Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument at night (Photograph by John Hicks, Corbis)

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Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument at night (Photograph by John Hicks, Corbis)

The Best Places to Stargaze in America

For 25 years, NASA’s orbiting Hubble telescope has beamed mesmerizing images of our universe. But Earth dwellers can get stellar celestial views, too.

Here are three trip-worthy dark-sky havens in the United States:

> Lake Powell (Utah)

The combination of a thin atmosphere and lack of artificial light for miles gives Natural Bridges National Monument a bright, clear sky. View the colorful Milky Way through the “window” of the massive Owachomo Bridge.

> Mackinaw City (Michigan)

Located along the shore of Lake Michigan, Headlands International Dark Sky Park is one of 20 designated night-sky parks in the world. See the constellations reflected in the water.

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> Sedona (Arizona)

Gaze at the sky from Cathedral Rock in the Coconino National Forest. Recently recognized as the world’s eighth dark-sky community, Sedona has clear skies at least 300 days each year.

Monika Joshi is a researcher at National Geographic Traveler magazine. Follow her adventures on Twitter @TweeterMJ.

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