For millennia, humans have looked skyward to navigate their earthly and spiritual worlds—and to appreciate the sheer beauty of twinkling constellations overhead.
And travelers are no strangers to chasing stars, journeying to the most remote places to find magnificent night skies. Now, though, as a growing number of destinations work to keep their skies dark and celestial phenomena bright, travelers don’t have to venture too far for fantastic stargazing.
In 2021, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) designated 37 new International Dark Sky Places, bringing the total to 196 worldwide—and a whopping 129 of them are located right here in the U.S, from the Arizona desert to North Carolina's seashore. Some are even right in cities and towns (these are usually categorized as Dark Sky Communities and Urban Night Sky Places by the IDA, whereas Dark Sky Sanctuaries, Reserves, and Parks are larger, more secluded areas).
Read on for 11 of the best stargazing destinations in the U.S.—all IDA-designated dark sky places—that promise enough natural beauty to keep you busy during daylight hours, too.
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