"The stars at night are big and bright..." and, well, you know the rest!

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Turns out, that yes, deep in the heart of Texas, the stars are big and bright but if you're really serious about star gazing, then you'll want to head to a designated dark sky location.

What is a Designated Dark Sky Location?

Did you know that there is such a thing as an International Dark-Sky Association? The IDA is the recognized authority on light pollution and is the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide so that we can see the stars.

Casey Horner via Unsplash
Casey Horner via Unsplash
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The IDA has a list of International Dark Sky Places that they have deemed dark enough, meaning no artificial light or light pollution disturbs the night skies.

How Many Dark Sky Places are in Texas?

According to the IDA a total of twelve places that are IDA certified, they include national parks, communities and sanctuaries. But to get the most out of your star gazing experience, there are two that you'll definitely want to plan a trip to!

The McDonald Observatory

The University of Texas' McDonald Observatory in west Texas is considered the largest Dark Sky Preserve. Together with the IDA, the McDonald Observatory is working towards promoting more stargazing throughout the state parks in order to ensure that everyone can see the Milky Way.

While the McDonald Observatory is a great place to check out the Milky Way, it's certainly not the darkest location, that honor would go to Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Denis Degioanni via Unsplash
Denis Degioanni via Unsplash
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It's pretty dark out there according to this scale, and it's perfect for stargazing. It's also the site where you can stay at this Tatooine inspired AirBnB where you'll be off grid and under the bright stars.

AirBnB
AirBnB
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Texas Hill Country Castle

You can stay in a real castle at this Texas Hill Country Castle

 

 

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