Star Struck

Sit back and relax as Mother Nature puts on a show at these vacation spots known for their impressive of outer space.

Stargazing1

Lake Tahoe, California
The natural wonders of Lake Tahoe compliment the night sky very well: the high altitude sky is often clear and bright, without distracting city lights. Check out Emerald Bay and the reflections off the calm water, and the extremely dark skies of Hope Valley. For higher altitude viewing, Spooner Lake sits at 7,600 feet with many backcountry hikes available.

Park City, Utah
Park City has all the ingredients for great star watching: low light pollution, clear mountain air, isolation, and outdoor recreation areas. The Salt Lake Astronomical Society hosts many star parties throughout the year where you can gather and take a look up with folks who know the constellations and can show you a peak through their telescopes.

StargazingMassanutten Resort, Virginia
Parts of Virginia are named International Dark Sky Parks, a badge earned by having very little light pollution and excellent star viewing. Massanutten Resort is not certified, but it benefits from very dark skies both in the resort and in neighboring Shenandoah National Park, Monongahela National Forest and George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.

Rangeley, Maine
Rangeley happens to be the closest dark belt location near urban amenities in the Northeast. With low humidity year round, the Milky Way can be viewed in all its glory in the clear night sky. Sky viewers are also in for an occasional treat: the Northern Lights are viewable in Rangeley, with the most common occurrences August through October. Grab a lawn chair and a blanket and enjoy nature’s show!

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family and dog, and of course, traveling! His favorite RTX spots to visit are Orange Beach, Alabama, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but he's visiting new places all the time. .

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