Human Interest Ice Cream! Meghan Markle! Tim & Faith! 100 Reasons to Love America This Year Our annual issue celebrates the people, places and things we can't get enough of By People Staff Published on June 25, 2018 03:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 100 1. TIM MCGRAW & FAITH HILL Swarup Mandal 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. 02 of 100 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." 03 of 100 3. THE RIGHT TO VOTE Exercise it. 04 of 100 4. COSTCO FREE SAMPLES Low prices! 36 rolls of toilet paper! 05 of 100 5. PINK Beautiful inside and out. 06 of 100 6. FORTNITE The online survival game is a national obsession. 07 of 100 7. BALD EAGLE Unique to North America. 08 of 100 8. THE VEGGIE SHACK Shake Shack Shake Shack's healthy new burger. 09 of 100 9. JESSICA CHASTAIN Fighting sexism since before the #MeToo movement. 10 of 100 10. THE DAILY Podcast to fuel your commute. 11 of 100 11. OBAMA PORTRAITS Surprising, delightful and modern, the paintings by African-American artists buck tradition. 12 of 100 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 of 100 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 of 100 14. GRETCHEN CARLSON Miss America 1989 is now in charge of the organization — and she dropped the swimsuit competition. 15 of 100 15. CRIMECON An annual convention for crime junkies, launched in 2017. Why didn't anyone think of this sooner? 16 of 100 16. PUMPKIN SPICE Getty The first whiff of fall. 17 of 100 17. 60 MINUTES Fifty years old and still getting scoops. 18 of 100 18. E-Z PASS Makes a road trip smoother. 19 of 100 19. CUMBERLAND CAVERNS Bluegrass concerts with perfect acoustics in a cave in McMinnville, Tennessee. 20 of 100 20. LENA WAITHE The Emmy winner is transforming the culture by reflecting it. 21 of 100 21. TAMMI JO SHULTS The hero Southwest Airlines pilot brought Flight 1380 in for a safe landing. 22 of 100 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 of 100 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 of 100 24. SISTER JEAN Sister Jean. She's 98, a nun and the good-luck charm for Loyola University's men's basketball team. 25 of 100 25. IMMIGRANTS Most of us wouldn't be here without them. 26 of 100 26. GROCERY STORE JOE Hot guy didn't get a rose. Did Bachelorette Becca make a mistake? 27 of 100 27. THE FEMALE PERSUASION Meg Wolitzer's knowing novel about political awakening came at the right time. 28 of 100 28. DULUTH, MINNESOTA Getty The rust belt city is experiencing a millennial migration. 29 of 100 29. GENERATION Z Indefatigable and savvy, post-millennials promise to make the future bright. 30 of 100 30. SUMMER FRIDAYS Yay to an early start to the weekend. 31 of 100 31. AS SEEN ON TV GADGETS What did you ever do without a Potato Express? 32 of 100 32. AS SEEN ON YOUR FEED PRODUCTS What are Rothy's, anyway? 33 of 100 33. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE Dropped by Fox, saved by NBC. 34 of 100 34. PUBLIC BIKE SHARING DIY taxis. 35 of 100 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 of 100 36. MR. ROGERS In his honor: a documentary, a museum exhibit in Pittsburgh and a movie starring Tom Hanks in 2019. 37 of 100 37. MAGNOLIA TABLE COOKBOOK Joanna Gaines's magic touch extends beyond fixing up houses. 38 of 100 38. KARDASHIAN BABY NAMES New uses for words. 39 of 100 39. OPALHOUSE Target's boho home décor line is colorful and affordable. 40 of 100 40. SUCCULENTS Plants that take care of themselves. 41 of 100 41. NATIONAL SPELLING BEE Where dedicated teens meet obscure words. 2018 winner: koinonia. 42 of 100 42. JOSÉ ANDRÉS The humanitarian chef calls the 3 million meals he served in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria "a message of hope." 43 of 100 43. LIBERTY BELL Nearly 5 million visit each year. 44 of 100 44. TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET Only his name is pretentious. 45 of 100 45. THE BERKSHIRES Nature meets culture between New York and Boston. 46 of 100 46. QUEER EYE Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic Dare you to watch without crying. 47 of 100 47. BLACK PANTHER Matt Kennedy/©Marvel Studios 2018 The most-tweeted about movie of all time has dominated the culture and the box office ($1.3 billion worldwide). Wakanda forever! 48 of 100 48. EMILY BLUNT & JOHN KRASINSKI Power-couple goals. 49 of 100 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." 50 of 100 50. CROWDFUNDING A creative way to finance your dreams. 51 of 100 51. BRANDON VICTOR DIXON The Broadway actor stole the show as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar Live. 52 of 100 52. FROM THE GET-GO An inspiring startup dedicated to the pursuit of happiness. 53 of 100 53. MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA Mini-golf capital of the world. 54 of 100 54. RBG WORKOUT The 85-year-old Supreme Court justice puts mortals to shame with her intense regimen. 55 of 100 55. UPS Getty Delivers your shopping fix with a smile. 56 of 100 56. BACKSTREET BOYS Getty Now all married dads, they're celebrating their 25th anniversary with an extended Vegas residency. 57 of 100 57. CHER A living legend. 58 of 100 58. LAWN FLAMINGOS Getty Enduring symbols of tackiness. 59 of 100 59. SEDONA, ARIZONA Getty 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." 60 of 100 60. THE MET GALA HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty A fashion feast for the eyes, 100 percent wilder than the Oscars. 61 of 100 61. PEEPS Getty Marshmallow bliss from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 62 of 100 62. CARRIE UNDERWOOD'S FACE Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2018/FilmMagic Gorgeous as ever after 40 stitches. Phew! 63 of 100 63. ELVIS DURAN Rob Kim/Getty U.S.A.'s most-listened-to Top 40 morning-show host. 64 of 100 64. ROSÉ The pumpkin spice of summer. 65 of 100 65. JENNIFER GARNER'S PRETEND COOKING SHOW Give her a network deal! 66 of 100 66. POPEYES' CHICKEN WASHINGTON, DC- MARCH 25, 2015: Popeye's fried chicken photographed in Washington, DC (Photo by Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post). So juicy, a high-end eatery served it as its own. 67 of 100 67. JUSTIFY Michael Reaves/Getty The world's most valuable racehorse is worth $75 million. 68 of 100 68. RIVERDALE CW The hottest teen show since Pretty Little Liars. 69 of 100 69. MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE Since 1924, the ultimate low-tech tradition. 70 of 100 70. ALEX AND ANI Alex and Ani Jewelry that's eco-friendly, socially conscious and made in Rhode Island. 71 of 100 71. RESCUE DOGS Courtesy Liz Sporkin Who's rescuing who, really? Adopt, don't shop! 72 of 100 72. CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL Getty With 3,750 trees blooming, it's the best time to visit D.C. 73 of 100 73. COURTENEY COX & JENNIFER ANISTON Friends for 24 years and counting. 74 of 100 74. FLEET WEEK Sailors swarming cities. Ahoy! 75 of 100 75. DISNEYLAND The most Instagrammed place on earth. 76 of 100 76. MISSION TO MARS NASA launched InSight in May; touchdown on the Red Planet is expected Nov. 26. 77 of 100 77. GOOD NEIGHBORS Like those who helped when Seth Meyers's wife gave birth in their co-op lobby. 78 of 100 78. THE SENATE ALLOWS BABIES Sen. Tammy Duckworth made history when she brought along her newborn. 79 of 100 79. CRAYOLA CRAYONS Getty What kids want! The names, the 120 colors — even the smell is irresistible. 80 of 100 80. ALEXIS OLYMPIA OHANIAN JR. Serena Williams's genetically blessed baby has her own Instagram account. 81 of 100 81. ALLBIRDS allbirds Clouds for your feet, from a Silicon Valley start-up. 82 of 100 82. PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Their tragedy felt all too familiar. But after losing 14 classmates and three staff members in a Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students there launched an unprecedented movement to advocate for gun-violence prevention, lobbying lawmakers, organizing marches in Washington, D.C., and around the country, and coordinating peaceful student walkouts. This summer they're on a 75-city bus tour to register young voters. "It's not just Parkland," said Jaclyn Corin, 17, "and that is exactly why we won't stop." 83 of 100 83. THE WAFFLE HOUSE HERO James Shaw Jr., 29, saved lives by ambushing a killer and wresting away his assault-style rifle at a Tennessee Waffle House in April. "I just wanted to live," said the electrician. "I feel like everybody can do pretty much what I did." 84 of 100 84. HQ TRIVIA HQ Trivia More than 1 million players are hooked. 85 of 100 85. LAST REMAINING BLOCKBUSTER IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA Getty Thanks, John Oliver, for donating Russell Crowe movie memorabilia to help keep it in business. 86 of 100 86. WOMEN RUNNING FOR OFFICE Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis/Getty More than 300, a record number, have filed papers to run for congressional seats in the midterm elections. 87 of 100 87. UNDERDOGS Go, Eagles! Go, Capitals! 88 of 100 88. CARDI B'S CATCHPHRASE As she told Jimmy Fallon, "Okuuurt" means "okay" when spoken "like a cold pigeon." 89 of 100 89. MARY-KATE & ASHLEY OLSEN Proving there are second acts, the former child stars won their fourth award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. 90 of 100 90. TIFFANY HADDISH & MAYA RUDOLPH They ditched their stilettos and stole the show at the 90th Academy Awards. Please host the Oscars next year! 91 of 100 91. NEXT-GEN CELEBRITIES Getty(5) These talented up-and-comers — like Kaia Gerber, Miles Robbins, Selah Marley, Joe Kennedy III and Maya Hawke — take after their famous parents. 92 of 100 92. SHAQUEM GRIFFIN "I don't want to be a guy who's just a feel-good story," said the one-armed linebacker, who was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. 93 of 100 93. SAVED BY THE BELL POP-UP Mr. Belding may show up while you eat at this West Hollywood tribute restaurant. 94 of 100 94. NAPA VALLEY Getty Disney World for wine lovers. 95 of 100 95. IT COSMETICS IT Cosmetics Natural-looking makeup that covers any imperfections. 96 of 100 96. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. Martin Luther King Jr. Fifty years after his assassination, "He left us a blueprint for moving forward," said his daughter, the Reverend Bernice King. 97 of 100 97. NAILED IT! A baking show for those who can't. 98 of 100 98. SKYSCRAPER-SCALING RACCOON Minnesota Public Radio/AP Even pests can be superheroes. 99 of 100 99. ADAM RIPPON The figure skater, 28, has won an Olympic bronze medal, the adoration of A-listers like Reese Witherspoon and Mandy Moore — and the Mirrorball Trophy on Dancing with the Stars. With his sparkling interviews and social media missives, Rippon, the first openly gay Winter Olympian and a champion of LGBTQ youth, has redefined what it means to be a famous athlete in America. "If you have a clear vision and work really hard," he says, "you can do anything." 100 of 100 100. THE COOLEST ICE CREAM Courtesy From salted caramel in Georgia and churros con leche in California to bleu cheese pair in Wisconsin and strawberry balsamic in Kentucky, there is something for everyone.