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Stargazing in New York City

February 19 2024

When you think of a big city like New York, stargazing isn’t your first thought. But despite the light pollution and the towering skyscrapers, there are still plenty of places in the Big Apple where you can catch a glimpse of the stars under the right conditions. 

Whether you live in the city, or you’re visiting for a vacation or work, if you’re treated to a clear night, here are the best places to stargaze in New York. 

couple sit on the grass with a telescope

Riverside Park 

Located just an eight-minute walk from the Hotel Beacon, Riverside Park is one of the best spots on the Upper West Side to see the stars. The park is on the Hudson River, offering great views of the city skyline, Brooklyn, and the water. 

While the park is still in the heart of the city, its position on the water means there are no obstructions when you look up. Simply head into the park, find a comfy spot, lay back on the grass, and enjoy the view. For the best results, choose the darkest area you can find in the park, focus on the darkest point in the sky, and turn all phone/camera lights down. 

Central Park 

Central Park covers an impressive 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) and is a haven in the city for both residents and visitors. With miles of trails, gardens, and woodlands to explore, the park is a contrast to the city that surrounds it.

With so much space, there are plenty of dark spots where you can catch a glimpse of the stars away from the city lights. The Great Lawn is a particularly good location as it is removed from both the trees and the lights, offering great views of the sky above. 

The High Line 

The High Line opened in 2009 and has since grown to become an icon of American landscape architecture. The park runs along old railway tracks and is elevated above the city streets, offering a unique vantage point.

While the park closes at night (8 pm in winter and 10 pm in spring/summer/fall), you still have a few hours of darkness to find a good spot to capture the night sky. The High Line also boasts great views over New York City, offering a contrast between the night sky and the city lights. 

New York skyline at night


New York is home to plenty of different rooftop viewing platforms, and the higher you go, the closer you are to the skies above. Edge, the highest outdoor viewing deck in New York (and in the Western Hemisphere), is open until 9 pm - meaning in the winter months you can head 100 stories up and sit under the night sky. 

Guided Stargazing 

New York has a lot of light pollution and finding stars in the night sky without a guide or equipment can be difficult. The city is home to several different stargazing groups that meet up across the city throughout the year. The Amateur Astronomers Association is a great place to start if you’re hoping to get involved in stargazing in NYC. 


Stargazing in New York simply isn’t always possible due to the weather and the light pollution. If you’re desperate to see the stars, NYC is home to some of the best planetariums in the world - and there are plenty to choose from.

Whether you opt for the Hayden Planetarium, The Hudson River Museum Planetarium, or the Gustafson Planetarium, you will be treated to a guaranteed view of the Milky Way, with the experts on hand for any questions you might have about the night sky. 

Are you visiting New York in 2024? The Beacon Hotel is located in the heart of the Upper West Side within walking distance from some of the city’s best attractions. Learn more about our apartment-style suites.