Longer nights and clearer skies; the perfect combination for stargazing. Some of the best stargazing opportunities are in remote areas that can be difficult for most people to get to.
It may be quite the suprise, but Michigan is actually the best place to stargaze in the Eastern United States. The nighttime sky in Northern Michigan is a very big tourist attraction just because the beautiful sky, full of millions of stars, can't be seen just anywhere. Much of this is due to the vast openness of the Great Lakes and sparse populations in the north. When visiting Michigan's undeveloped forests and beachs, you'll see the Milky Way in the sky as the night progresses. Maybe wish on a shooting star and ponder the mysteries of the universe in one of the best spots for putting the world above us into focus.
Metro Detroiters will need to travel outside of the city to get a decent view of the sky, but don't worry, a starry night isn't too far away. Here are a few locations to stargaze at, just less than five hours from downtown Detroit. These are a few amazing locations in Michigan to check out next time you're in the area.
If you want to get an even better look, other than just viewing from land, the Inland Seas Education Association offers astronomy cruises out of Suttons Bay. During this excursion you'll be taken out on a schooner-style tall ship, far beyond the lights of the nearby towns. The sky here is unbelievable as you experience the night sky through the naked eye and through the on-ship telescopes.
Headlands International Dark Sky Park - Mackinaw City
This park is on two miles of undeveloped shoreline and is open free to the public at all days and hours of the week. The park recently opened a new $9 million observatory and event center for new opportunities to view and photograph the sky.
On nice summer nights, this location is full of visitors ready to view the stars in the open lawn along Lake Michigan. This could just be such a popular location for stargazing because rangers will be around the grounds to point out the constellations and starry sky information.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Munising
Even though Pictured Rocks is a very popular lakeshore (national lakeshore, actually), this is also an amazing location to view its dark night sky and glowing cliffs. This is a prime location for a view in every direction.
Here you'll discover a sky filled with so many stars, you'll be inspired to know the whys and hows. This location is a popular one amongst photographers as it is totally free of distracting lights. What location at Pictured Rocks exactly? Really, anywhere along the lakeshore, at Isle Royale National Park, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, or along Whitefish Point, you'll be just as amazed.
Les Cheneaux Islands
Shortly after crossing the Mackinac Bridge, you'll find a series of over thirty islands off the coast of Lake Huron. The islands you'll come across are the Les Cheneaux Islands. Find a spot at these islands and cozy up for a kayak adventure and a stargazing campout. From the shores you may see a faint light coming from Mackinaw City but other than that there is nothing for miles. The stars are swarming the night sky. Don't forget to bring s'mores and your favorite Michigan-made beer to enjoy while soaking up the beautiful sky.