Stargazer’s Paradise

Milky Way at night above a field of bluebonnet flowers highlight a stargazer's paradise

Photo by Jason Weingart

You can find a stargazer’s paradise in the Texas Hill Country very easy. In 2014, Dripping Springs earned the first International Dark-Sky Community in Texas. In addition, the Wimberley Valley Cities earned the third Dark-Sky Community in Texas. As a result,¬†astronomers of all skill levels enjoy the night sky without the light pollution found in most parts of the world.

Campers watching the rotation of the planets and stars on a clear night in the Hill Country

Picture by Rob Greebon

There are six amazing places to view the night sky in Texas and all are located in the Hill Country:

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Inks Lake State Park

Wimberley Valley and Dripping Springs, TX

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Blanco State Park

Hill Country State Natural Area

The Texas Hill Country is the perfect place to star gaze and relax. In short, just grab a loved one, a bottle of your favorite wine and just look up to see the magic of the universe.

 

 


Dark-Sky Community

Light pollution not only prevents us from seeing the stars, planets and moon, but also impacts birds, bats, insects and even drivers. As a result, many species of animals are confused by the light and fly into buildings. Poor lighting designs cause so much glare that vehicle drivers can be temporarily blinded. Worst of all, when seen by astronauts, light energy radiates upward uselessly into space instead of down on the ground. As a direct effect of this, billions of dollars worth of electricity shine on absolutely nothing of value.

Universe becomes visible at night without light pollution

In response to this, the International Dark-Sky Association publishes methods and criteria to gain back the night. Certification requires significant planning and resources. To accomplish this, volunteers in Wimberley formed the Dark-Sky committee. Borrowing lessons learned from nearby Dripping Springs, plans included new street light designs and much more. As a result, electricity consumption dropped and the magic of the night sky emerged.


Civilized Stargazing

Many folks in the Hill Country marvel at the night sky in the comfort of their living room or patio. Why not join them! Spectacular views of the solar system, meteor showers, eclipses and even the space station can be seen with the naked eye. A bit of planning from a premier vacation lodging company will secure the perfect spot for a private viewing for two or the whole family.