Nothing is more humbling nor more mind-blowing than gazing into the infinity of space. And if you're interested in astronomy, nothing beats visiting an amazing observatory on your vacation. Luckily, opportunities exist all over the world–you just need to find them. Then you're in for a sparkling delight.
If you're planning a trip to Hawaii, don't miss the opportunity to watch space through some of the world's largest telescopes. You can find these in the observatories on the Big Island of Hawaii, and they'll provide unforgettable space experiences. The Mauna Kea Observatories offer stunning views, both with telescopes and without. Here you truly get to experience the feeling of being "on top of the world." Watching the sun set or rise here is magical.
The Spanish island Tenerife is home to an enormous dormant volcano that is also the largest peak in the country. On it, located in the Teide National Park, you'll find the Teide observatory houses with advanced equipment for watching the stars. A tour of the facility is educational and will give you a sense of astronomy's complexity.
With its dramatic volcanoes, salt flats, and hot springs, the Chilean landscape feels a bit like space itself. Since ancient times, people have been gazing at the starry sites from the Chile desert, where several astronomy tours occur. San Pedro de Atacama tours are among the highest-rated ones. Experts mix old practices with technology to give a memorable night, and unique cameras allow you to capture your experience.
In Vegas, everything is dialed up to 11 and emblazoned in gold. Here your tour starts at a winery before continuing to the breathtaking Death Valley National Park. This is a perfect place for enjoying the sparkling night sky, which will feel even more appealing after the neon lights of Vegas. Wine and stargazing—what could go wrong??
Watching the night sky from Boulder is the perfect highlight of your Colorado trip. Experts will point out the exciting phenomenons with laser pointers and, as groups are kept at a maximum of 12 people, they'll have time to answer all your questions. Oh, and another great thing: this tour comes with snacks. Nothing stirs an appetite like gazing into space.
At the Santiago, observatory expert astronomers guide you through the intricacies of space using a wide range of advanced telescopes. A cool thing about this particular Chilean observatory is that you can watch stars when the sun is still shining. As the day turns into night, you can continue the stargazing while enjoying the complimentary wine and cheese. The experience is really as good as it gets.
While famous as a luxurious honeymoon destination, Bora Bora offers much more than white beaches and clear water. Here you can combine your interest in stars with romance, and as the sun sets, sail away on a cruise to experience it. Sip on crisp champagne while you wait for the crew to prepare an evening of not only stargazing but a crash course in how Polynesians historically have used the stars to navigate the water.
Palm Desert, California, is a beautiful place at night. Experience the area with an open Jeep ride through the dramatic and scenic landscape. Watch the stars, and talk about wildlife, geology, and history with the guides.
Soak in the hot springs of Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, and gaze at the sparkling night sky. Sounds good, right? Leaning back in a floating hammock may be the most comfortable and spa-like astronomical experience out there.
If you drive outside of the city of Bend, you'll find beautiful opportunities to watch the dark sky. Go on your own or go with a guide to access a telescope and expertise. And why not include a wine tour of Bend's wide variety of wineries while you're at it?