There’s something great about “connecting with nature”. I’m very much a city person myself, but every once in awhile I need to get out and look at something beautiful that wasn’t made by a human being. Also — it has to be big. I like mountains. I like seas and oceans. But nothing really compares to looking up at the sky and seeing all the stars. It really puts your existence into perspective and helps you contemplate your place in an infinite, ever expanding universe.
Here are 10 of the best places around the world to go stargazing.
Nova Scotia (Canada) is a great area for stargazing for one big reason: it has a very small amount of light pollution. For pretty much most of the year, the sky is clear, dark, and you can see all the stars in the sky and enjoy your minuscule existence. The most popular spot amongst locals and tourists alike is the Ellenwood Lake Provincial Park.
The best thing about stargazing in Norway is that if you go at the right time, you will have the ability to also see an aurora (Northern Lights). The locals of Norway know this, so you’ll have no trouble finding a very nice hotel to stay at during your star-gazing trip.
Look, I know your chances of going to Antarctica are very limited. Trips to Antarctica are usually reserved for scientists and explorers. It’s not a tourist hot-spot, you know? However, there is zero light pollution in Antarctica and there are seldom any clouds covering up the sky. If you go to Antarctica you can be absolutely sure that you’re going to get a great look at the night sky and will be able to find all your favorite constellations.
Like Norway, Finland is a great country for stargazing because many of the hotels are aimed towards people who love looking at the stars. For example, there is a hotel in Finland that has rooms that are igloos with glass ceilings. That means that you can look at the stars from the comfort of your hotel bed. If there’s a more romantic way to fall asleep – I don’t know what it is.
Big Bend National Park
This park in Texas is great for stargazing. The International Dark-Sky Association gave it a “gold tier” rating in 2018 for just how little light pollution there is in this park.
Along with being a great place for stargazing, Joshua Tree is also just a very cool place to be in. It’s a national park that has many rugged rock formations, cacti, and practically no light pollution. It’s a great place where you can camp, but there are also a few hotels and AirBnb’s in the area that you can stay at if you’re into stargazing with a little more comfort.
The Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the most beautiful places to be. It’s huge, has no light potion, and has clear skies for pretty much the entire year. It is consistently on all the top 10 “best stargazing” lists.
You might now Easter Island for its giant head statues, but it’s also a prime location for looking up at the stars! If you go to Easter Island it will just be you, the stars, and 900 monumental rock statues scattered around the island.
The Mount Teide and the Peaks of Tenerife have been awarded the Starlight Certification in acknowledgment of just how good this place is for looking at the stars.
The Mauna Kea area of Hawaii is so good for stargazing that people want to build a telescope there. In fact, that’s the reason for a pretty huge political and social scandal that’s occurring in Hawaii right now. The locals do not want to give away their sacred land (understandably), while the scientists are disrespecting the wishes of the locals because Mauna Kea is just such a good location for exploring the stars. Telescope or not — if you can go there to look at the stars, you really should.