Meteor showers can be a trickle, or they can be astounding natural events. Either way, these light shows give people a glimpse of the vastness of space and, in many ways, motivate people to be more in tune with nature. However, there’s one major hurdle that prevents many people from ever experiencing a meteor shower: light pollution from home and city outdoor lighting. Unless you live in a dark country location, your own backyard probably isn’t the best place to watch a meteor shower. With this in mind, here’s a list of 10 places to see the meteor showers in the U.S., recommended by AccuWeather.
Note: In 2020, some public parks are closed due to Covid-19. Be sure to check with these parks first, before you go.
1. Big Bend National Park, Texas. The world’s best places to see meteor showers are going to be untouched environments, such as national parks. Big Bend National Park in far west Texas has night skies that are nothing short of magical. It’s a great place to watch a meteor shower!
2. Joshua Tree National Park, California. Given the many densely populated cities in California, it’s hard to imagine that this state would have good sites to see meteor showers. But – like all states in the United States – it does. Beloved Joshua Tree National Park is one of the places in California to see stars and meteors.
3. Death Valley, California/Nevada. Don’t let its name scare you. Straddling California and Nevada, Death Valley – with its naturally dark skies – is another hot spot for meteor showers and stargazing.
4. Finger Lakes, New York. Much like California, New York has densely populated areas. But New York has the beauty of the Finger Lakes for people to enjoy. Because Finger Lakes are located away from the bright lights of the city, its night skies provide an incredible view.
5. The area around Tucson, Arizona. This desert region is surrounded by tall hills and mountains, places where you can get up high to look at the sky.
6. Denali National Park, Alaska. Generally speaking, Alaska is a place many would expect to find on this list. The state is full of natural beauty. That said, Denali National Park in Alaska is known for its dark skies.
7. Brockway Mountain, Michigan. A great place for stargazing and meteor-watching in the upper midwest.
9. White Sands, New Mexico. While it is not as flat as Death Valley, White Sands is flat enough and dark enough to provide a great platform for meteor-watching.
10. Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Stargazing and meteor-watching under Utah’s glorious night skies … what could be better?
Bottom line: Ten recommended sites for watching meteor showers, from AccuWeather and the editors of EarthSky.
Members of the EarthSky community - including scientists, as well as science and nature writers from across the globe - weigh in on what's important to them. Photo by Robert Spurlock.