Whether you grew up in the Carolinas or are new to the area, these two states are home to incredible scenic landscapes where you can enjoy the beauty of the night sky. With busier schedules and city lights, it's easy to forget the natural allure and wonder of the stars. So this year, celebrate International Astronomy Day on April 28th by packing a bag, maybe some camping gear and taking off for a relaxing trip to one of these stargazing destinations.
Head to the Outer Banks community of Duck Beach, North Carolina to catch the stars in a quiet seaside town. With miles of pristine beaches, you will have plenty of room to lie on the darkened beach and enjoy nature's light show. During the day, enjoy walking, biking, and the village center with shopping, restaurants, and a waterfront park.
Lake Murray, South Carolina is a 50,000-acre reservoir that is fed by the Saluda River. Located in the four counties of Lexington, Newberry, Saluda, and Richland, Lake Murray offers fishing, bird watching, and of course, a beautiful unsullied nighttime sky. Lake Murray can be enjoyed by boat, visiting one of several parks or recreation areas, or by renting a vacation home.
Linville Gorge, North Carolina is a federal wilderness area in western North Carolina located near the city of Marion. Enjoy challenging hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, stargazing, and endless opportunities for peace and quiet. Look for guided stargazing tours in the area to get the most out of the Gorge's night sky. Need new glasses to see the heavenly bodies clearly? AAA has you covered with great discounts from Target Optical, Glasses.com and LensCrafters.
Locals may not tell you much about Edisto Beach State Park, South Carolina, mainly because they don't want word to get out about the beauty of this uncommercialized family beach. Located 48 miles south of Charleston, Edisto Beach State Park offers fishing, boating access, picnicking, swimming, wetland walking trails, and 112 camping sites. On a clear night, the stargazing at Edisto is spectacular, so bring your telescope if you have one.
Located outside of Pinnacle, Pilot Mountain State Park, North Carolina features a summit that rises an astonishing 2,000 feet above sea level, making it the perfect place to catch a multitude of constellations. It features hiking, rock climbing, fishing, and camping so that you can safely enjoy your time — day or evening. Campground rentals start at $10 per night, so plan to stay for a few days.
Before your stargazing vacation, visit your local AAA Car Care location for all of your vehicle maintenance needs, including battery checks and a free pre-road trip inspection. If you don't want to put miles on your car, rent a car with your 10-20% AAA discount from Hertz. Visit your local AAA travel agent to make trip planning easy with hotel discounts, reservations, and TripTiks, AAA's exclusive travel planner. Make sure you download AAA's free mobile app, so you can request roadside assistance, map a route, find cheap gas prices, and much more. You can also use the app to access member discounts along your way at over 164,000 locations. We want you to have peace of mind while you travel, so call your local AAA Insurance Agent at 1-866-315-1252 to make sure you have the right insurance to protect your home.