Best Places to Stargaze in the United States2 min read

  •  Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania
    • Considered one of the darkest places East of the Mississippi, and certified by the International Dark-Sky Association as a superior place to stargaze. Offers a 360-degree view of the night sky, not one degree of which is contaminated by light pollution.
    • Cherry Springs

      Cherry Springs

  • Death Valley National Park in California
    • Boasts meteor showers and lunar eclipses (as well as an astonishing view of the Milky Way!), and features a comfortable atmosphere with clean air and a seemingly never-ending horizon. Certified by the International Dark-Sky Association, though it’s best to plan a fall or springtime trip; temperatures soar to unbelievable heights in the summertime.
  • Mauna Kea in Hawaii
    • The largest and most technologically advanced observatory in the world rests on the peak of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano approximately 4,000 feet high. It arguably offers the purest skies in the country, isolated from the moist oceanic air below it as well as sources of light pollution.
  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico
    • Features 4,000 archaeological sites that all share spectacular views of pure, dark skies. Certified by the International Dark-Sky Association, and only accessible by traveling through dirt roads. Also houses remarkable displays of Pueblo architecture.
  • The Headlands in Michigan
    • Found on the shores of the Straits of Mackinac, the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Not entirely remote from light pollution, but certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. Sometimes you’ll be able to spot the Northern Lights; you’ll always be able to spot thousands of stars, as well as the planets Saturn and Mars.
  • Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska
    • Home to the luminous Northern Lights, aka the Aurora Borealis, the name for the phenomenon of greens, blues, reds, and purples that shine obliquely in Alaskan nighttime skies. Avoid summer, during which there is too much natural sunlight, and go in the fall and wintertime instead.
  • Big Bend National Park in Texas 
    • In southwest Texas along the National Border, proudly asserting its skies to be “dark as coal.” Clouds infrequently coat the sky, also certified by the International Dark-Sky Association; viewer should expect to see a milieu of stars, planets, and meteorites. Go in the wintertime, during which time the skies are purest.
  • Great Basin National Park in Nevada
    • On the clearest of nights, thousands of stars accompanied by planets, galaxies, and even man-made satellites are visible to the human eye.
  • Big Pike Key, Florida
    • 100 miles South of Miami, boasting the clearest skies in the entire state. Go in the wintertime and catch a view of the Southern Cross constellation.
  • Blue Ridge Observatory and Star Park in North Carolina
    • Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and clogged by very limited amounts of light pollution. Blue skies stretch over valleys and mountains that are lit up at night by the stars.
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