This Gorgeous California State Park Was Just Named the Best Place for Stargazing in the U.S.

All you need to do is look up.

<p>Kevin Key/Slworking/Getty Images</p>

Kevin Key/Slworking/Getty Images

The 2024 eclipse may have come and gone, but it left plenty of people hungry for more astrotourism. And luckily, there are plenty of fantastic spots to stargaze across the United States, and HomeToGo has rounded up a few of the best destinations in its new Stargazing Index.

“Astrotourism has emerged as the defining travel trend of 2024 so far, with April’s total solar eclipse generating a notable uplift in demand. Leading up to the event, the search demand for vacation rentals in towns along the path of totality skyrocketed by 139 percent week-over-week on HomeToGo, with median nightly prices registering increases of 40 percent,” Eleanor Moody, a spokesperson and travel expert at HomeToGo shared in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. “We predict that this piqued interest in celestial tourism will persist further into the year, and have curated HomeToGo’s 2024 Stargazing Index with a new wave of eager astro-travelers in mind.”

As Moody explained, the new index is designed to assist travelers in discovering all the darkest places to ensure the best view of the stars above. 

In total, it found 24 Dark Sky communities across nine states, including California, Arizona, Texas, Indiana, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, Idaho, and Florida.

It then ranked them on five indicators, including an "under-the-radar score," which it gave based on their search volume (the lower the search volume the higher the score); an "affordability score" based on the median nightly price per person for a vacation rental on HomeToGo; an "availability score," based on the number of vacation rentals in each destination bookable on HomeToGo; a "clear sky score" based on the average number of clear days in each community; and a "solitude score," based on the size of each certified International Dark Sky Place and the area's population size. (For the latter, the lower the population density, the higher the score.)

After looking at all that data, it named Borrego Springs, California, the home of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, to be the No. 1 astrotourism spot. "This small community is the only International Dark Sky Community in California," the findings noted. "Dedicated to protecting the night sky from light pollution, backyard stargazing parties are a daily occurrence. Visitors are invited to embrace the local natural and cultural wonders with the annual Night Fall Star Party, southern California’s prime opportunity to view the night sky with others."

It was joined by two Arizona locations: Fountain Hills at No. 2, followed by Flagstaff in third. Dripping Springs in Wimberley, Texas, and Cottonwood, Arizona, came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Ready to get out and enjoy a blanket of stars? Check out the full findings at

Related: The Best Hotels Around the World for Stargazing

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