THE MOST AMAZING CAMPGROUNDS FOR STARGAZING WITH THE KIDS

Part of the romance of camping is the chance to sleep under the stars. But due to the ever-growing light pollution in this country, campgrounds with really stellar stargazing are rare. On average, city residents can only see a handful of stars. People living in really rural areas may be able to see a couple thousand. But there are a few spots left in the country where you’ll be able to see up to 10,000 stars (and maybe even some planets!) with just the naked eye. It can hardly be surprising that the best sites can be found within our national parks, where civilization is kept at bay. One of best ways to choose a stargazing destination is to find a Dark Sky Park. Parks can be certified a Dark Sky Park on a national and international level. With that in mind, here are a few of the best spots in the US to see the stars:

 

Pennsylvania’s Cherry Springs State Park

 

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This Pennsylvania State Park is the darkest and most remote spot east of the Mississippi. The high elevation and the fact that the viewing field is on a plateau means that you’ll have a 360-degree view of the skies around you– perfect for stellar stargazing! It was the first park to be certified as Dark Sky in the US and the second in the world. On a clear night, you’ll be able to see ten thousand stars and have a vivid view of the Milky Way. There are easily accessible viewing areas if you only want to visit for a few hours, or you could spend the night in one of the park’s campsites. One of the most popular events is the Black Forest Star Party, which attracts hundreds of astronomers every year.

 

California’s Death Valley National Park

 

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ESCAPE FROM THE WINTER BLUES

 

Have the winter doldrums set in yet? It’s been a cold one so far, even for the lucky residents of the southern states. If everything at home seems dull and dreary, but the rest of the world seems shiny and new, indulge your wanderlust. Winter can get you down, but sometimes a little distance from your at-home life will give you a fresh perspective. Whether it’s a romantic getaway, a spontaneous ski weekend, or a family gathering, a little travel is just what the doctor ordered. Pack your bags, grab your sweetie, and hit the road.

 

 

The most romantic gift you can give this Valentine’s Day is your time and a treasured memory. And winter is a wonderful time for romance. A few of the most romantic spots in the US might surprise you. USA Today named St. Paul the most romantic getaway city in North America last year. There’s fine dining, especially of the seafood variety, a vibrant nightlife, luxurious spa experiences, and plenty of outdoor activities.  But if your idea of romance doesn’t include snow, definitely consider heading down to Texas.  Check out the Padre Island National Seashore for 65 miles of shoreline.  It may not always be sunbathing weather, but it is frequently the warmest spot in the continental US during the dead of winter.

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