Florida Dark Sky Map (2024 Report: Florida Dark Sky Parks)

Chris Klein, Amateur Astronomy Advisor

By Chris Klein


Are you ready to explore the celestial skies of Florida? The Florida Dark Sky Map is here to guide you to the best spots for stargazing in the Sunshine State.

In this article, I’ll look at where Florida has the least light pollution, whether you can see the Milky Way in the state, and the amazing Dark Sky Parks that Florida offers.

So whether you’re an amateur astronomer or just looking for a beautiful and peaceful spot to watch the stars, the Florida Dark Sky Map is a must-have resource.

In this article, you get

A Florida Light Pollution Map showing the dark skies in the state

A closer look at the two Florida Dark Sky Parks

A list of some of the best places for stargazing in Florida

Information on how best to see the Milky Way in Florida

By the end of the article, you’ll have all the information you need to plan your next stargazing adventure.

Let’s dive right in.


The light pollution map Florida shows the darkest areas in the state of Florida, making it easy for stargazers to find the best spots for celestial viewing.

The map shows the levels of light pollution in different areas, with darker areas indicating lower levels of light pollution.

It allows you to quickly find the darkest areas in Florida and plan your stargazing activities accordingly.

The Florida Dark Sky Map is created using data on light pollution levels collected by satellite and ground-based observations using the Sky Quality Meter. This data is then used to create a map that shows the distribution of light pollution across the state.


The areas of Florida with the least light pollution are those far from urban centers and significant artificial light sources. In contrast, take a look at the South Florida Night Sky Map. It’s full of light pollution.

You’ll find the darkest place in Florida in rural areas, state and national parks, and other areas with minimal development.

Pro Tip

A full moon in the sky is a form of natural light pollution. Remember that light pollution levels can vary depending on the moon’s phase.

The Dark Sky Florida Map is a helpful tool for identifying the locations in the state with the lowest levels of artificial light pollution.

It may still be challenging to see some celestial objects due to other factors, such as atmospheric conditions and the position of the objects in the sky.

Generally speaking, the darker the location, the better the conditions will be for stargazing.


In addition to checking light pollution levels on a Dark Sky Map Florida, it can also be practical to consider the time of year and the weather, as these can affect the visibility of celestial objects.

For example, during the summer months, the humidity in Florida can cause atmospheric haze, making it more difficult to see faint objects in the sky.

Florida has two designated Dark Sky Parks and many other dark locations, all offering excellent stargazing opportunities.

I’ve listed a few of Florida’s best places for stargazing. To get the complete list (and a free Google Map), read my article on the Best Stargazing in Florida.

Google Map of Best Stargazing in Florida
  • Bahia Honda State Park
  • Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve
  • Chiefland Astronomy Village
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Fox Observatory at Markham Park
  • Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
  • Ocala National Forest
  • Pensacola Beach
  • Seminole State Forest
  • St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge


My 5-page Stargazing Checklist will enhance your astronomical observations.

Follow this free checklist to navigate the night sky with confidence, clarity, and a sense of preparedness for a rewarding stargazing experience.

Free Stargazing Checklist


Yes, it is possible to see the Milky Way in Florida. However, the galaxy’s visibility will depend on various factors such as your location, time of year, and the level of light pollution. The darker the location, the better the conditions for viewing the Milky Way.

To know in which direction to face, read my article What Direction is the Milky Way in Florida?

To see the Milky Way in Florida, go to a rural area, a state or national park, or a designated Dark Sky Park (see the next section).

It is also essential to choose a location with a clear and unobstructed view of the sky, as trees, buildings, and other objects can block the view of the Milky Way.

The best time of year to view the Milky Way in Florida is April through October when the Milky Way is high in the sky and easier to see.

This time of year is called the Milky Way Season in Florida.

For a slightly different viewing experience, read my article Can You See The Big Dipper in Florida?


International Dark Sky Places in Florida

There are two designated Dark Sky Parks in Florida.

These Parks were designated as Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association. These locations offer some of the darkest skies in the state, making them excellent places for stargazing and celestial viewing.

In addition to providing exceptional stargazing opportunities, these parks also serve as vital resources for light pollution awareness and conservation efforts.

If you are an astronomy enthusiast, check out the Dark Sky Parks in Florida.


The two designated Dark Sky Parks are Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park and Big Cypress National Preserve.


The Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is located in Okeechobee County, Florida. The park offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and bird watching.

It is also a popular destination for stargazing, as the park’s location in the heart of Florida’s rural interior makes it an ideal spot for celestial viewing.

Suppose you’re looking to experience the natural beauty of Florida and enjoy outdoor activities such as stargazing. In that case, the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is definitely worth a visit.

The park is the first Dark Sky Park in Florida, having received its designation in 2016.


The Big Cypress National Preserve is an exceptional and inspiring place in South Florida. During the day, visitors can explore the breathtaking natural beauty of the park, which is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. From hiking and biking trails to guided tours and educational programs, there are plenty of ways to experience the magic of the Big Cypress National Preserve.

But the real magic of Big Cypress National Preserve comes out at night when the skies above the park become a canvas for the stars.

As a designated Dark Sky Park, the preserve offers some of the darkest skies in the state, making it an ideal location for stargazing and celestial viewing.

The clear and unobstructed view of the sky makes it easy to see the Milky Way and various other celestial objects.


Dark Sky Map USA

I’ve included a light pollution map USA for the contiguous USA to help you see Florida in context. The US dark sky map shows the levels of light pollution across the country.

The eastern half of the United States tends to have higher light pollution levels than the western half. This is primarily due to the higher population density and urbanization in the eastern states, which results in more artificial light being emitted into the night sky.

However, it is necessary to note that light pollution levels can vary significantly within individual states and even within different regions of the same state.

For example, while the East Coast may have higher levels of light pollution, there may be specific locations that are relatively dark and offer good stargazing opportunities.

Similarly, areas in the west may be relatively bright and not ideal for stargazing.


Tools can help you identify dark sky locations with minimal light pollution.

LightPollutionMap.info is an excellent resource for finding nearby dark skies that are ideal for Milky Way photography.

The web app helps you find places where the night sky is free from light pollution, making it easier to observe stars, stargaze, and take photos of the sky.


As you explore the beauty of the Florida night sky with the help of the Dark Sky Map, I hope you are inspired by the vastness and wonder of the universe.

Remember that you have the power to protect and preserve the natural darkness that allows us to fully appreciate the celestial show above us.

Whether you are a seasoned stargazer or a beginner, there is always more to discover and appreciate in the night sky. So please take a moment to look up and be awed by the endless expanse above us.

The Florida Dark Sky Map will help you make the most of your stargazing adventures. I hope it begins a lifetime of celestial exploration and wonder.

About the Author

Chris Klein, Amateur Astronomy Advisor

Chris Klein is an amateur astronomy advisor, astrophotographer, and entrepreneur. Go here to read his incredible story "From $50,000 in Debt to Award-Winning Photographer Living in Switzerland". If you want to send Chris a quick message, then visit his contact page here.