Whether we're embroidering our flags with portraits of the Southern Cross or blasting off toward Mars, humans are constantly demonstrating how fundamental the appeal of the heavens is to our cultures. To put it simply, there is nothing quite like looking to the night sky.
There are also several night skies. Only travelers get to view the entire quilt of the heavens, all the constellations and their southern cousins, so looking up should be as fundamental a part of travel as looking around.
From the front porch of your favorite ranch to the sandy shores of luxury resorts and spas around the world, here at the top places to go stargazing.
-- Chad Chisholm
Overlooking the city and on the pristine grounds of Rome Cavalieri, the stars do come out over the city, or in the Planetarium Suite. Complete with fibre-optic stars, the romantic retreat includes a spectacular private rooftop terrace with hot tub. Whether watching nature's wonders or enjoying the sparkling inlays of the suite, stargazing is simply spectacular when in Rome. (Photo credit: Rome Cavalieri)
The tropical breezes are blowing, but the stars are out tonight at Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. With a spa almost as big as the universe, the views from the beach, balcony, or central courtyard are all stunning at this Hawaiian Resort located on Maui. From the softly lapping waves to the over-the-top swimming pools and beautiful accommodations, Grand Wailea is the ultimate luxury stargazing location on the islands. (Photo credit: Grand Wailea)
A blanket of stars and views of the Milky Way are stunning at Wyoming all-inclusive Brush Creek Ranch. Far from "roughin' it" on the sprawling ranch, the stunning starscape is viewable from the front porch of the main lodge or from the gas-fed campfires near your personal cabins. Whether enjoying the sprawling lodge or coming from the saloon, the stars are incredible at this Wyoming luxury ranch. (Photo credit: Brush Creek Ranch)
Whether enjoying the stars from the private pool and surrounding gardens, or from the central courtyard with open dining spaces and terraces, El Sueno Villa in Mallorca, Spain is a wonderful place to view stars. One of the best luxury villas in the world, the 5-bedroom estate is located on the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain affording breathtaking views, luxury accommodations, and incredible experiences all over the island retreat. (Photo credit: Abercrombie & Kent)
With an all-ages stargazing program, Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is a great escape into the sky. With a professional telescope on the patio of the resort's Ignite Bar and Gastro-pub, searching for shooting stars is complete with a "Stargazing Dessert" station, filled with sky-inspired treats. So bite into a Black Hole Brownie or a Lemon Moon Pie and keep your eyes to the sky at this inspired stargazing location. (Photo credit: Ritz-Carlton)
Soaking in the heavens is simple with the Starbath at Sanctuary Baines' Camp. Seeing the stars from the tub is an experience like no other in this pristine African setting. Located on the Boro River, the low-impact environmental camp is a star sanctuary with expanses of beautiful heaves opening over the African landscape at night. Whether enjoying the Starbath or a dinner under a canopy of twinkling lights, Sanctuary Baines' Camp is a decidedly beautiful stargazing destination. (Photo credit: Sanctuary Baines' Camp)
Dig your toes into the sand at this Floridian stargazing spot. With crashing waves and tiki-lit lounges, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, member of Summit Hotels & Resorts, is a fantastic place to count the constellations and enjoy the night sky. Dance the evening away at the poolside bar with live music, or snuggle up with the sand in your toes and look into the galaxy at this beautiful resort. (Photo credit: Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa)
"Glamping" has become a popular phrase, and this luxury Montana ranch resort is a perfect depiction. Located on 37,000 acres, the pristine The Resort at Paws Up Ranch in Montanta includes several luxury camping areas and perfect stargazing perches. Counting shooting stars while enjoying luxury tent camping is a must-do experience while in this beautiful locale. (Photo credit: The Resort at Paws Up)