RV adventuring allows us to discover all the natural wonders of our beautiful country. Drive away from the lights of civilization, and you will find one of the stirring wonders out there: a night sky filled with an abundance of stars that you never knew existed. Your eyes will widen and time will slow down as you view the unfathomable amount of constellations in the sky. This serene moment is what makes an RV adventure memorable.
However, finding a dark, isolated and exposed night sky isn’t as easy as you think. Here are a few tips to get the best stargazing experience:
- Winter is the best time to stargaze, because the sky is drier and clearer (dress appropriately, Campers!).
- Try not to stargaze around a full moon. Also, check the moon’s rising and setting times for the best stargazing experience. An early setting or late rising moon creates perfect star gazing conditions.
Now that you have a few simple stargazing tips, you are ready to learn where you can find the most awe-inspiring stargazing spots on the East Coast. Follow us along this intergalactic journey as we introduce you to the most divine starry spots near you!
1. Cherry Springs State Park, PA
Cherry Springs State Park is known as the darkest spot east of the Mississippi River. The park is located deep in the woods of northern Pennsylvania near the New York border. In 2008, Cherry Springs was inducted into the prestigious list of Certified IDA International Dark Sky Parks. Only three parks on the East Coast were inducted into this list (we’ll talk about the other ones later). Bring a cozy blanket, lie back on the Astronomy Field and get blown away by the 360-degree view of outer space. Even more amazing, the Milky Way can get so bright it casts a shadow on the ground!
2. Acadia National Park, ME
Acadia National Park is located on the eastern coast of Maine, and it is one of the most visited National Parks in the country. Acadia is known for its enchanting rocky coastline and old-fashioned carriage roads. When a day of adventure comes to an end, you will also be able to enjoy the magnificent night sky above. Over the past few years, Acadia and nearby Bar Harbor, ME have spent a lot of effort preserving the dark skies by eliminating light pollution. In September, Acadia holds a Night Sky Festival where they offer a full schedule of educational star gazing events.
3. Big Pine Key, FL
The starry island of Big Pine Key is located in the Florida Keys. Visitors can enjoy warm nights drinking in Florida’s darkest and most scenic skies. Big Pine is one of the only places you can witness the Southern Cross constellation. Typically, this constellation is present in the winter. In addition, Big Pine is home to the Winter Star Party held every year in February.
4. Blue Ridge Observatory and Star Park, NC
Falling right behind Cherry Springs for the darkest skies on the East Coast is the Blue Ridge Observatory and Star Park, NC. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina, you will find one of the most stunning midnight skies on the East Coast. Explore the six-acre site between rugged mountains and the forest. Make sure to visit the on-site observatory open to the public.
5. Staunton River State Park, VA
Staunton River State Park is the hidden gem of stargazing sites to visit on the East Coast. Visit this majestic park soon, because it is becoming more popular with the public. Recently, it was named Virginia’s first Dark Sky Park and recognized for its efforts to keep light pollution away from the park. Staunton River State Park is located on a secluded, wooded water reserve in southern Virginia. Every fall, Staunton River holds a star party where everyone ventures to the site to stargaze together.