My living list of amazing places to stargaze in the U.S., AKA your new bucket list

Here’s my list of places I’ve been and places I still need to check off. Follow my progress, and you just might be inspired to spy these amazing night skies yourself.

Big Bend National Park, TX

HA-West-Texas

One of the darkest spots in Texas. I saw stars, planets, and shooting stars. Make sure to bring a flashlight … there are tons of amazing wild animals wandering around this West Texas stretch of desert!

Best time to go: Fall/Winter

Places to stay near Big Bend >

Hilton Head, SC

Hilton Head, SC

This sunny place comes complete with sandy beaches, great golf courses, and a wide range of activities for the whole family. But you known my own trip feels incomplete without some nighttime stargazing at the beach.

Best time to go: Summer/Fall

Places to stay in Hilton Head >

Pace Bend State Park, Spicewood, TX

Pace Bend State Park, Spicewood, TX

Only 45 minutes away from Austin, this spot is great for burning off all the calories you consumed there (barbecue and tacos, what?). Pace Bend offers activities like swimming, and hiking, and if you’re feeling adventurous, cliff diving’s also on the table! It’s far enough from the city’s light pollution to make it a great place to peep the stars.

Best time to go: All seasons

Places to stay in Austin >

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

The striking rock formations in Utah’s Arches National Park are an awesome bonus for a gazer … I’ll probably look at these rocks all day, just appreciating the beauty of this place. Then, when night falls, I’ll be equally as taken with its excellent stargazing opportunities.

Best time to go: Fall/Winter

Places to stay near Arches >

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

One of the most well-known natural wonders of the world. How could I not find myself watching the sky over this beautiful land someday? I can’t wait to find out why it’s on pretty much everyone in the world’s bucket list.

Best time to go: All seasons

Places to stay near Grand Canyon >

Kenai Fjords, AK

Kenai Fjords, AK

You can’t talk about stargazing without mentioning Alaska and the Northern Lights! With minimal light pollution, long nights, and high altitudes, almost all of the Alaskan region provides unparalleled views of the night sky–not to mention stunning earthly landscapes.

Best time to go: Winter

Places to stay in Kenai >

Mauna Kea, HI

Mauna Kea, HI

The Big Island boasts beautiful beaches, tasty coffee, and a front-row seat to the heavens. It’s no surprise Hawaii is widely recognized as one of the best destinations for stargazing. Can’t wait to say “Aloha” to the balmy nights there myself.

Best time to go: All seasons

Places to stay in Mauna Kea >

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

This sprawling desert is one of the best spots for stargazing in the country. This attributed primarily to its location in the High Desert about 3,000-5,000 feet above sea level, far away from any city lights. It’s also the closest national park to Los Angeles, and its beautiful night skies. I’m thinking that spending a weekend doing all kinds of stargazing there is also in order.

Best time to go: All seasons

Places to stay near Joshua Tree >


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