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Best Places to Stargaze in Lancaster County


Did you know you can see a galaxy that's millions of light-years away using only your eyes? Lancaster County is home to plenty of stargazing spots where you can get a great view.

What Is Stargazing?

Stargazing is a popular hobby that's easily accessible to anyone curious enough to watch the night sky. Once you find the right spot and wait for a clear night, all you have to do is tilt your head up to see constellations, satellites, meteors, and even planets.

While you only need your eyes to stargaze, you might want to bring a few other things along with you for a memorable evening: 

  • Interactive star maps and guidebooks
  • A compass
  • Binoculars or a telescope
  • A notebook
  • Seating and snacks

How to Find the Best Stargazing Spots

Whether you're an avid stargazer or new to this meditative hobby, night sky watching is best experienced on a dark, cloudless evening. Try to find a spot away from any light pollution. 

Here are some tips to help you pick the best places for stargazing: 

  • Consider the landscape: Find an open area away from obstructions, such as mountains or forests.
  • Avoid cities and towns: Venture at least 20 to 30 miles away from populated areas for a darker, fuller night sky.
  • Pay attention to the moon: Plan to view the sky between nine days before and five days after the new moon so the lunar brightness doesn't block your sight. 
  • Go to a higher altitude: Higher altitudes offer a clearer vantage point without fog, smoke or dense air. 

Top Stargazing Spots Around Lancaster

If you're planning on stargazing in Lancaster County, you're in for a real treat. There are plenty of unique spots around the area to set up camp and take in stunning night sky views. Here are some locations you should check out: 

  • Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area: With almost 6,000 acres of land, you'll have plenty of room to set up your gear and look for constellations. 
  • Ryan Observatory at Muddy Run: Visit this Holtwood observatory during monthly open houses or become a member to stargaze on private nights. 
  • Grundy Observatory: Open every the third Monday of the month, this observatory is a unique place to check out the night sky from the lens of vintage telescopes built almost 150 years ago. 
  • Naylor Observatory: Gather with friends in nearby Lewisberry on designated nights each month to see how many stars and constellations you can find. 
  • Chestnut Grove Natural Area: Visit this beautiful area overlooking the Susquehanna River, full of open spaces and stunning views, to stare into the sky for a couple of hours. 

Book Your Stargazing Adventure in Lancaster County

Ready to stargaze in Lancaster County? The Warehouse Hotel at the Nook is the perfect home base to return to after a long night in the great outdoors. Book your stay with us today! 

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