I would live among the stars if I could. One of my favorite things to do is look up at them while laying in my hammock. The thought of not being able to see stars one day upsets me. That’s why I wanted to share this important analysis about the stars.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) recognizes places around the world where the night sky is preserved and protected from light pollution. Booking.com want to shine a light on some of the best IDA-certified stargazing spots in the U.S. while reimagining what they may look like if they weren’t protected from light pollution. You can see some really impactful photos before and after below.

  • Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

    Home to the second-largest natural bridge in the world, this national park is also one of the darkest parks in the southern United States, making it perfect for stargazing.

    Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

     

  • Big Bend National Park, Texas

    Big Bend is one of the biggest and most remote national parks, located on the border of western Texas and the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It is also one of the least visited national parks, making it a great option for those wanting to avoid crowds.

    Big Bend National Park, Texas

  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

    The Chaco Culture National Historical Park is an important archaeological area where you can find the densest concentration of Chacoan ruins (remnants of an ancient Native American culture). The park also supports Chaco’s Night Sky Initiative, which combines the astronomy practices of the Chacoan people with modern approaches.

    Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

  • Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

    Cherry Springs State Park sits 700 meters above sea level in the largest undeveloped part of Pennsylvania’s Susquehannock State Forest. The park is open all year and has between 60-85 nights each year where stargazing conditions are ideal. 

    Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

  • Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

    Famous for its biodiversity (including black bears and panthers), Big Cypress National Preserve is importantly placed in between Miami, Naples, and Fort Myers and creates a buffer that protects wildlife and clear black skies against land development. 

    Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida