The Milky Way over pine trees along the shore of Lake Michigan in Wilderness State Park near Mackinaw, Northern Michigan base64Hash The Milky Way over pine trees along the shore of Lake Michigan in Wilderness State Park near Mackinaw, Northern Michigan

The Best Stargazing Spots in the U.S.

United States
Anytime
Guests
United States
Anytime
Guests

Popular Filters to find the Perfect Home Rental in the USA

Pets allowed
2 Adults
House
1 Bedroom
Pool
250 yd to water
Cabin

Looking to plan a spectacular stargazing vacation? Leave the lights of the city behind and check out our recommendations for cabins, farmstays, and home rentals where you can spend your nights looking up at the stars, planets, and even the milky way.

Stargazing in the USA: Top Accommodations

Cottage Ridgeway
Apr 22 - Apr 29
-42%
$468
$271 per night
Cottage ∙ 10 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Cottage in Ridgeway with Private Pool + Lakefront Views

4.2
Very good (57 ratings)
Ridgeway, Fairfield County, South Carolina, United States
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Cabin Marble
Aug 14 - Aug 21
-44%
$177
$99 per night
Cabin ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Charming Cabin in Marble with Patio, Grill, Hot Tub + Mountain Views

4.9
Outstanding (16 ratings)
Marble, Valleytown, North Carolina, United States
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Cabin Lampe
Apr 28 - May 5
-38%
$346
$214 per night
Cabin ∙ 12 guests ∙ 4 bedrooms

Nice Cabin in Lampe with Yard, Pool & Grill + Lake Views

4.5
Excellent (59 ratings)
Lampe, Pine B Township, Missouri, United States
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Information about Stargazing Vacations

🏡 Stargazing available 170,362 rentals
💳 Possible discounts up to 40%
🌙 Nightly prices starting at $76
⭐ Popular amenities Wheelchair accessible, Washing machine and Balcony/Patio
🐾 Pet friendly homes 45,879 homes
🏊 Stargazing with pools 31,366 homes

Frequently Asked Questions

Stargazing Vacations: What is the cost of a stay?

HomeToGo offers great rentals for Stargazing Vacations, with retes as low as $76 per night.

Can I find a vacation rental for a large group for Stargazing Vacations?

Cabin in the USA may fit 8 guests.

What types of vacation homes are available for Stargazing Vacations?

There are many Cabin and Cabin that are perfect for Stargazing Vacations.

The Milky Way over pine trees along the shore of Lake Michigan in Wilderness State Park near Mackinaw, Northern Michigan
The most stellar places to go stargazing in the U.S. this summer

Summer Stargazing Index 2023

In the mood for a secluded starry getaway? HomeToGo has scoured lightyears of data to help uncover the best places to stay and stargaze this summer.

Examining certified Dark Sky Places from all over the country based on their historical average cloud cover, solitude (people per square mile), number of vacation homes available, and accommodation affordability (median nightly price), HomeToGo has ranked the top 17 towns to stay and marvel at the night sky.

So pack up your telescopes, grab your s'more kits, and get ready to jump into the 2023 Summer Stargazing Index!

Dazzling Stargazing Facts 💫

See It and Believe It:

On a very dark night, there is approximately 2,000 stars visible to the naked eye—just a small fraction of the estimated three trillion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Stars and Showers A-Plenty:

On any given night throughout the year, regardless of the season, an observer beneath a clear night sky can expect to see between two to seven shooting stars per hour.

Above and Beyond:

The most powerful space telescope in existence is the James Webb Space Telescope. According to NASA, the Webb telescope is powerful enough to detect a bumblebee at the distance of the moon.

The Top 17 Stargazing Spots in America

Rank
DESTINATION
STATE
Clear Skies
Solitude
Accom. Affordability
Accom. Availability
TOTAL SCORE
1
Westcliffe & Silver Cliff
Colorado
8.40
9.70
9.60
5.60
33.30
2
Dripping Springs
Arizona
8.10
9.90
9.10
5.70
32.80
3
Harmony
Florida
10.00
7.40
9.70
5.00
32.10
4
Flagstaff
Arizona
8.30
5.00
8.70
10.00
32.00
=5
Sedona
Arizona
7.10
7.80
6.90
9.70
31.50
=5
Beverly Shores
Indiana
8.10
9.30
9.00
5.10
31.50
7
Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation
Arizona
6.40
10.00
9.80
5.00
31.20
8
Fort Davis
Texas
7.50
9.60
8.40
5.30
30.80
9
Dripping Springs-Wimberley
Texas
9.00
9.40
7.00
5.00
30.40
10
Torrey
Utah
6.60
7.80
10.00
5.20
29.60
11
Horseshoe Bay
Texas
6.90
8.70
7.00
6.10
28.70
12
Lost Creek
Texas
9.30
7.50
5.90
5.30
28.00
13
Borrego Springs
California
5.00
9.80
7.60
5.20
27.60
14
Village of Oak Creek
Arizona
7.80
5.00
9.00
5.70
27.50
15
Homer Glen
Illinois
8.80
5.30
7.50
5.00
26.60
16
Fountain Hills
Arizona
6.90
5.00
8.70
5.20
25.80
17
Ketchum
Idaho
6.00
5.40
5.00
6.80
23.20
1
Westcliffe & Silver Cliff
Colorado
[27 days]
[65 people/sqmi]
[$72.23]
[362 homes]
33.30
2
Dripping Springs
Arizona
[31 days]
[32 people/sqmi]
[$82.29]
[434 homes]
32.80
3
Harmony
Florida
[1 days]
[614 people/sqmi]
[$71.3]
[4 homes]
32.10
4
Flagstaff
Arizona
[28 days]
[1166 people/sqmi]
[$89.88]
[3198 homes]
32.00
=5
Sedona
Arizona
[48 days]
[517 people/sqmi]
[$121.52]
[3014 homes]
31.50
=5
Beverly Shores
Indiana
[31 days]
[163 people/sqmi]
[$83.28]
[56 homes]
31.50
7
Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation
Arizona
[60 days]
[1 people/sqmi]
[$69.82]
[22 homes]
31.20
8
Fort Davis
Texas
[42 days]
[105 people/sqmi]
[$94.96]
[162 homes]
30.80
9
Dripping Springs-Wimberley
Texas
[18 days]
[146 people/sqmi]
[$120.73]
[26 homes]
30.40
10
Torrey
Utah
[56 days]
[514 people/sqmi]
[$65.27]
[146 homes]
29.60
11
Horseshoe Bay
Texas
[52 days]
[313 people/sqmi]
[$121.23]
[718 homes]
28.70
12
Lost Creek
Texas
[12 days]
[579 people/sqmi]
[$140.54]
[198 homes]
28.00
13
Borrego Springs
California
[82 days]
[59 people/sqmi]
[$110.21]
[153 homes]
27.60
14
Village of Oak Creek
Arizona
[36 days]
[1159 people/sqmi]
[$83.27]
[454 homes]
27.50
15
Homer Glen
Illinois
[21 days]
[1101 people/sqmi]
[$111.28]
[27 homes]
26.60
16
Fountain Hills
Arizona
[51 days]
[1164 people/sqmi]
[$89.3]
[159 homes]
25.80
17
Ketchum
Idaho
[66 days]
[1078 people/sqmi]
[$157.05]
[1154 homes]
23.20

A Closer Look at the Top Destinations for Stargazers 🔭

#1. Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, Colorado

Westcliffe and Silver Cliff is Colorado’s first and only International Dark Sky Community, and the highest altitude IDSP-designated community in the world. With an estimated combined population of 1,155, these two towns are home to some of the best stargazing the country has to offer. The valley west of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff is a great place to see the stars due to its high altitude of 8,000 feet, creating a more united land and night sky experience.

Index Score: 33.30

#3. Harmony, Florida

Located between Melbourne and Orlando, Harmony, Florida, is a small residential community with around 1,000 residents. Despite its relatively close proximity to major cities, the unincorporated area boasts IDA-certified dark skies. This distinction allows residents and visitors to enjoy optimal conditions for stargazing. Over the years, Harmony has hosted Dark Sky festivals and parties, separate from Dark Sky Week, highlighting the town's commitment to preserving and celebrating its pristine night sky.

Index Score: 32.10

#4. Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff was designated the world’s first International Dark Sky City in 2001, which means the city holds a high standard when it comes to lighting and reducing this exposure to enhance the quality of stargazing. Locations within Flagstaff such as Sunset Crater Volcano and Lowell Observatory – the spot where Pluto was first discovered in 1930, offer unique experiences in observing the night sky and all that it contains.

Index Score: 32.00

#=5. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, home to a population of over 10,000, is great for viewing the night sky year-round. Located within the Coconino National Forest, the town has a lack of big lights which makes for an excellent stargazing experience. Locations within Sedona such as Dry Creek Road and Fay Canyon give the opportunity of a lifetime to view these stars perfectly.

Index Score: 31.50

#=5. Beverly Shores, IN

Situated on Lake Michigan's shoreline east of Chicago, Beverly Shores is often referred to as "The Island" due to its surrounding by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the lake itself. Residents value its wild setting and, in recent years, have embraced dark skies as an integral part of the local environment. Through retrofitting and replacing light fixtures, the community has demonstrated its commitment to controlling outdoor lighting and attracting both residents and tourists who appreciate the town's dedication to preserving its natural nighttime beauty.

Index Score: 31.50

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Methodology

We used information from the International Dark-Sky Association to collate a shortlist of Dark Sky Places for which the geographical coordinates are publicly available and shortlisted the top 17 most searched on HomeToGo.com for stays between June 21st, 2023 and September 22nd, 2023. In order to rank these Dark Sky Places, we researched 4 data points: the size and population of the Dark Sky Place, the average cloud cover of the area, the number of accommodation offers in the area and the median nightly price thereof. After obtaining the raw data, we assigned each data point a representative numerical value between 5 and 10, with 5 representing the lowest data point and 10 representing the highest data point. The hypothetical "perfect score" would be 40 out of 40. We used the following equation in order to calculate this for every factor:

Score(i) = 5 · (x(i) - xmin ) / (xmax - xmin ) + 5

Solitude: We used data from the International Dark-Sky Association to determine the size of each Dark Sky Place and population data from census.gov for the area or nearest town. The place with the lowest ratio of people per square mile was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher.

Clear Skies: We used historical weather data from Visual Crossing Weather to analyze the last year (June 21st 2022 - September 22nd 2022) of data from the nearest weather station to each Dark Sky Place. The area with the fewest overcast or rainy days over the last summer was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher.

Accommodation Availability: We used HomeToGo inventory data to find the number of accommodation offers in the vicinity of each Dark Sky Place. The area with the highest number of accommodation offers was awarded a maximum score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. Data was collected in June 2023, availability is subject to change.

Accommodation Affordability: We used internal HomeToGo data to find the median price per night per person for a vacation rental in the area between June 21st 2023 - September 22nd 2023. The area with the lowest median nightly price per person for a vacation rental was awarded a maximum score of 10, and the remaining locations were awarded a score of 5 or higher. Data was collected in June 2023, prices are subject to change.

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