To admire the stars, all you need is a pitch-black sky. Finding one, though, is easier said than done. One drive out to the middle of a seemingly remote field at midnight, anticipating a view of the Milky Way, is enough to show you how wide-ranging and disruptive light pollution can be. Fortunately, there are plenty of places where you can find those clear, dark skies.
While many national parks offer excellent stargazing, the US is also full of small communities, state parks, and other locations that are widely recognized as dark-sky locations — some even holding regular dark-sky celebrations. If you’re serious about seeing the stars, getting to these dark-sky destinations far from big cities is worth the effort.