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How And Where To Go Stargazing Around Atlanta

Dec 12th, 2022

Starry skies are rare in big cities like Atlanta. There’s often too much light pollution to see anything more than the moon and a couple of the brightest stars, and that’s just on the clear, fog-less nights!

Here are a few places to go stargazing near Atlanta, sorted by distance from our luxury Atlanta apartments, as well as some insight on how to find your own stargazing spots!

How to go stargazing

Stargazing can be done all over the world, but some places will offer much better results than others based on their location, the time of year, the time you go outside and maybe even the equipment you bring with you!

Find the right spot

If there’s only one thing you look for when looking for a stargazing spot, look for somewhere that’s dark. 

Light pollution can impact your visibility significantly, even if it’s just one ultra-bright streetlight nearby. Head as far out of town as you can and find a large field or park that’s far away from any lights. You may see a light haze on the horizon in the direction of nearby towns, so move as far away as you can to get the darkest spot available (as long as you’re allowed to be there, of course!).

You can use tools like a Dark Sky Finder and Light Pollution Map to see where the darkest areas around you are!

Bring supplies

You don’t really need much to go stargazing, but there are certainly things you can bring to make you more comfortable and enjoyable.

  • Warm clothes: the best time to go stargazing is in the wee hours or the morning, which also happens to be the coldest time of night. Make sure you’re warm enough, and check the weather!
  • A picnic blanket: No one wants a stiff neck, so bring a blanket and some pillows to lie down on while you stargaze.
  • Binoculars: even a simple pair of bird watching binoculars can give you some great glimpses of star clusters, binary systems and lunar features.
  • Star charts: print these out so that your night vision isn’t being ruined by a phone screen!

Check the weather

There’s no way to see around a cloudy sky, so keep a close eye on the weather to find out whether your stargazing expedition is going to be impacted by clouds, fog or rain. Try to structure your plans around the darkest times of night, which are generally between 1-3 a.m., for the best results. 

What to look for when stargazing

Meteor showers

Meteor showers are exciting stargazing events that require nothing more than a dark sky and a bit of patience. 

You can spot a random meteor on any given night in any given location, but there are a few major showers throughout the year that offer more predictable viewing opportunities. Stargazers here in the northern hemisphere get to experience the Quadrantids in December, the Lyrids in April, the Perseids in August, the Orionids in September and the Geminids in November — just to name a few!

Nebulas, star clusters and galaxies

These are trickier to find, for sure, but with a decent set of binoculars, a small telescope or even an ultra-clear and ultra-dark night sky, we can spot the supermassive clouds of dust and gas that are the nesting grounds of extrasolar stars and planets. 

And honestly, what can be cooler than that?

The Milky Way

One of the most visible celestial features in the night sky is the edge of our very own Milky Way galaxy stretched across the heavens. This band of concentrated stars, star clusters and nebulae is the edge-on view of the galaxy around us, where the majority of our galactic neighbors reside. 

The Moon

Covered in craters and seas of cooled magma, our lunar surface is a beautiful one to look at through binoculars and small telescopes on any given night!


We can catch a glimpse of our most of our solar system neighbors with the naked eye, thanks to Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn’s relative proximity, and even some of the farther ones with a small telescope! 

Though you need a large telescope to see any great detail on these planets, you can pick up some cool features through a pair of good binoculars. You can pick up a few of Jupiter’s moons, for example, showing up as tiny pinpricks of light around the larger dot of light that is our friendly neighborhood gas giant, and Mars has a slightly reddish-brown tinge that is a little more pronounced through a set of binocular lenses. 

4 best places to go stargazing in Atlanta

Fernbank Science Center

156 Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta

Though the skies aren’t quite dark enough to stargaze with the naked eye, you can check out the observatory’s telescope here most Thursday and Friday evenings, if the weather is fair enough for it!

Stone Mountain Park

1000 Robert E Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA

The shores of Stone Mountain Lake are open until midnight, making this a perfect spot to see some starry skies less than half an hour from town.

Red Top Mountain

50 Lodge Road SE, Acworth, GA

About an hour north of Atlanta is the Red Top Mountain State Park and Allatoona Lake, both of which offer astounding stargazing opportunities. Stargaze for a few hours after sunset before driving home, or rent a cabin or campground to get the full night time effect later in the night.

Deerlick Astronomy Village

Crawfordville, GA

This observatory village is all about astronomy and prime-time stargazing, with strict rules around light pollution, headlamp usage, screen light and more in place to allow visitors the best views possible. 

It’s about an hour and a half to get there from Atlanta, but if you’re looking for the absolute best place to go stargazing around Atlanta, then this is, by far, the spot to be. If you’re looking for something a little closer, the A.H. Stephens State Park is 30 minutes closer to the city and has equally beautiful starry views, too!

Happy stargazing!

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Featured photo courtesy Pixabay/StockSnap

Author of Article

Colleen Ford is a South African who now lives in Spokane, Washington. She loves to travel, camp (in warm weather) and bake.

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