Texas-Sized Night Lights

Stellar stargazing spots in the Lone Star State

Illustration: Tim Bower

Copper Breaks State Park

This Panhandle park was one of the first places in Texas to be dubbed an International Dark Sky Park for its standout starry nights. It regularly hosts guided hikes and astronomy programs.


McDonald Observatory
Fort Davis

For some of the most technologically sophisticated star watching in the country, check out the regular Tuesday-, Friday-, and Saturday-night parties at this University of Texas outpost. Check the website for dates (December 1 is next) when visitors will have the rare opportunity to view the sky through massive research telescopes. 


Eagle Eye Observatory

The Austin Astronomical Society holds monthly viewing parties at the Canyon of the Eagles resort, located at the center of a 940-acre nature preserve on the Colorado River. Distant star sightings come courtesy of a sixteen-inch telescope, along with help from the society’s members.


Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

At this Central Texas gathering ground, a gigantic pink granite dome rises 1,825 feet above sea level, giving stargazers a closer view of the heavens. Don’t miss the Rock Star festival on December 3 for an evening of stargazing, hikes, and expert talks.