Stargazing Spots In Florida

Best 15 Stargazing Spots In Florida (updated)

Some people say that the best way to appreciate the universe is to look at it. But where can you find a spot with enough space and no light pollution? The dark skies of Florida have made it one of the best stargazing places in America.

The sky is so dark due to its large number of uninhabited areas. In addition, it has no major urban centers, which means that light pollution, like in most coastal cities, is at a minimum.

Here are 15 of them, from urban parks to dark patches in nature preserves.

1. Apalachicola National Forest

 Apalachicola National Forest

Apalachicola National Forest is a beautiful and vast forest located in the Florida Panhandle. It’s one of the darkest places in the state, making it perfect for stargazing. With over 1,000,000 acres of land to explore, you’re sure to find a shady spot to gaze at the stars.

The best time to visit Apalachicola National Forest for stargazing is during the new moon when the sky is at its darkest.

The Apalachicola National Forest was established in the 1930s as a conservation project for Florida’s fragile watershed.

The forest​ is covered by pine and oak trees, and it offers hiking, wildlife viewing, and wildlife picnicking opportunities. More than 700 miles of trails provide a chance to explore the forest on foot, horseback, or bike. In addition, the Apalachicola River and the many tributaries provide fishing and canoeing opportunities.

Apalachicola National Forest is open year-round from 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM. Camping with a permit is available at Bostwick Lake, Rookery Bay, and Tillman Waterhole campgrounds.

2. Bayview Park

Bayview Park

Bayview Park is a beautiful waterfront park in Florida City. The park features a 1.8-mile boardwalk along the Biscayne Bay and educational exhibits and public programs about the ecosystems of Biscayne National Park. There’s also an excellent view of the Atlantic Ocean from the southern side of the boardwalk.

The best time to stargaze at Bayview Park is an early evening just before it gets dark out when you can enjoy a sunset and see Venus rise above Miami’s skyline.

Located off SW 328th Street in Florida City, Bayview Park is open daily from 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM. It has public restrooms, and no camping or swimming facilities are available.

3. Blackwater River State Park

Blackwater River State Park is a beautiful park located in the Panhandle of Florida. The park is known for its dark skies, making it perfect for stargazing.

The park has a nature trail that leads visitors through various ecosystems, including longleaf pine forests and swamps. There are also campsites available if you want to spend the night under the stars.

Blackwater River State Park is open from 8:00 AM – sundown year-round. It has public restrooms, picnic areas, and a playground. Camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis for $20 per night plus tax.

4. Blue Spring State Park

Blue Spring State Park is a beautiful park located in Orange City, Florida. It has one of the most evident springs in the state, and it’s known for its dark skies, making it perfect for stargazing.

The park has several trails for visitors to hike along while enjoying views of the St. Johns River. Blue Spring also provides canoeing paddling opportunities.

Open from 8:00 AM – sundown year-round, Blue Spring State Park offers public restrooms, picnic areas, campsites with water and electricity (30 amp), hiking trails, playgrounds, and boat ramps. A $6 vehicle entry fee applies when visiting all Florida state parks.

5. Brushy Creek Trail

Brushy Creek Trail is a beautiful hiking trail located in Sanford, Florida. The course offers several trails for visitors to explore the forest while keeping an eye on the sky.

The best time of year to stargaze at Brushy Creek Trail is during meteor showers in late summer when the skies are at their darkest.

Brushy Creek Trail is open from sunrise-sunset, and admission is free. It has public restrooms, and no camping or swimming facilities are available.

6. Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area (CMA)

Chassahowitzka WMA, also known as CMA, contains over 70,000 acres of wildlife habitat that provides recreational opportunities such as fishing, hunting, and viewing throughout Hernando County.

The area is also great for stargazing as the unpolluted night sky provides a clear view of the stars and planets.

CMA is open during daylight hours. However, the gates close at sunset. There are no public restrooms or camping facilities available, but you can bring your food and drinks. Fishing is allowed without a license, and there is a $2 parking fee.

7. Curry Hammock State Park

Curry Hammock State Park is an excellent place to go stargazing in the Keys. The park offers 30 campsites with water and electric hookups, as well as primitive camping areas.

The park has kayak and canoe launch ramps, hiking trails, bird-watching opportunities, and a playground for children.

Curry Hammock State Park is open from 8:00 AM – sundown year-round. It has public restrooms, boat ramps, campsites with water and electric hookups or primitive campsites, hiking trails, picnic areas, kayak/canoe launch ramps, and a playground. Fees vary per activity.

8. Daniel Beard Boy Scout Camp

Located in Ocala, Florida, the Daniel Beard Boy Scout Camp is an excellent place to stargaze in the Sunshine State. The skies are very dark at night due to its isolated location far away from urban development.

The best time to stargaze at this park is during meteor showers, when you can see bright streaks of light in the sky from falling meteors.

The Daniel Beard Boy Scout Camp is open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM. However, a parking fee of $1-per-car applies Monday through Saturday and a $5-per-vehicle entry fee on Sundays. It has restrooms, a camp store, a dining hall, and bunkhouses for scouts to stay while attending camp.

9. Dead Lakes State Recreation Area

Dead Lakes State Recreation Area is a fantastic place to stargaze in Central Florida near Bartow. The skies are very dark due to their isolation, far away from urban development.

In addition to looking up at the night sky from this recreation area, you can also enjoy several other recreational opportunities such as fishing, hunting, bird-watching, and hiking.

Dead Lakes State Recreation Area is open from sunrise-sunset and has a $1 vehicle entry fee. It has public restrooms, boat ramps, campsites with water & electric hookups (30 amp), picnic areas, fishing docks, and canoe/kayak launch ramps.

10. Econfina River Wilderness Trail

Locally known as the ‘Skyway’ trail due to the high concentration of stars visible at night, the Econfina River Wilderness Trail is an excellent option for stargazing in Florida because of its isolated location far away from urban development nearby cities.

Be aware that this trail can be very dangerous after dark due to alligators living in the area, so it is best to go during the day if possible.

Econfina River Wilderness Trail is open from sunrise to sunset and has no admission fees. It has public restrooms, and primitive camping is available. Hiking, bird-watching, and fishing are popular activities along the trail.

11. Kelly Park/Rock Spring

Kelly Park/Rock Spring is a great place to go stargazing in Central Florida because of its dark skies and lack of light pollution from urban areas.

The park offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as swimming, picnicking, hiking, and fishing.

Kelly Park/Rock Spring is open from 8:00 AM – sundown year-round, and admission is free. It has public restrooms, picnic areas, a playground, and fishing docks.

12. Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park is an excellent place to go stargazing in Southwest Florida because of its dark skies and lack of light pollution from urban areas.

The park offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as hiking, biking, bird-watching, and kayaking.

Myakka River State Park is open from 8:00 AM – sundown year-round, and admission is free. It has public restrooms, picnic areas, a playground, and a nature center. Bicycles are available for rent at the park. Kayaks and canoes can be rented at the canoe concession area

13. Ocala National Forest

Ocala National Forest is a great place to go stargazing in North-Central Florida because of its dark skies and lack of light pollution from urban areas.

The forest offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding.

Ocala National Forest is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and free admission. It has public restrooms, campgrounds with water & electric hookups (30 amp), picnic areas, and hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.

14. Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is a fantastic place to go stargazing in North Florida because of its dark skies and lack of light pollution from urban areas.

The park offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as camping, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking, bicycling, hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is open from 8:00 AM – sundown year-round and free admission. It has public restrooms, picnic areas with grills & tables, two group shelters (8 people each), twelve first-come/first-serve campsites (water/electric hookups available for $30 per night), and equestrian trail, an observation tower on the lake, and a boat ramp.

15. St. Andrews State Park

St. Andrews State Park is an excellent place to go stargazing in Northwest Florida because of its dark skies and lack of light pollution from urban areas.

The park offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as camping, hiking, picnicking, swimming, boating with rentals available, bicycling (rentals are also available), fishing, bird-watching, wildlife viewing, and scuba diving (certification required).

St. Andrews State Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year but has no entry fee after sundown. It has public restrooms for campers showers ($), rental cabins (8 people each, $100/night), group shelters (8 people each), group campsites (2 vehicle max per site, water & electric hookups available for $30-$40 per night.

Conclusion

There are many great places in Florida to go stargazing because of its dark skies and lack of light pollution from urban areas.

These parks offer a variety of recreational opportunities such as swimming, fishing, hiking, camping, and more. In addition, stargazing is a great activity for families and friends to enjoy together.

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