You've probably heard that everything is bigger in Texas, and it's true! And while that saying primarily references the Lone Star State's geographical area, it's also true about something else: The Texas sky, specifically, Texas' night sky.
Texas is booming with a growing population, but there are still plenty of places where the nighttime skies offer fantastic views for stargazers.
Top 10 Spots for Texas Stargazing
Here are 10 top spots (in no particular order) in the Lone Star State for Texas stargazing with your RV.
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDSA) has designated Big Bend National Park — located in west Texas — as a gold-tier stargazing destination (one of only 13 places designated as such around the world), making it a must-visit Texas stargazing locale.
Big Bend National Park also ranks fourth on the IDSA's list of best places in the world to stargaze, so park your RV and head out on the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail or Hot Springs Canyon Trail for unobstructed, awe-inspiring nighttime views.
Several years ago, residents of the small town of Dripping Springs grew increasingly concerned about creeping light pollution from the state capital of Austin, about 25 miles to the east. They took action to regulate night lighting, and the result was being the first town in Texas — and only the sixth in the world at the time — to be designated a Dark Sky Community by the International Dark-Sky Association.
Be sure to visit with your RV in March for their annual Texas Night Sky Festival!
Accessible only by private boat or ferry, Matagorda Island sits right on Texas' Gulf Coast. The island's isolated and primitive nature (there's no electricity) makes it an ideal location for camping and stargazing.
Plan to spend a couple of nights Texas stargazing here, though your RV will have to stay on the mainland.
This central Texas Panhandle destination is home to the second-largest canyon in the US, but Palo Duro Canyon State Park isn't a true Dark Sky area. This is mostly due to being close to Amarillo, and that has an effect on light pollution.
Even so, the canyon's famed Lighthouse rock formation can provide a stunning, monumental contrast to the sight of the Milky Way when the moon is new.
A designated International Dark Sky Park, Copper Breaks State Park in north Texas actually has gold-tier status from the IDSA, along with Big Bend National Park.
Light pollution is kept to a minimum at Copper Breaks State Park, enabling nighttime visitors to enjoy stunning, unobstructed views for Texas stargazing.
Back up in the Texas Panhandle, you'll find Caprock Canyons State Park. Given its location, there are no nearby city lights to pollute nighttime views. It's a bit out of the way, but a perfect spot to take in the expanse of the Milky Way.
McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas (two hours north of Big Bend National Park) has four high-powered telescopes you can use to observe the night sky. Run by the University of Texas Astronomy Department, McDonald Observatory offers daily tours, star parties on a weekly basis, and also hosts special viewing nights.
Texas is known more for its wide open spaces instead of its mountains, but Davis Mountains State Park offers the mountainous landscapes you may be missing. Visit during the day for the peaks, and stay for peak Texas stargazing at night. You have your choice of several different spots and angles, so spend some time exploring for the best views!
If Texas stargazing alongside a river in rural Texas' Hill Country is your idea of a good night, then head over to this designated International Dark Sky Park.
Arrive before sunset for the possibility of wildlife viewing (wild turkeys are known to inhabit the area), and then enjoy the beautiful night sky.
This central Texas stargazing locale, 17 miles north of Fredericksburg, is yet another designated International Dark Sky Park, and for good reason. Enchanted Rock boasts some of the best rural stargazing in central Texas, with truly enchanting views of the Milky Way.
Plan your visit to coincide with one of the Rock Star Parties to see shooting stars and learn about constellations.
Embark on a Texas Stargazing RV Road Trip With Cruise America
The Lone Star State has so many International Dark Sky Parks that the struggle is real when choosing between them — if only because the state is so big and many are spread so far apart! Luckily, there is a solution to this problem: A Texas stargazing road trip in an RV!
Most of the destinations listed here are accessible with an RV or within convenient driving distance of an RV park. Since an RV road trip to go Texas stargazing is an experience like no other, Cruise America wants to help you get on the road to see the splendor of Texas night skies.
Contact Cruise America today to see about an RV and get on the road for a Texas stargazing adventure like no other!