In Texas, the stars at night may be big and bright, but if you live near one of the five major cities, you may have to drive a ways to see them. With that in mind, here are a few places that offer such a view in the central part of the Lone Star State.
If you take Highway 31 east from the Waco exit of I-35, you will drive for only a short time before you leave the lights of the city behind and start going up a little higher into the hills. Except where there is currently some construction, there are several wide-shouldered areas where one might pull over and get a good view of the constellations and any other interesting goings-on in the sky.
Near San Marcos
Further south, down near San Marcos, if you drive to Lockhart and then take almost any of the farm market roads to the north and east of there, you will go high into the hills, far from sources of light pollution. During the day, you can see for miles into the valleys beneath you. At night, the celestial view awaits.
Near Liberty Hill and Lampasas
If you take Highway 183 north out of Austin, in between Liberty Hill and Lampasas lies an area that offers many opportunities for seeing meteor showers or even just the regular stars of the sky show. Farm Market Road 963 is particularly low in population, and might be the best place, though it is hardly the only one, where you might get a nice night sky view.
Near Dripping Springs and Fredericksburg
Another good viewing area with low light pollution is off Highway 290, between Dripping Springs and Fredericksburg. Depending on the time of night, there are places quite close to the town of Fredericksburg itself that afford a nice dark viewing area, such as south on Highway 87. There are some abandoned places near there that make a little spooky, but if you don't mind that, this might be just the place to take your telescope. Head out 290 on the other side of Austin and you might find a good spot between Giddings and Carmine, if you head south on Round Top Road.
- Travel & Tourism