Hollywood may be where you thought the stars hung out, but the real stars are everywhere — you just have to look up! And, while the best places to view the night sky are usually found in remote locations with little light pollution, there are still a bunch of great stargazing spots in big urban areas, including New York City.
Yep, believe it or not, there are plenty of locations across the five boroughs where folks gather to look toward the sky and take in the natural beauty of the universe. Here is our handy guide to the best stargazing spots across the city that never sleeps.
Lincoln Center – While you might not think the middle of Manhattan is the best place to watch the sky, the Amateur Astronomer’s Association of New York holds regular stargazing nights on Fridays and Saturdays all summer long on the plaza north of the fountain.
Inwood Hill Park – At the most northern tip of the island of Manhattan lies Inwood Hill Park, where the Amateur Astronomer’s Association of New York hosts occasional stargazing sessions at the baseball diamonds in the fall.
Brooklyn Bridge Park – For some great stargazing and unbeatable views of New York City’s Financial District, head over to Brooklyn Bridge Park. In partnership with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the Amateur Astronomer’s Association of New York hosts stargazing events around twice a month during the summer.
The Evergreens Cemetery – Stargazing in a Brooklyn cemetery might not be your first choice but hear us out: The lack of light in the cemetery really helps open the night sky.
Hunter’s Point South Park – Gaze out across the East River toward Midtown Manhattan from Hunter’s Point South Park, which includes a central green, playgrounds, adult fitness equipment a dog run, a bikeway, a waterside promenade, picnic terraces, a basketball court, and a 30-foot-tall, cantilevered platform for viewing the skyline and waterfront.
Alley Pond Environmental Center – In Little Neck, Queens, try the Alley Pond Environmental Center for some great views of the stars. You can also try your hand at New York City’s first public high ropes adventure course — the largest in the Northeast.
Gateway National Recreation Area – Taking the ferry to Staten Island is a stargazing adventure, but if you’re looking for some views, Gateway National Recreation Area is the move. You can enjoy green spaces and beaches alongside historic structures and cultural landscapes.
Woodlawn Cemetery – Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx is a massive space with a high-quality night sky compared to the surrounding area. The Amateur Astronomer’s Association of New York hosts guided stargazing walks here, too.
The MTA also has a handy guide for places just outside of the five boroughs (mainly Long Island and New York state) to stargaze to your heart’s content. These include Wassaic Multiple Use Area, Montauk Point State Park, Vanderbilt Space Observatory, Harriman State Park, and more.
Finally, if you want a surefire look at the night sky — and don’t want to have to rely on the weather holding — the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History is your best bet. Since 1935, the Hayden Planetarium has been wowing crowds and inspiring a new generation of cosmic explorers with its breathtaking visuals.
Oh, and if you’re looking to enjoy the New York night sky with friends and family, there’s no better way to do so than by embarking on one of the many evening dinner cruises, where you can savor delicious food and drink while you gaze toward the heavens. Cruises can take you on a romantic journey on both the East River and Hudson River, complete with delicious plated dinners with freshly prepared entrees, salads, and desserts. Of course, you’ll also enjoy panoramic, breathtaking views of the Big Apple’s skyline from the fully glass-enclosed deck or the open top deck. Some cruises even feature live band performances, DJs, dancing, and more. Get ready to set sail!