Love looking up at the cosmos? Then you’ll enjoy this guide that outlines the best places to go stargaze near Opal properties.
As the nights gradually get warmer, millions of American begin to make the nightly pilgrimage to their favorite night-sky hotspots to look up and get lost – whether with just their naked eye or through a high-powered telescope. But with more and more artificial light from cities obscuring the natural nighttime darkness, finding those best places to stargaze can be tough. So we’ve done the digging for you. Enjoy these celestial wonders and stargazing events coming to a night sky near you around Opal properties in Florida, New York, and Maine.
Stay in and Stargaze [Jupiter, FL]
With a cosmic name to match, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is all about helping guests tap into their inner astronomer without needing to venture beyond the resort. Telescopes are available to rent upon request, and stargazers can set up on the beach or their room’s balcony. The locale is special to begin with because special ordinances limit light pollution due to turtle nesting season from March through October, so there’s really not better time to get your gazing on.
Where to Stay Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa
FAU’s Astronomical Observatory [Highland Beach, FL]
On the first Friday and third Tuesday of every month, members of the public are able to climb the stairs of the Florida Atlantic University Astronomical Observatory to a small, open-roof platform to take turns looking through a 14-inch Celestron Edge HD Schmidt-Cassegrainian (basically, a really fancy telescope). While this area of Florida may not enjoy the same elevations as its northeastern counterparts, there are some advantages, including constellations appearing higher in the skies (making them easier to see) and being southern enough to avoid the blur that stargazers endure from the jet stream current up north.
Talk Space with the Oldest Astronomy Club [Clearwater Beach, FL]
Formed in 1927 (42 years before Neil Armstrong took “one small step for mankind”), the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club is the oldest astronomy club in the southeastern United States. Open to the public, meetings are held on the fourth Friday of each month at the Science Center of Pinellas County and feature lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and observing sessions. Check out their Facebook group, which details upcoming astronomy subjects and sights.
Where to Stay Sandpearl Resort
Stargazing Events with a Native [Naples, FL]
Environmentalist, educator, and fourth-generation Floridian Linda Jacobsen offers personalized stargazing adventures as a way for non-natives to connect with the Florida night sky. Whether you make arrangements for her to come to your location or you to go to hers, she’ll expertly point out bright stars and planets, help you identify and locate constellations, and bring her powerful telescope for guests to observe galaxies millions of light-years away. After all, it’s always best to have a local show you around.
Where to Stay Edgewater Beach Hotel
A Public Observatory, a Labor of Love [Lake Placid, NY]
After more than 10 years of planning and construction, The Adirondack Public Observatory officially opened in 2014 and is a must-see for astronomy buffs. Visitors can enjoy free stargazing sessions on the first and third Fridays of every month, where a team of astronomers are available to answer any questions, while guests use the telescopes in the state-of-the-art roll-off-roof observatory building. The Adirondack’s low level of light pollution makes this a prime viewing location.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge
Stargazing While You Kayak [Bar Harbor, ME]
While this area is known for the popular Acadia Night Sky Festival – an annual September event dedicated to celebrating some of the last pristine, star-filled night skies in the eastern United States – it’s not your only stargazing opportunity. On nights when the moon is full or near full, Acadia Park Kayak Tours offers a regular two-hour nighttime tour where kayakers paddle out on Frenchman Bay and, with the aid of a guide’s laser pointer and telescope, observe stars, planets, and constellations. But be sure to look down every now and then as well: The water will also have a silvery blue bioluminescent glow owed to the presence of light-producing organisms.