It’s true, they say everything is bigger in Texas — including the night’s sky. We’re rounding up some of our favorite spots + tips for an unforgettable stargazing experience in the Hill Country:
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area 💫
Considered an International Dark Sky Park, this natural area boasts some incredible views of the sky. You can join a park ranger Fri., Nov. 5-Sat., Nov. 6 for their Stargazing 101 event — no hiking involved.
Pro tip: Book your tickets in advance to secure your spot. Editor Ivan learned that the hard way.
Guadalupe River State Park 💫
The Guadalupe River isn’t just for tubing — you can look forward to a Star Party on Sat., Nov. 13 with members of the San Antonio Astronomical Association on site to help guide those in pointing out constellations + planets. Visitors will meet up at the overflow parking lot — no registration required.
Finally, here are our tips for what we wish we knew on our first time stargazing:
General + Attire
- Visit during an “observing season” — lasting from daylight saving time in November through March.
- Time your trip around a new moon to minimize light pollution and maximize your view of the Milky Way. Plan ahead by checking out this dark sky calendar.
- Boots, hats, gloves + blankets are a must for those winter nights — even Texas can get a bit chilly. Thermal undergarments can make a big difference when it comes to keeping warm.
- Wear pants + long sleeve tops in case of bugs or thorny areas if hiking at a park.
- Pack a “red” flashlight — it can take up to 20-30 minutes for eyes to adjust from regular, bright light. Don’t have one? Make your own with a piece of red plastic + a rubber band over a normal flashlight.
- Dust off those old binoculars or a DSLR camera if you’re looking to capture a closer view at the night sky. Check out the Texas Park’s astrophotography guide for mastering those perfect starscape shots.
- Bring a container for water — the closest faucet might be a ways from your viewing location.
- Choose a lightweight backpack and stuff with “camping essentials” — first aid supplies, medication, snacks, etc.
We can’t wait to hit the road and see the star-lit night for ourselves. Stay safe + happy viewing, San Antonio.