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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Star light, star bright…ring a bell? There’s something captivating about stars and the fact that they’re light-years away but we can still see them at night, twinkling in the sky. Plus, they’re great for making wishes! Here are a few handpicked stargazing destinations to enchant you along your RV journey. 1. Black Mesa State Park , Oklahoma Pack some snacks and hit the road, Jack, because Black Mesa State Park in Oklahoma is a stargazing destination for the books! The mesa, which gave the park its name, is the highest point in Oklahoma, reaching 4,973 feet above sea level. Park your RV and take a hike up this rock plateau for an unbeatable view of the Milky Way! 2. Arches National Park, Utah Not only is Arches National Park a whirlwind of contrasting colors and land formations during the day, but at night a whole other form of beauty comes about. The dark night sky engulfs the national park and turns every inch of it into a giant observatory! Not to mention, the arches make for interesting shapes against the nightscape.   3. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, California Want to get even closer to the night sky? Stop at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in California and hike more than 100 trails to reach over 5,000 feet above sea level for a truly “wow-tastic” view of the night sky in all its wonder. The star-peeping here is sure to blow your mind!  4. Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming Devil’s Tower National Monument is not only sacred ground to the Lakota Native American tribe, but it’s also sacred territory for avid stargazers! This national monument is prime star-spotting real estate. And lucky for us, it’s open to the public! 5. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia Last stop, Shenandoah National Park – the mother of all stargazing destinations. There’s a reason “Virginia is for lovers” and it’s because it’s hard not to fall in love under this breathtaking night sky. Shenandoah’s skyline drive is the perfect place to take it all in, but make sure you pull over before stargazing! Is your favorite stargazing location not on the list? Leave us a tip in the comments below!