There are few more soothing things to do when on vacation than to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. Both Travaasa Austin and Hana are prime locations for stargazing due to isolation from the bright lights and hustle and bustle of the cities. With the summer solstice right around the corner, here are some tips and tricks to make your stargazing experience unforgettable:

  • Try getting a map of constellations or a sky map so you know exactly what you are looking for, and what you are looking at. If you are tech-savvy, there are also mobile apps available for stargazing.
  • Make sure you are in a dark area out of the way of lighting, allow about 20 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to the darkness. Even if it is a summer night, breezes can be chilling so bring a blanket or sweatshirt just in case you need one.
  • Most of us aren’t astronomers, so be patient. Begin with the simple constellations… The Big Dipper, Little Dipper and Orion’s Belt are a good start.
  • Perhaps the most infamous star in our sky is Polaris, also known as the “North Star.” Polaris is on the end of the handle of the Little Dipper if you can locate that first.  Now that you know which direction is north, it will be easier to navigate the entire night sky.
  • If you would like to watch part of a meteor shower, the best dates are in mid-August.  Every year in late summer, a meteor shower appears close to the constellation Perseus.  Don’t forget to make a wish if you see a “shooting star!”
  • Planets can be visible on different dates as well. Venus and Mercury are currently observable at night, setting just after the sun. They appear to be stars, so keep a close eye out!
  • If all else fails, remember there’s one star that is particularly easy to find…. You’ll have to wait until daytime to see it though.