Whether you’re an astronomy buff or you simply appreciate the beauty of a full moon, there are always opportunities to explore the night sky on a deeper level. You may have a favorite spot in your town where you go to stargaze but planning your vacation around this celestial activity is an easy way to elevate your experience. As you plan your bus journey, consider adding the best places to stargaze in the U.S. to your must-visit list.
The Golden State offers countless stargazing opportunities throughout the state. To begin, the most obvious destination: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is the state’s largest park and one of the most respected in the country for stargazing. Even nearby communities limit their lighting to avoid polluting the starry skies here. It’s the state’s first International Dark Sky Community — a designation afforded only to those districts that are dedicated to preserving the night sky. Book a tour with Dennis Mammana through Borrego Night Sky Tours if you’re new to stargazing, or set up camp and enjoy the beautiful views with your own equipment.
Death Valley National Park is recognized as the largest Dark Sky National Park in the nation. Once known as the Inn at Furnace Creek, the park is approximately two hours from Las Vegas and just shy of four hours from Los Angeles. This distance from the largest nearby cities allows for clearer sky views undisturbed by obstructions. The park regularly hosts stargazing opportunities, but it’s just as eventful to go on your own or with fellow enthusiasts.
Arizona is one of the most incomparable states in the country for stargazing. The combination of clear skies and great weather contributes to a wonderful environment for observing the stars. The key is to avoid more populated areas in order to evade light pollution that might take away from the experience. If you don’t have much experience, a visit to Kitt Peak National Observatory is a smart choice. The privileged location hosts numerous radio and optical telescopes, and you can even take part in a program held by the visitors’ center if you don’t know quite where to begin.
Among the clearest and most pristine areas to gaze at the stars is Sedona. It’s one of the few Dark Sky Communities on the planet, a significant distinction that it earned for its continuous efforts to minimize light pollution. There are dozens of observation areas throughout Sedona: Turkey Creek Trailhead, which you can hike and explore during the day and set up your star station in the parking lot come evening; Crescent Moon Picnic Site, which is an ideal for a spot of lunch or dinner before you walk the trails in search of the perfect stargazing spot; and the one-mile Centennial Trail, which leads to the Cultural Park trailhead and provides flawless views of the surrounding mountains.
Officially the only Dark Sky Park in Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park is one of the best places in the state to observe the stars in complete darkness. Although it’s one of the best places to stargaze in the U.S. at any time of year, it’s best to schedule your visit during prime stargazing season: fall and winter are especially appropriate because it’s cooler, humidity levels are lower, and there’s more time to enjoy the night sky. It’s also a bit busier during the warmer months, so you’ll have more opportunity to explore in solitude when temperatures drop.
Another option is the Sproul State Forest. It’s a dream for nature lovers who want to immerse themselves in the great outdoors, leave the cell phones behind, and avoid the creature comforts of home. When you’re here, you’re at one with your surroundings. Thick forests and winding trails create a challenging environment that is both fun and humbling. There’s ample safe space to set up camp and enjoy the stars above when the sunsets.
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The best places to stargaze in the U.S. are only a few clicks away! Whether you’re new to stargazing or have been at it for years, you’ll be enthralled by the beautiful surroundings in these unforgettable locations. Visit BusTickets.com to book your affordable getaway today.