Best time to travel to Maine

Stargazing in Maine

Gaze up in the night sky and look for remote galaxies and space objects

Best time: all year round (best July–August)

Acadia National Park

Being a relatively low populated and rural state, Maine offers great stargazing opportunities. Thanks to some efforts to limit light pollution, the state hosts a few Dark Sky Sanctuaries and viewing areas specially designated for stargazing. The best time to experience the night sky in Maine is summer. July and August not only bring the best weather, but also the best visibility of the sky full of stars. So grab some blankets and maps of the starry sky, and you will surely have a night to remember.

Acadia National Park

Located on the Maine coastline, Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park offer endless clear night skies. Light pollution is quite low due to the remoteness of big cities and the efforts of the Bar Harbor conservation commission to limit light pollution in the park.

Sand Beach, Jordan Pond, Ocean Path, and the west side of Mount Desert Island are among the best locations for nighttime excursions in the park. The view of the Milky Way is stunning here in late summer and early fall. National Park hosts the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival every September.

The Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument

The Katahdin region is known as one of the best stargazing spots on the East Coast with an outstandingly starry sky. Constellations, the Milky Way galaxy, and even the occasional northern lights can be seen on a clear night. No wonder Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has been recognized as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark Sky Association. A great place for hiking, paddling, and other outdoor activities, the park has minimum light pollution and hosts astronomy events in the fall.

Cobscook Bay State Park

Located at the top right corner of Maine, in Washington County, Cobscook Bay State Park is one of the top places for stargazing in the state. Thanks to low light pollution and plenty of public accommodations available, it has become a popular spot for astronomy gatherings. Every August since 2006 it hosts the Maine State Star Party, attracting professional and amateur astronomers.

Those who want to educate themselves about space will also find plenty of opportunities in Maine. Blueberry Pond Observatory in Pownal, Starfield Observatory in Kennebunk, and Southworth Planetarium at the University of Southern Maine in Portland feature numerous exhibits as well as science and astronomy programs.

Practical info

When is the best time to go stargazing in Maine?

Visitors can enjoy stargazing in Maine throughout the year. Nevertheless, the most enjoyable time is in summer, when clear weather accompanies the best views of the night sky filled with an array of stars. Show more

Where are the best spots for stargazing in Acadia National Park?

Acadia National Park in Mount Desert Island presents stargazers with multiple locations to explore the starry sky, including Ocean Path, Sand Beach on Jordan Pond's west side. One can enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Milky Way on late summer and early autumn nights when light pollution is lessened. Show more

What is Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument known for in terms of stargazing?

The East Coast's premium location for stargazing is the Katahdin region, which houses Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This internationally recognized site has been designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary due to the spectacular view of the constellation, the Milky Way galaxy, and occasional glimpses of northern lights on a clear night. Show more

When does Cobscook Bay State Park hold the Maine State Star Party event?

Cobscook Bay State Park is an exceptional venue for astronomy enthusiasts. It hosts a Maine State Star Party event annually in August, a popular phenomenon since 2006. The park's location provides minimal light pollution and plentiful public lodgings, making it an ideal rendezvous for both professional and amateur astronomers. Show more

What educational opportunities related to space can be found in Maine?

Maine is home to numerous observatories and planetariums, including Blueberry Pond Observatory in Pownal, Starfield Observatory in Kennebunk, and Southworth Planetarium in Portland's University of Southern Maine. Visitors can broaden their knowledge of the universe and learn about space science through various displays and science programs, providing them with a fascinating opportunity for astronomical exploration. Show more

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