You may be looking for ways to maximize your time outdoors before the evening air turns too brisk. The possibilities don’t have to end once the sun goes down. Why not grab a blanket, some snacks, and head out to one of the nearest dark sky spots to relax and check out the cosmos? (Just don’t forget the bug spray!)
Virginia is a stargazer’s delight. Here are four places to get you started.
This lakeside park, located in Fauquier County, is a favorite amongst stargazers as it provides the ideal flat landscape for sky viewing. In fact, it is a common spot for viewing sessions with the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. The club offers nights where you can use club members’ telescopes to check out the night sky, including September 9 and October 7. 10066 Rogues Rd., Midland
George Mason University, located in Fairfax, has an observatory that makes viewing the stars in the city possible. George Mason hosts free public tours entitled, “Evenings under the Stars” on alternating Tuesday evenings during the academic school year. 10401 York River Rd, Fairfax
While Luray’s Shenandoah National Park may not be the darkest park, the distance from its more urban NoVA neighbors coupled with its high elevation make it a great spot for stargazers to observe constellations, meteor showers, and the moon. 3655 U.S. Highway 211 East, Luray
Located in Delaplane, Sky Meadows State Park provides a perfect place for stargazing. It was designated an international Dark Sky Park and offers Dark Sky programs such as, “Astronomy for Everyone.” Bring a lawn chair and a blanket. Upcoming dates include August 19, September 16, October 14, November 11, and December 9. 11012 Edmonds Ln., Delaplane
Feature image of Shenandoah National Park by durul/stock.adobe.com
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