It’s no fallacy that the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas. As the nation prepares for the Perseid meteor shower to streak the skies in the next few days, many are searching for the best places to stargaze. The best stargazing locations are far away from light pollution and allow your eyes to take in as much of our universe’s sweeping expanse without inhibitions from man-made light. These especially non-polluted areas are labeled “dark zones”.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best places in Texas to stake out a spot and see the stars.

Enchanted Rock: Most who are familiar with Texas hiking know about Enchanted Rock. It’s a popular and easy hike that provides beautiful panoramic views of the Texas hill country. However, not many consider returning once the sun, and the cover of the night has fallen to stargaze. Deemed by the International Dark Skies Association as one of the three approved “dark-sky parks”, Enchanted Rock stays dark and provides stargazers with great watching conditions. In fact, the Texas Parks Association uses light measurement instruments to provide optimal stargazing conditions.

Eagle Eye Observatory: Eagle Eye Observatory can be found in Burnet’s Canyon at Eagles Park. The observatory offers space for stargazing and a public Saturday night for anyone to look at the stars one Saturday a month. If you’re interested in a view of the stars that are better than the one that a human eye can produce, head over to Eagle Eye Observatory to check out the astronomer’s telescope.

Dripping Springs: Dripping Springs, although a less popular stargazing spot, is one of the two non-park locations in the entire state of Texas to be categorized as a “dark-sky” area. This small hill country town that’s nestled right outside of Austin hosts a Texas Night Sky Festival every spring at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park but stargazing in the tiny town in certainly not limited to only the festival.

Caroline Kidd