Beyond beach-bumming and swimming, visitors can also bird watch and beachcomb. The park also has bicycles, paddle-boards, kayaks, canoes and sail boats for rent. The campground offers modern amenities and start at 28 dollars a night.