11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing

Is there anything more beautiful than a sky full of stars? Here are the best places around the world to enjoy stunning views of the cosmos.
Interesting Engineering
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  • Stargazing has been a popular hobby since time immemorial.
  • As the centuries have passed, breakthroughs in science and technology have allowed us to view and appreciate the stars like never before.
  • But where are the best places to do it?

Unfortunately, many of us live in areas with high levels of light pollution, which obscure many stars from view. In many urban areas, you'll unlikely see more than a smattering of stars.

Luckily, there are still places where you can witness the night sky in all its glory. Here are some of the best places worldwide to enjoy breathtaking views of the stars, the Milky Way, and the Northern Lights.

1. Mauna Kea, Hawaii: Hawaii's highest point, with the best views

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano and home to several observatories. Located over 13,800 feet (4,207 meters) above sea level and with a typically dry climate year-round, the peak of Mauna Kea is ideal for stargazing and astronomical observation.

The site is home to 13 observatories owned by 11 different countries. The peak's Visitor Information Station provides publically-funded telescopes for enthusiastic stargazers to use, and there are volunteers to help you get the most out of your viewing experience.

It's the only place in the United States where you can witness the entirety of the Southern Cross - definitely not something astronomy enthusiasts will want to miss!

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
Mauna Kea is a good place to go stargazing.

2. Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal: a sky of stars above Mt. Everest

Located at the base of Mt. Everest lies the Sagarmatha National Park, a mountainous park with 443 square miles (1,148 square km) of land. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-see for stargazers.

When darkness falls, visitors are treated to beautifully clear views of the Milky Way above the Himalayas. Tourists should stay the night to get the most out of the incredible nightly shows. 

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
You can get some good views in Sagarmatha National Park too.

3. Trysil, Norway: witness the Aurora Borealis in all its glory

Trysil is located in the South-East of Norway, in Hedmark County. It's one of Norway's most popular destinations for skiing and other Winter sports and boasts some of Scandinavia's clearest skies.

A perfect location for views of the Milky Way and the Northern Lights, Trysil has plenty to offer stargazers who want to be wowed by natural phenomena, provided they don't mind the cold. 

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
Trysil is another good choice.

4. Easter Island: iconic statues and glittering skies

Easter Island is best known for its iconic heads - a series of statues dating between the 12th and 17th Centuries. The island also boasts a rich history of navigation and astronomy.

Early Polynesian settlers of Easter Island relied on their knowledge of the stars to guide them on their voyages throughout the Pacific. Today you can learn more about the intersection of navigation and astronomy while enjoying beautiful views, thanks to the Rapa Nui Stargazing Experience Tour.

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
Easter Island is another good choice.

5. Atacama Desert, Chile: astronomical observatories in the middle of the desert

The Atacama Desert is a 600-mile-long (1000 km) plateau along Chile's Pacific coast. It is an ideal stargazing location due to its distance from towns and cities, altitude, and dry climate.

Several tours are available to astro-tourists, allowing you to witness what is often regarded as the clearest skies on Earth. You can even visit the Alma Observatory, home of the biggest astronomical project in the world.

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
The Atacama Desert is another great stargazing location.

6. Nova Scotia, Canada: unbeatable night skies over the Atlantic

Canada's province of Novia Scotia offers some of the best stargazing sites in the country. The shores of Yarmouth, Argyle, and Clare have all been officially designated by the International Starlight Foundation.

There's a wealth of history in Nova Scotia concerned with astronomy, too, from First Nations stories, to the navigation of French colonists. For the best possible views, visit during late Spring or early Summer when the skies are typically at their clearest.

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
You should check out Nova Scotia as well.

7. Cherry Springs State National Park, USA: a view of Venus from Pennsylvania

The Cherry Springs State National Park is in Pennsylvania and boasts some of the best night sky views in the United States. You can expect to see Venus, the International Space Station, and the Omega Nebula, depending on the time of year.

Though the park is open to stargazers year-round, they offer advice on the best times to visit. Spring and Summer are the ideal times to catch a glimpse of the Milky Way, but Fall and Winter are better for clarity. The park also hosts a twice-yearly Star Party, where astronomers worldwide gather for public viewings and lectures.

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
You can get a good view at Cherry Springs State National Park.

8. Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand: the southern hemisphere's only dark sky reserve

The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve is the only designated site in the Southern Hemisphere and a must-see for stargazers living south of the equator. The reserve was established in 2012 and has strictly controlled light pollution in the area since then.

Each night, the area is lit up by thousands of stars. Visitors can avail of stargazing tours and expect to see the Southern Cross, the Milky Way, and the Magellanic Clouds. 

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve is another good choice.

9. Death Valley National Park, USA: hot, dry, and full of stars

Death Valley is often considered one of the driest places on Earth, with an average annual rainfall of only 2.36 inches (60 mm). Thanks in part to its extreme weather conditions and its location far from major cities, Death Valley is a perfect site for stargazing.

Death Valley is the largest dark sky reserve in the U.S., designated by the International Dark Sky Association. Every year the Las Vegas Astronomical Society holds a Star Party at Death Valley, which is open to the public. Tours are also available to budding astronomy enthusiasts.

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
Death Valley National Park is another great choice.

10. Natural Bridges National Monument, USA: Incredible Natural Structures and Stunning Views

Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument is best known for its sandstone structures: Kachina, Owachomo, and Sipapu. These impressive natural bridges have been a landscape feature for millions of years.

At night, the skies above the natural bridges light up with up to 15,000 stars. The Milky Way can also be seen over the crest of the Owachomo Bridge. The area has been a designated dark sky area since 2007.

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
You can get great views of the night's sky at the Natural Bridges National Monument.

11. Big Bend National Park, USA: starry skies in the Lone Star State

Situated in West Texas, the Big Bend National Park is a desert renowned for its abundance of dinosaur fossils. It's also the best stargazing site in the lone star state.

It has the lowest light pollution of any national park in the lower 48 states and offers incredibly clear views at night. Named by the Washington Post as the best place to fall asleep beneath the stars, it's an ideal spot to camp and enjoy a night of incredible stars.

11 of the most beautiful places in the world to go stargazing
You might also want to consider Big Bend National Park.

And that is your lot for today.

Whether you're an amateur astronomer or appreciate the beauty of the night sky, countless destinations worldwide offer unforgettable stargazing experiences. From remote mountaintops to desert expanses, the possibilities are endless. So grab your telescope, find a cozy spot, and prepare to be mesmerized by the wonders of the cosmos. Happy stargazing!

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