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The summer solstice is longest day of the year, as the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and stays above the horizon for the longest amount of time all year.
The solstice happens when the Earth's North Pole is tilted toward the sun as much as possible in its 365-day orbit (the planet's axis is tilted 23.5 degrees).
In the northern hemisphere, the 2011 solstice happens at precisely 1:16 p.m. ET on June 21. At that moment, the sun will have reached its highest point above the horizon before it begins its slow march southward a slow journey toward winter and colder weather. (June 21 marks the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere.)
Why not drink in that extra daylight in a spot made for solstice sun-gazing? Click through for a glimpse at spots both familiar and exotic that offer amazing views of the world's longest day.