Do you call Dallas or Fort Worth home? Or, are you planning a trip there for business or pleasure? In either case, you might want to go stargazing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area… and that sounds a lot easier than it is.
While it’s certainly possible to go stargazing near Dallas or Fort Worth, you need to know where to go. Luckily, we’ve put together this guide with all the recommended stargazing spots in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding area. Read on to find the best places for stargazing in DFW.
The Best Stargazing Spots in Dallas
Photo credit: Kurt Haubrich via Flickr
Like most cities, the stargazing options in Dallas are limited. This is the reality of living in a metropolitan area with 6.8 million other people (the total population of Dallas-Fort Worth area). We’ve put together a map with the places in this guide that you can use to get a quick view of each place we recommend.
As you can see on the map above, there’s one spot that can be good if you can’t get out of the city and want to try and see the stars.
Harry S. Moss Park
Harry S. Moss Park is part of the larger White Rock Creek Greenbelt that cuts through northeast Dallas. Parts of the White Rock Creek Greenbelt are forested, but there are some fields and open areas where you can get a better, more complete view of the sky. Harry S. Moss Park itself is focused on mountain biking and has five routes that comprise 5.46-miles of trails to ride. Once the sun goes down, there are a few spots within the park (and the Greenbelt) where you can get a decent view of the stars due to the elevation gains in this part of the Greenbelt.
7601 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX, dallasparks.org
The Best Stargazing Spots in Fort Worth
Photo credit: Lars Plougmann via Flickr
Similar to Dallas, Fort Worth suffers from a lot of light pollution and there aren’t many options for stargazing in the city. These locations a good option for those who don’t have the time or inclination to drive out away from the city lights.
Tandy Hills Natural Area
While Tandy Hills Natural Area is located pretty close to the heart of Fort Worth, you might be surprised how much a little natural barrier helps you see the night sky. Tandy Hills is a 160-acre green space that protects a natural prairie in the heart of the city. (Can you believe that prairie like this used to cover much of the American Midwest?) Fort Worth Astronomical Society also hosts star parties at Tandy Hills during the warm weather months (the last one of the year is in November).
3400 View St, Fort Worth, TX, tandyhills.org
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Photo credit: Allison Meier via Flickr
While the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History also makes our list for space-themed experiences in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it’s a decent spot for some urban stargazing. This is because the Museum hosts occasional star parties in the parking lot! Amateur and professional astronomers from the Noble Planetarium and Fort Worth Astronomical Society come out and set up telescopes to allow us city-dwellers to peer beyond the haze of light pollution to see the wonders beyond.
1600 Gendy St, Fort Worth, TX, fwmuseum.org
Stargazing Spots within 1 Hour of Dallas
It’s always the case in our stargazing guides series: if you’re willing to drive a little way out of the city, your stargazing options will improve dramatically. Within a 60-minute drive from Dallas or Fort Worth, here are some of the top places for stargazing.
UNT Rafes Urban Astronomy Center
The Rafes Urban Astronomy Center, operated by the University of North Texas, is located near the town of Denton. It’s a 39-minute drive from Fort Worth or a 56-minute drive from Dallas. The Rafes Urban Astronomy Center is used for both education (astronomy classes and observational research) and public outreach. Star parties are held on the first Saturday of every month. You can attend these to interact with students and professors and see the night sky well away from the hazy light pollution of DFW.
2350 Tom Cole Rd, Ponder, TX, astronomy.unt.edu
Frisco Commons Park
Located in the town of Frisco, Frisco Commons Park is a 34-minute drive from Dallas or 50-minute drive from Fort Worth. This park is known for being a great stargazing spot, with 63-acres of developed but mixed-use areas. Hosted by the Texas Astronomical Society, The Frisco Starfest is also hosted on the second Saturday of each month at Frisco Commons Park – it’s a perfect occasion to visit. Note that the park closes 30 minutes after sundown if you go stargazing on your own.
8000 McKinney Rd, Frisco, TX, visitfrisco.com
Cedar Hill State Park
Cedar Hill State Park is a great option for stargazing near Dallas or Forth Worth without a long drive. Located 25 minutes from Dallas and 30 minutes from Fort Worth to the south, you can reach Cedar Hill State Park and go stargazing out over Joe Pool Lake. This lake is popular for fishing and boating by day, and at night you can stand on the shore to get a view of the night sky. Or, you can book a campsite at one of the over 300 sites in the state park and enjoy the stars all night long.
1570 FM1382, Cedar Hill, TX, cedarhillstatepark.org
Photo credit: Steve via Flickr
Lewisville Lake is located north of Dallas and Fort Worth, a 45- to 60-minute drive depending on where in the DFW area you start. There are a couple of good spots around Lewisville Lake that are good for stargazing. One option is Wynnwood Park, where a 3-mile trail leads out to the shorefront and gives you solid stargazing views. LLELA Nature Preserve is on the southern shore of the lake, and the preserve forms a natural barrier to cut down some of the light pollution. Hidden Cove Park also has a couple shorefront trails and beaches that could work for stargazing too.
Stargazing Spots within 2 Hours of Dallas
If you want to take an overnight stargazing trip or make a weekend of it, you can widen your range of places you might go. Within a two-hour drive of Dallas or Fort Worth, you can take advantage of Texas’ great state parks and lakes to reduce the city light pollution and give wide open night sky views.
Photo credit: daveynin via Flickr
Arm Point Park, located on a stretch of land in Lake Tawakoni, is just over an hour from Dallas to the east. Between the distance from the city and the dark skies over Lake Tawakoni, you can stand out on the shoreline at Arm Point Park and admire a sky full of stars. South across the lake, Lake Tawakoni State Park is another great option, with a huge north-facing beach and camping area on Spring Point. This makes it a great option for an overnight or weekend stargazing trip.
Lake Tawakoni State Park – 10822 FM 2475, Wills Point, TX, tpwd.texas.gov
75 minutes south of Dallas and Fort Worth, the small town of Hubbard has several small lakes to the southwest. These lakes are a great stargazing spot, logically called Hubbard Lake Number 1, Number 3, and Number 4. The Central Texas Astronomical Society hosts a monthly public star party at the lake; you can see the details on their website. On other nights, you can head out on your own along the shorefront trails to find an unobstructed view of the night sky.
Cooper Lake State Park
If you can’t tell, the state parks surrounding Dallas – especially those near lakes – are great options! Cooper Lake State Park is a 90-minute drive northeast of Dallas. It’s a popular spot during the day for swimming, boating, jet-skiing, picnicking, and generally enjoying the great Texas weather. At night, you can enjoy the comfortable Texas nights too, and go stargazing out across Jim Chapman Lake.
1690 FM 3505, Sulphur Springs, TX, tpwd.texas.gov
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Photo credit: Randall Chancellor via Flickr
As the name suggests, Dinosaur Valley State Park is home to tracks from Sauropods and Theropods that once roamed across this site southwest of Fort Worth and Dallas. Drive 63 minutes from Fort Worth or 90 minutes from Dallas to go hiking, mountain biking, or just walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs. Once the sun sets, gaze up upon many of the same stars that once wheeled overhead millions of years ago.
1629 Park Rd 59, Glen Rose, TX, tpwd.texas.gov
Purtis Creek State Park
It might seem like nearby Cedar Creek Reservoir is a good option for lower light pollution, as it’s a bigger body of water, but Purtis Creek State Park is a better bet. A mostly wooded state park, it’s an hour from Dallas to Purtis Creek State Park (90 minutes from Fort Worth), but well worth the drive. There are two main parking areas in Purtis Creek State Park, and both have piers where you can walk out a little into the lake to get an even better view of the stars.
14225 Farm to Market 316, Eustace, TX, tpwd.texas.gov
Photo credit: Larry Johnson via Flickr
Lake Mineral Wells State Park
The last place you might consider stargazing near Dallas and Fort Worth is Lake Mineral Wells State Park. Located a 50-minute drive from Fort Worth and a 75-minute drive from Dallas, Lake Mineral Wells State Park was once a health resort from the cities; now you can go rock climbing, hiking, or biking by day – and stargazing by night! There are four main camping areas – plus you can hike in to do primitive camping in the park. Any of these are a great option if you make an overnight or weekend stargazing trip to Lake Mineral Wells State Park.
100 Park Rd 71, Mineral Wells, TX, tpwd.texas.gov
Best Times of Year to Go Stargazing in Dallas
The weather in Dallas and Fort Worth is similar to the rest of central Texas (and Austin). That means cool, dry winters and hot, humid summers. Additionally, the late spring (April and May) is the rainy season.
This makes the autumn months of September to October the best time of year for stargazing in Dallas and Fort Worth. Starting in September, the temperatures start to drop but the nights are still quite warm. Since October is a great season for meteor showers (the Draconids and the Orionids), that’s a perfect time to plan your stargazing trip.
Can You See the Milky Way in Dallas or Fort Worth?
Within the city limits of Dallas and Fort Worth, it is impossible to see the Milky Way due to light pollution. That’s an unfortunate reality of basically every major city! Instead, consider driving out to one of the state parks we highlighted near Dallas and Fort Worth. On a clear night, you’ll have a much better view to try and spot our galaxy.
Other Space Activities in Dallas and Fort Worth
During the days between stargazing sessions, you might want to enjoy a few space-related activities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Luckily, you’ve got some great options!
Photo credit: Greg Heartsfield via Flickr
The Expanding Universe Hall at Perot Museum of Nature and Science helps visitors understand how the universe was formed and how our understanding of the cosmos has changed over time. Through giant informative panels and interactive displays, you’ll the history of our universe since the big bang, and how many questions we still don’t know. The Perot Museum is located near downtown Dallas. (website; admission is $20 for adults, $13 for children)
In Fort Worth, the Noble Planetarium at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is a great option. Especially for those who want to see all the stars but can’t make it to one of these great stargazing spots. The planetarium hosts two regular shows: Texas Night Sky and Our Solar System, which educate viewers on our celestial neighborhood and how much we can see. (website; tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for children)
In between Dallas and Fort Worth, the University of Texas at Arlington Planetarium is another great option for astronomy education. During the weekend, you can stop by for a planetarium show. Topics include Astronauts and Astronomers, “Phantom of the Universe,” and even a Pink Floyd show. (website, tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for children)
Do you have other questions or comments about stargazing in Dallas? Email/contact us!
Featured photo credit: Teddie Bridget Proctor via Flickr