Untamed Lowcountry

Got a thing for the Milky Way? 5 perfect South Carolina spots to see the stars above

Summer is coming to a close, but there’s still time to check a few things off your bucket list — including a starlit, romantic picnic or camping trip.

This week is perfect for any of you who love exploring life beyond our tiny blue and green speck in the universe.

The moon will be disappearing for a few days, and summer is known to be the best time to get a clear view of our beloved Milky Way, according to Forbes. September is the perfect month to see the other planets in our solar system.

Granted, you’ll still need a telescope to find two of the planets — Neptune and Uranus — and you can only see Mercury if you wake up in the wee hours of the morning.

Right after sunset, you can see Venus and Jupiter to the southwest, Saturn to the south, and then Mars to the southeast with the naked eye.

You can use this light pollution map to see where you can find the perfect spot to view the stars without harsh streetlights, skyscrapers or billboards to obstruct your view.

Better yet, you can use our handy-dandy list to see which spots in the Palmetto State will be perfect for a romantic, beautiful night among the stars:

1. Hunting Island State Park

The daytime is not the only time this Beaufort County park is beautiful. At night there are no man-made landmarks to block your view — unless you count the Hunting Island Lighthouse.

Looking at the light pollution map, Hunting Island is completely in the green, meaning no bright lights will dim your view.

Whether you rent a cabin or pitch a tent, you can experience Mother Nature’s wonders on land and in the sky.

2. Edisto Beach State Park

About 43 miles from the Holy City lies this perfect island oasis where everyone can enjoy the sand, ocean waves and, this week only, many ofl the planets and stars.

If you want to stay overnight, there are seven cabins available, according to the SC Parks site, but you’ll probably have better luck just staying at the nearby campgrounds.

Make sure to bring your telescope if you want to see planets.

3. Capers Island

Being an island only accessible by boat, it comes as no surprise that you can have a dark, clear view of the sky at this Charleston cove.

The undeveloped island is famous for its “bone-yard” beach where you can see old tree skeletons and stumps from beach erosion.

You might not want to stay overnight, but you will want to pick this island as the spot to see the Milky Way.

4. Kings Mountain

Right on the North Carolina-South Carolina border is the Kings Mountain National Military Park and State Park.

Ordinarily, you’d want to visit the military park to learn about the Revolutionary War battle of Kings Mountain, but this area is also a perfect place to view the stars.

5. Lake Murray

Listening to the last sounds of summer

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This popular Columbia outdoor destination might be a bit close to the Palmetto state’s capital for some stargazers’ liking.

But if you head out to the Lake Murray Shores, you’ll be further from the bright lights of downtown and closer to nature’s natural lights, the stars.

If it’s ever been a dream of yours to look up at those stars while coasting along in a boat, why not do so in this South Carolina hotspot?

Here’s a map of all the spots where you can view the stars and planets this week.