When most people think of Alaska's vegetation, they conjure up images of flat, treeless tundra, so the variety of native and cultivated flowers on exhibit here is often unexpected. The garden, 4 miles west of downtown, is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A major focus of research is Interior Alaska's unique, short, but intense midnight-sun growing season, and the results are spectacular. The nonstop daylight brings out rich and vibrant colors and—to the delight of locals and visitors—amazing they-sure-don't-grow-them-that-big-in-the-Lower-48 vegetable specimens. The best time to visit is from July to early September (or the first frost, whichever comes first).