Do you remember the last time you looked at the stars? I mean, really looked at them. You don’t have to be an astronomer to appreciate a starry night sky. But with so much light pollution, it can be hard to find the best places to go stargazing in Florida. If you’re seeking an unadulterated night sky experience, the Forgotten Coast is the place to be.
The area is around 70 miles from the nearest “big” city and is surrounded by National Forest, State Lands, and the Gulf of Mexico. Virtually no light pollution takes away from the full splendor. Also, the Forgotten Coast enforces a lighting ordinance to protect sea turtles, including Turtle Safe Beach Lighting. Franklin County, Florida, is so perfect for viewing the starscape that Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park is applying for Dark Sky Certification from the International Dark Sky Association. Only one other park in Florida has acquired this certification.
Just looking up from anywhere on the Forgotten Coast can prove to be a rewarding night-sky encounter. But if you want to get the best view in a truly remote area, you can go to Dr. Julian Bruce St. George Island State Park. The state park has constructed a night sky viewing platform and holds special events with a large telescope.
Nothing but the willingness to stay out after dark is needed to see the starscape from most of the Forgotten Coast. However, viewing the heavens from the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park might be worth jumping through a few hoops. Those that carry an Annual Florida State Parks Pass can apply for an after-hours permit—which would allow for staying into the night. Otherwise, visitors could attend a nighttime event offered by the park or reserve a campsite and stay all night.
If the beauty and brilliance of the starry heavens is what you are looking for, then you should make plans to visit the Forgotten Coast. The area is bursting with outdoor activities day and night! Plan your vacation to this beautiful and pristine beach destination today!
Photo Credit: Instagram @steven_saccio