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Typically, it's the northern lights that travelers seek out in the winter months. But there's another spectacular natural light show that's a bit easier to see. The Geminids Meteor Shower takes place all of December (peaking the night of Dec. 13) and is known as "shower in the heavens." The reason is that you can catch up to 120 meteors per hour. Plus, the dark sky of a new moon will make this year's show even more brilliant. And there are a few spots across the U.S. where you can catch this spectacular event in comfortable accommodations.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona
Perched within the stunning terrain of Camelback Mountain, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa—an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property—is ideal for taking in unobstructed views. "Astronomers have been drawn to Arizona for decades thanks to our dark skies, and there's no need to drive hours into the desert to see the stars,” Mike Surguine, Vice President and Managing Director of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, told Departures. When the sun sets and the stars reveal themselves, Sanctuary becomes an incredible spot for stargazing." What's more, is the five-star hotel has Spa Suites that feature al fresco oversized soaking tubs and canopied daybeds. So, you can soak in the stars while soaking in a bath.
Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, New York
Sheltered on three sides, with the fourth open to majestic sky views, two outdoor lean-tos at this Adirondack mountain retreat are furnished with comfortable seating, warm blankets, and a fire pit. "With a luxury rustic ambiance, Whiteface Lodge's Lean-Tos are the perfect place to stargaze, where guests can enjoy a view of the night sky while cuddled up for an alfresco nightcap in front of the fire,” Joe Giannino, General Manager of Whiteface Lodge, told us. Snuggle into the private theater and let the show begin.
Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, California
Ocean views with a meteor shower? It doesn't get any better. Pebble Beach Resorts, located on one of the most beautiful stretches of California coastline, is home to Ocean View rooms with sweeping balconies to take in the star-studded affair. "This meteor show comes at a magical time of year in Pebble Beach, as the holiday season sees some of our best weather,” Marcus Jackson, Chief Operating Officer, The Pebble Beach Company, told us. “There is truly no better place to stargaze than at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, looking over the dark sky above the famed 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links, relaxing on one of our private balconies, with no city lights for miles around." Slip into a plush robe and ignite the fireplace, and you've got a night of nature's entertainment ahead.
Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown, New York
Although it's pretty impossible to see the meteor shower from New York City, just 30 minutes north is the perfect spot. Located at one of the highest points in Westchester County, this iconic retreat overlooks the Hudson River and is steeped in history. You can bundle up and wander the landscaped grounds of the Norman-style property with the meteors raining down overhead before falling asleep surrounded by nature in one of the regal rooms. “For a destination so close to the bright lights of Manhattan, it feels worlds away with beautiful views of the clear sky above,” said Natasha Caputo, Director, Westchester County Tourism & Film.