Dark Sky Week: 3 Places Around The Nation To See The Dazzling Night Sky

Dark Sky Week, a celebration of the stars, kicked off on Sunday as part of Global Astronomy Month. Truly, there is no better time to get outside, lay down a blanket, maybe consume a little marijuana, and look up at the celestial magic above.

“I want people to be able to see the wonder of the night sky without the effects of light pollution,” Jennifer Barlow, the creator of Dark Sky Week, said in a statement. “The universe is our view into our past and our vision into the future. … I want to help preserve its wonder.”

The key to celebrating this wildly worthy week is to get out of the city, or even your town, and get into an area with as little light pollution as possible. And if you’re thinking, “I live in New York, I can see the stars here too,” let me tell you, no you can’t. And here’s video proof:

So, if you’re hoping to make the most of Dark Sky Week here are three places around the nation–in legal-friendly states– that are well-worth a visit.

Anza-Borrego State Park, California

Located just a few hours away from downtown Los Angeles, Anza-Borrego is a tiny blip on the radar of a town, but comes with one powerful classification: It’s an official International Dark Sky Park.

The designation is only given to towns dedicated to protecting the night sky views by limiting light pollution at night. Furthermore, the park is a simply stunning area of California that doesn’t get as much love as its neighboring park, Joshua Tree. But, based on Instagram photos, it absolutely should.

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Like Anza-Borrego, Great Basin also holds the distinct honor of being a Dark Sky Park. Moreover, the area’s highly consistent low humidity and minimal light pollution, combined with its high elevation, make it a perfect place to go out and see the stars.

The park itself also takes advantage of its classification by offering several astronomy programs including full moon hikes, telescope viewings and a “star train” you can board.

Acadia National Park, Maine

While not designated as an official dark sky site, Acadia is still a stellar destination for those looking to get away from it all and get closer to both nature and the stars.

Each year the park also celebrates its own Dark Sky Festival in September, which is certainly worth paying a visit too then too. But in the meantime, pack a warm jacket, a few blankets and get out in the park’s chilly spring fields and enjoy the quiet solitude that Maine has to offer.

Looking for more? Check out Dark Sky’s entire site and map of ideal locations around the country.