Where to Go Stargazing Around the Main Line

Adobe Stock / Chad

These stargazing locations in the Main Line region are ideal whether you’re an amateur astronomer or a star-spotting pro.

Around a big city such as Philadelphia, people typically assume that there aren’t many ideal areas to escape light pollution and observe the night sky. Yet that’s not the case around the Main Line, which is home to a number of fantastic stargazing locations. Here are a handful of hotspots in the area where you can go stargazing and admire the sparkling views on a clear night.

Widener Observatory

The Widener University Observatory is situated about 30 minutes southwest of the center of Philadelphia. In other words, it’s just far away enough from the worst of the city’s light pollution. The observatory is available for public guided stargazing on Mondays during each semester and on the first Friday of every month with a staff member and student helper.

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Kirkbride Hall, 5th Floor, 17th and Walnut St., Chester 

Villanova Observatory

The Villanova Public Observatory, another observatory run by a university, is situated in the Mendel Science Center on the Villanova campus. This is similarly located northeast of Philadelphia, around 45 minutes away. The Villanova Observatory is open every night from Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters.

Mendel Science Center, Villanova Univ., Villanova

 

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Strawbridge Observatory

About 45 minutes from downtown Philadelphia, the Strawbridge Observatory is situated on the Haverford College campus. It is overseen by the physics and astronomy department, just like the other venues on this list. Each month, the observatory holds public viewing nights. All upcoming dates can be found on its website.

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Haverford College, Walton Ln., Ardmore 

Concerts Under the Stars

Weekly Concerts Under the Stars take place in Upper Merion Township Park during the summer in King of Prussia. On Sundays, these activities begin at 6 p.m. and last through dusk and into the night. These concerts are the perfect place to listen to music while observing the stars. 

175 W Valley Forge Rd., King of Prussia 

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Longwood Gardens

If you’re from the Philadelphia region, you’ve probably heard of Longwood Gardens’ Illuminated Fountains Performances. There is a nightly fountain show with lights that takes place on the weekends from May to October, and the period right after the show is ideal for stargazing from this location. Dates for this summer have already been made public. 

1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square 

New Hope – Lambertville Bridge

The New Hope-Lambertville Bridge is a popular location among Philadelphia-area residents who like astronomy. This bridge crosses the Delaware River and some surrounding nature preserves, including Bowman’s Hill, providing wonderful places to view the night sky. 

W Bridge St., New Hope 

French Creek State Park

If you’re willing to drive a bit outside of the Main Line proper, French Creek State Park is an expansive park with lakes, pathways and other features. The absence of development in this area means there’s less light pollution and better opportunity to go stargazing. The day-use sections of the park close at sunset, so if you want to enjoy a lengthy stargazing session, consider making a reservation for the campground and going on an overnight excursion.

843 Park Rd, Elverson 

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