If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that there are few things more humbling or awe-inspiring than gazing up into the vastness of a glittering night sky. Stepping outdoors to sleep beneath the stars has been known to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being. And because sleep is one of the three major pillars of health, it only makes sense that slumbering in the great outdoors is something we should all try at least once in our lives.
So, in case you need a bit of inspiration on where to set up camp, we’ve compiled 10 of the best places around the world to sleep under the stars. Whether you make your way to one of these locations or simply pitch a tent in the backyard is up to you, but either way, you’ll feel much better for it. Sweet dreams!
Treetop Haven, Canada
In the sun-dappled forests of Prince Edward Island, you’ll find the treehouse-inspired domes of Treetop Haven. A wellness destination that features five “TreePODS” — or geodesic domes — guests are invited to ascend into the treetops and take refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Suspended within the forest canopy, the domes’ large, clear windows allow for a deep submersion into the woodlands, giving you the chance to experience nature up close and personal. While you’re relaxing in the branches of the birch trees, be sure to spend some time bird-watching and listening to the symphony of the forest, then ready yourself for one of the world’s most peaceful tree-top slumbers you can get.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
Tucked into the snow banks of Finland’s arctic wilderness, the enchanting “Glass Igloos” of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort await you, and with them, the remarkable beauty of the Northern Lights. Within the warm confines of your dome-roofed abode, you’ll get to take in the magic of the electric night sky above you, all from the comfort of your bed.
While at the resort, try your hand at fishing, skiing, or ice skating. Fill your days with husky and reindeer safaris, and continue your explorations of surrounding snowy forests via horseback or snowmobile. Few places can compare when it comes to adventuring the Arctic, so if you’re after an exciting trip full of wintertime activities and natural light shows, a couple of nights beneath the stars in true Lapland fashion has got to be on your list!
Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge, South Africa
Situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa’s North West Province lies the five-star resort Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge. Madikwe is one of the country’s premier game-viewing regions, and with the lodge overlooking a lush riverside forest, guests have the pleasure of encountering lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos.
This luxurious oasis provides an unforgettable experience under the African sky, with its exclusive open-air accommodations (complete with mosquito-net draped beds) located at the edge of a watering hole. Watch far-reaching sunsets, sleep beneath a expansive night sky, and awake to sunrises bursting with color — all the while enjoying views of the region’s expansive grasslands.
Amangiri Mesa Pool Suite, Utah, USA
Set in the remote wilderness of the Utah desert, the Amangiri Resort is a striking structure, complete with white-stone floors, sleek concrete walls, and immaculate pools built into the surrounding rocks. Within your Mesa Pool Suite, the water pavilion boasts an outdoor fireplace, spa, and sauna, while a private plunge pool and stunning sky terrace are yours for the taking. The dark sky of the mesa has been known to reveal a sparkling display of the Milky Way above, which you can enjoy from a luxurious king-sized open-air bed. And for a little extra adventure while you’re there, make plans for hot-air ballooning, helicopter tours, or hiking and climbing excursions. All in all, the Amangiri Mesa Pool Suit makes for an unparalleled setting to bask beneath the stars.
Nāmakanipaio Campground, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, USA
The Namakanipaio Campground is a rustic getaway nestled into the towering eucalyptus groves of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It also acts as a convenient base-camp for those who wish to explore volcanoes and rainforests by day and sleep under the starry sky by night. Take guided stargazing tours that showcase not only the wonder of the star-studded sky above you but the deep, amber glow of lava beneath your feet. Here, you’ll catch a glimpse into the fascinating world of active volcanism with more than 330,000 acres of vast designated parklands, which makes it one of the most popular (and sacred) places to visit in all of Hawaii. With multiple night-tours and excursions to choose from, you’ll be flush for choice on how to spend your Hawaiian nights beneath the stars.
Loisaba Conservancy, Kenya
Located in Northern Kenya, Loisaba Conservancy is a wildlife preservation and ranch that holds both community and sustainable tourism close to heart. Home to an abundance of wildlife, such as elephants, lions, and hippos, the unique setting of the Loisaba Conservancy is sure to leave guests spellbound. Four-poster “Starbeds” are rolled out each night onto raised wooden platforms outside private rooms, right above the sweeping valley below — making an idyllic setting to dream the night away. Set your eyes on the nearby Kiboko Waterhole, crawl beneath your duvet, and drift off to sleep amid a backdrop of gentle bush sounds and twinkling stars overhead. This intimate African experience is not one to be missed.
Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Care to spend a night in the middle of the California desert? Take a trip to Joshua Tree National Park, a sprawling reservation recently designated as an International Dark Sky Park and home to the annual Night Sky Festival. Here, you’ll be spoiled with some of the clearest night skies in the American West. Otherworldly boulders, rock climbing, and mountain biking entice desert adventurers in — and once night falls, a spectacular evening of sky-gazing awaits.
There are nine established campgrounds in Joshua Tree, most of which are available on a first-come-first-served basis. To feel at one with nature, let the twisted forms of the park’s eponymous Joshua Trees and howling coyotes set the tone as dusk approaches. After pitching your tent, you’ll soon learn exactly why this iconic national park has so many people intrigued.
Agafay Desert Luxury Camp, Morocco
Stationed between the city and mountains, the untouched and desolate Agafay Desert lies just west of Marrakech. Here, visitors experience a “safari for the soul” at Agafay Desert Luxury Camp — a place that adds an adventure element to luxury travel. Step into your tent, furnished with carpeted floors and king-sized bed, and curl up to the sounds of the desert winds. You can also enjoy a candlelit dinner of Moroccan cuisine under a luminous sky, as the surrounding dunes complete a romantic scene for the ages. In lavish glamping-style, you can knock another item off your bucket list.
Old Man’s Cave Campground, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, USA
The ancient caves of Hocking Hills have long attracted visitors far and wide. Though a substantial draw of this site is its ancient evidence of human occupation, the park also offers dramatic rock formations, towering cliffs, striking waterfalls, and a multitude of hiking trails. One of the most popular spots in the region is Old Man’s Cave, which was named after a 19th-century hermit and allows visitors to pitch a tent amid Ohio’s rich flora and fauna. The campsite and surrounding areas offer a chance to sleep under the stars and are secluded enough to let you feel at one with nature without forgoing restroom amenities; however, there are also cabin and cottage options available throughout the park. During your visit, be sure to take a guided night tour of the area in search of the elusive Ohio owl, and trek the ground’s various hiking trails to reach the dim recesses of cliffside caves. After a day’s worth of exploring, tumble into bed and admire the night sky from your pillow or go one step further by taking a short trek to the nearby John Glenn Astronomy Park — an observatory for visitors to experience the night sky through a large telescope and explore the stars above. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!
Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht, Germany
At Waldseilgarten Höellschlucht, take your sleep to the next level and test your limits with an evening spent hanging from a tree. Let us explain. Though typically reserved for experienced rock climbers, the deployable “portaledge” hanging tent system makes for a memorable evening and can be used by the everyday person. Guests spend the night teetering on the edge of extremity while simultaneously gaining rock climbing skills by way of knowledgeable guides — a given, considering the level of danger involved in this kind of adventure.
If you’re after even more of a thrill, there are other sleeping arrangements that won’t fall short of adventurous. The daredevil in you will want to try out the make-shift sleeping platform that has guests hanging directly off the face of a cliff, in true expert rock-climbing fashion. An experience offering excellent views, Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht is not for the faint-hearted!
Bubble Tent, Capertee Valley, Australia
Just outside of Sydney, in the Capertee Valley, spend a relaxing weekend marveling at the second-largest canyon in the world from the comfort of an inflatable bubble tent. An off-the-grid, glamping-style experience, these clear “bubbles” allow for world-class bird and sunset watching, making this locale an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.
The bubbles feature a fire pit, telescope, hammock, and an outdoor wood-fired bathtub, allowing total tranquil seclusion. If you decide to make your way down under, you’re in for a night of pure serenity, with nothing but the whispers of the wind in your ears, a misty horizon to rest your eyes upon, and a sky full of stars to fall asleep beneath.
Looking to read more on the great outdoors? Check out our official guide to the U.S. National Parks!
Header image by Will and Jim Pattiz