Ice Cream! Meghan Markle! Tim & Faith! 100 Reasons to Love America This Year
1. TIM MCGRAW & FAITH HILL
Still crazy (in love) after all these years: country's power couple continue to top the charts and heat up the stage while mastering the art of a marriage in the spotlight.
2. MEGHAN MARKLE & HER MOM, DORIA
The former Suits star's transformation into the Duchess of Sussex is the ultimate modern-day fairy tale. From including the words of Martin Luther King Jr. in her May 19 wedding to Prince Harry to featuring the state flower of California on her official coat of arms, this American princess, 36, is staying true to her roots — and forever changing the royal family. Also thrust into the spotlight with her is her mom, Doria Ragland, 61, who gracefully navigated her first meeting with the Queen and took part in one of the most touching moments of the royal wedding, when Prince Charles reached for her hand as they left St. George's Chapel. "The world needed to see that," says Meghan's longtime friend and makeup artist Daniel Martin. "We wanted to see that unity."
3. THE RIGHT TO VOTE
4. COSTCO FREE SAMPLES
Low prices! 36 rolls of toilet paper!
Beautiful inside and out.
The online survival game is a national obsession.
7. BALD EAGLE
Unique to North America.
8. THE VEGGIE SHACK
Shake Shack's healthy new burger.
9. JESSICA CHASTAIN
Fighting sexism since before the #MeToo movement.
10. THE DAILY
Podcast to fuel your commute.
11. OBAMA PORTRAITS
Surprising, delightful and modern, the paintings by African-American artists buck tradition.
12. HODA KOTB & SAVANNAH GUTHRIE
When Matt Lauer was fired on Nov. 29 for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior, Today was thrust into the rockiest period of its 66-year history — but Kotb, 53, and Guthrie, 46, never let the turmoil dent their morning cheer. Kotb filled in for Lauer after his dismissal, and on Jan. 2 she and Guthrie were named the program's first all-female anchor duo. "We're grateful to NBC for not having some old-fashioned notion about what should be," says Guthrie. Adds Kotb: "We're sort of like sisters, and everybody wants a sister."
13. JOHN MULANEY
The comedian is hot fire now, charming audiences with his awkward bearing and relatable material. Sample joke about college: "I paid $120,000 for someone to tell me to read Jane Austen, and then I didn't!"
14. GRETCHEN CARLSON
Miss America 1989 is now in charge of the organization — and she dropped the swimsuit competition.
An annual convention for crime junkies, launched in 2017. Why didn't anyone think of this sooner?
16. PUMPKIN SPICE
The first whiff of fall.
17. 60 MINUTES
Fifty years old and still getting scoops.
18. E-Z PASS
Makes a road trip smoother.
19. CUMBERLAND CAVERNS
Bluegrass concerts with perfect acoustics in a cave in McMinnville, Tennessee.
20. LENA WAITHE
The Emmy winner is transforming the culture by reflecting it.
21. TAMMI JO SHULTS
The hero Southwest Airlines pilot brought Flight 1380 in for a safe landing.
22. MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
Big Little Lies turned the breathtaking central-coast city into a star. If you visit, go for the dramatic scenery, not the show's splashy homes — two are in L.A. But you can grab a bite at Paluca Trattoria, where the ladies frequently meet to eat.
23. BEYONCÉ & JAY-Z
The iconic couple are on the road again — and still full of surprises! On June 16, during the London stop of their On the Run II Tour, Beyoncé and Jay-Z dropped a secret album, Everything Is Love, their first LP as a couple. The nine songs are quintessentially Carter: cryptic, catchy, excessive and confessional. The pair were given private access to the Louvre in Paris, where they shot the video for "Apes---" in front of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and other masterpieces. "I can't believe we made it," raps Beyoncé, 36, two years after her very public marital woes with Jay, 48, with whom she shares daughter Blue Ivy, 6, and 1-year-old twins Rumi and Sir. "We did the hard work of going to therapy," Jay told David Letterman this spring. "We love each other. We put in the work."
24. SISTER JEAN
She's 98, a nun and the good-luck charm for Loyola University's men's basketball team.
Most of us wouldn't be here without them.
26. GROCERY STORE JOE
Hot guy didn't get a rose. Did Bachelorette Becca make a mistake?
27. THE FEMALE PERSUASION
Meg Wolitzer's knowing novel about political awakening came at the right time.
28. DULUTH, MINNESOTA
The rust belt city is experiencing a millennial migration.
29. GENERATION Z
Indefatigable and savvy, post-millennials promise to make the future bright.
30. SUMMER FRIDAYS
Yay to an early start to the weekend.
31. AS SEEN ON TV GADGETS
What did you ever do without a Potato Express?
32. AS SEEN ON YOUR FEED PRODUCTS
What are Rothy's, anyway?
33. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Dropped by Fox, saved by NBC.
34. PUBLIC BIKE SHARING
35. BUSY PHILIPPS
She's an Instagram superstar and the mother to two adorable girls (Birdie, 9, and Cricket, 5), and she will soon be hosting her own late-night talk show on E! To say Philipps, 39, has been busy is an understatement. The actress, who starred on TV's Freaks and Geeks, Dawson's Creek and Cougar Town has seen her popularity skyrocket in the past year thanks to candid Instagram stories about motherhood, marriage and Hollywood that have struck a chord with women around the world. "People were stopping their cars in the middle of the street and yelling, 'I need to take a picture of you,' " says the actress. "I feel like, 'Oh my God, I'm Selena Gomez!' "
36. MR. ROGERS
In his honor: a documentary, a museum exhibit in Pittsburgh and a movie starring Tom Hanks in 2019.
37. MAGNOLIA TABLE COOKBOOK
Joanna Gaines's magic touch extends beyond fixing up houses.
38. KARDASHIAN BABY NAMES
New uses for words.
Target's boho home décor line is colorful and affordable.
Plants that take care of themselves.
41. NATIONAL SPELLING BEE
Where dedicated teens meet obscure words. 2018 winner: koinonia.
42. JOSÉ ANDRÉS
The humanitarian chef calls the 3 million meals he served in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria "a message of hope."
43. LIBERTY BELL
Nearly 5 million visit each year.
44. TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET
Only his name is pretentious.
45. THE BERKSHIRES
Nature meets culture between New York and Boston.
46. QUEER EYE
Dare you to watch without crying.
47. BLACK PANTHER
The most-tweeted about movie of all time has dominated the culture and the box office ($1.3 billion worldwide). Wakanda forever!
48. EMILY BLUNT & JOHN KRASINSKI
49. YARA SHAHIDI
The star of both Black-ish and Grown-ish isn't shy about activism. "It's hard not to be passionate about something right now," says the soon-to-be Harvard freshman. "I appreciate the sanctity of human life. Anything that gets in the way of that is an issue that I'm passionate about, whether it is gun control or unchecked policing and the death of young black people." The 18-year-old says she's been "purpose-driven" from a young age. "Of course take care of yourself, but having that other step of caring for the community around you, and then a step further of ignoring borders that separate communities and caring for your global community — that is really the end goal."
A creative way to finance your dreams.
51. BRANDON VICTOR DIXON
The Broadway actor stole the show as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar Live.
52. FROM THE GET-GO
An inspiring startup dedicated to the pursuit of happiness.
53. MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA
Mini-golf capital of the world.
54. RBG WORKOUT
The 85-year-old Supreme Court justice puts mortals to shame with her intense regimen.
Delivers your shopping fix with a smile.
56. BACKSTREET BOYS
Now all married dads, they're celebrating their 25th anniversary with an extended Vegas residency.
A living legend.
58. LAWN FLAMINGOS
Enduring symbols of tackiness.
59. SEDONA, ARIZONA
The sandstone and limestone that form the famous red rocks were deposited millions of years ago. State Rte. 179 is known as "a museum without walls."