Join Our Newsletter
There are tons of places to take your RV this summer, but when you’re craving wide open spaces and endless starry nights, some camping spots are better than others. Thankfully, Unistellar, creator of consumer telescopes and astronomy educator, has mapped out the best spots for you to go in the United States, to best see the stars, whether you hike out onto the trails to get private views or you simply kick back by your RV and take it all in from your favorite camp chair. Here’s what they found.
Up first is Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. This wilderness area was recently named an International Dark Sky Sanctuary — which means it’s been proclaimed to have “exceptional” or “distinguished” stargazing quality and a nocturnal environment worth protecting. Better yet, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is the largest International Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world!
But don’t think that just because this area has “wilderness” in the name that it’ll take you far off the map. It’s outfitted with 2,000 designated campsites that stretch over 1 million acres. And don't worry — when you’re not stargazing, you’ll have plenty of daytime activities to enjoy, such as canoeing on the area’s more than 1,000 lakes, rivers and streams or hiking on one of the dozen trails.
Great Basin National Park stretches across multiple states, including Nevada, Oregon, Utah, California, Idaho and Wyoming. In other words, it’s a pretty big stretch of land. Still, though, Unistellar assures stargazers that you can enjoy great night sky views no matter where you are in the park. In fact, the National Park Service notes that, even with just the naked eye, under the right conditions, you’ll be able to see thousands of stars, multiple planets, meteors, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way.
Some of Great Basin National Park’s top RV parks include Valley View RV Park, with all-year camping across a few dozen sites, WiFi and a pet-friendly policy; The Whispering Elms RV Park, with full RV hookups and all the amenities you’ve come to expect; and Lower Lehman Campground, which is more remote and available to RVs on a first come, first served basis.
For those on the East Coast, Pennsylvania provides an amazing spot to stargaze, only a short drive away from both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, toward the center of the state. Cherry Springs State Park sits within Susquehannock State Forest and is known all over the region as a perfect place to stargaze. Use the Pennsylvania State Parks site to reserve a camping spot in the park’s 82 acres and check their calendar. The park offers a wealth of astronomy-related events.
Dreaming of warmer destinations this summer? Head to the Florida Keys and set up camp at the RV-friendly Bahia Honda State Park. There, Big Pine Key is the place to go for stargazing — after all, it is an island in the middle of the ocean. According to Unistellar, Big Pine Key is the only place in the continental U.S. where you can glimpse stars typically only seen by the equator, including the Southern Cross constellation.