Best time to travel to New Hampshire

Stargazing in New Hampshire 2023-2024

Explore plenty of stargazing opportunities across the Granite State

Best time: all year round

New Castle

In New Hampshire, you can take in the star-studded night sky anywhere: from your backyard to state parks and numerous observatories. You can plan a charming stargazing weekend at a campground in the woods, somewhere at a lake, or in the mountains. The options are ample.

When to stargaze in New Hampshire

Stargazing is an all-year-round activity, with different seasonal highlights and advantages. Many prefer summer for better weather. Plus, the Milky Way is seen in the Northern Hemisphere between March and October. In contrast, during winter months, the views are less hazy due to the cold air, which contains less moisture than the warm air. Another bonus is longer night hours—the sky gets fully dark by the evening, and you don't need to sacrifice your sleep.

Stargazing spots

Crawford Notch Depot

One of the most amazing ways to behold the starry night over New Hampshire must be a scenic train ride by the Conway Scenic Railroad. Hop aboard the historic Crawford Notch Depot, built in Crawford Notch State Park in 1891, and get to a secluded pass across the White Mountains. Clear from light pollution, this area guarantees perfect views on a cloudless and moonless night.

Picturesque places

If you'd like to see the majestic universe reflected in the pristine waters, plan a getaway at White Lake State Park, Umbagog Lake State Park, or New Castle Island. More nice sites include Lake Solitude at the base of Mount Sunapee, Spofford Lake with a Camp Notre Dame, and Lake Wakewan. To add special charm to your stargazing experience, visit the beautiful Monadnock region and its authentic Francestown Barn. And if you're a hiking enthusiast, you will want to observe the stars from Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northwest. Just check the forecast, as this mountain is known for its dramatic weather.


Lastly, those who are interested in astronomy hot spots will appreciate New Hampshire's observatories. For example, check out Shattuck Observatory at Dartmouth College in Hanover or UNH Observatory in Durham. Note that the latter also holds the New England Fall Astronomy Festival.

In fact, the state has many more stargazing spots worth visiting. You can even make a road trip itinerary to see as many places as possible. Find out more ideas on New Hampshire's Space Grant Consortium's website, which you can find in the External Resources below. Also, if you wish to stay nearby, the map suggests the best accommodations available.

Practical info

What are some of the best stargazing spots in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire provides various stargazing locations like Crawford Notch Depot, Lake Solitude at the base of Mount Sunapee, Umbagog Lake State Park, New Castle Island, Spofford Lake, and Lake Wakewan. You can also consider climbing up Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northwest, for better views. Besides, there are observatories like the Shattuck Observatory at Dartmouth College and the UNH Observatory in Durham for observation and exploration. Show more

When is the best time to stargaze in New Hampshire?

Stargazing in New Hampshire is an all-season activity with seasonal advantages. The winter months offer clearer views as there's less moisture in the air, whereas summers are preferable for good weather. Moreover, you can see the Milky Way in the Northern Hemisphere from March to October. So, you don't have to skip sleep during the winter for extended night hours. Show more

Can I go stargazing on Mount Washington?

Mount Washington, the highest peak in Northwest, is an excellent spot for stargazing. However, it is crucial to check the weather forecasts beforehand as the mountain is known for its unpredictable weather. Other than this, places such as Crawford Notch State Park and the Monadnock region with its Francestown Barn are inviting for hiking and stargazing. Show more

Are there any special events related to stargazing in New Hampshire?

The New England Fall Astronomy Festival is held annually between late September and early October at UNH Observatory in Durham. Organized events, astronomical exhibits, and informational lectures from experts in the field are the highlights that participants can enjoy. Besides, the Space Grant Consortium of New Hampshire contains stargazing experience information, including road trips and lodging recommendations. Show more

What observatories can I visit in New Hampshire?

You can explore many observatories in New Hampshire, including the Shattuck Observatory at Hanover's Dartmouth College and the UNH Observatory in Durham. A visit to these places is recommended if you are keen on astronomy. The New England Fall Astronomy Festival is hosted annually by UNH Observatory. You can access more information about stargazing across the state on the Space Grant Consortium's website. Show more

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