After months of quarantining, self-isolating, and social distancing, chances are you’ve spent more time than you’d like to admit staring up at your ceiling. If you have the luxury of backyard access, maybe you’ve gotten outside to gaze up at the constellations. But between city smog and artificial light pollution, you’re likely only seeing a portion of the full night sky’s glory. There’s something undeniably magical about connecting with the cosmos, and we think it’s time to start dreaming about where your next stargazing adventure may (eventually) take you.
Thankfully, the U.S. is home to plenty of stellar star-studded destinations. From far-flung getaways free of crowds, to designated International Dark Sky Places, these stargazing hot spots can be found coast to coast.
The main rule of thumb is simple: the darker, the better. Whether peering through a state-of-the-art telescope or simply gazing up at the celestial wonders overhead, there’s no wrong way to do it. Here are seven epic U.S. spots where you can see the stars like never before.
Set Your Sights on These Stellar Stargazing Destinations Across America
Joshua Tree, California
California’s sprawling Joshua Tree National Park straddles across two deserts: the higher Mojave Desert and the lower Colorado Desert. It’s known for its otherworldly geological features that have been sculpted over the centuries by whipping winds and torrential rains. For many Los Angelenos, this portion of the “Inland Empire” offers the best stargazing opportunities around. With the rise of astrotourism, park leaders have recently stepped up their game to preserve what darkness remains, which can be found in the park’s eastern wilderness area. Due to their efforts, Joshua Tree National Park is recognized as an official International Dark Sky Park. Aspiring stargazers can choose to camp out at one of the park’s 500 campsites, or opt to book a stylish Aribnb, like The Pinto (located less than 10 minutes from the park entrance.
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