Many adventures have been put on hold right now due to the pandemic. Use this brief list as inspiration for your future journeys – or be delighted to find what’s in your own backyard if you find somewhere close to the home listed below! After all, what’s a better socially distant activity than to track out into nature under the wide-open sky?

The key to finding a good place to stargaze is to avoid light pollution. Light pollution comes from areas of the clustered human population, where the concentration of electricity prevents the human eye from seeing more complex fixtures in the sky, such as constellations and galaxies. There are hundreds of international dark sky spots, many of them located in the United States.

Located in Utah, this is the second in the Utah State Park system to gain the International Dark Sky Park status. It is located between River and Hanksville’s towns and is approximately one hour drive from Capitol Reef Nation Park— its sister in the Utah Dark Sky parks. Its unique red rock formations coupled with the dazzling stars overhead or sure to create and memorable evening.

Denali is the tallest mountain in North America and one of the world’s seven summits. It’s also an ideal location to see the northern lights, in addition to traditional Stargazing. It is recommended to get as close to the summit as you can, as the spectacular, colored lights of aurora borealis tend to gravitate towards the earth’s magnetic poles. You’ll certainly want to remember your camera for this trip!

When the sun goes down in Rocky Mountain National Park, there is only more to see as the sky shimmers with stars. Seasoned travelers recommend coming during the new moon to view optimal stars overhead. While you can view the stars on a clear night from almost anywhere in the park, Bear Lake and trail ridge road or among the best spots for viewing. This National Park even offers several programs to help visitors learn and better observe the night sky!

Don’t forget your blanket and a warm drink for your night of connecting with nature under the stars!