Stargazing is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors when you visit Virginia's Blue Ridge.

With thousands of acres of public land protected by the National Park Service and US Forest Service, the region boasts lots of opportunities for finding secluded spots that are great for checking out the starlit sky.

To help visitors prepare for their astronomical adventure, Space Tourism Guide has a new post on "How to Plan a Blue Ridge Mountains Stargazing Trip."

The article was written by Heidi Brandes, who visited the region as part of a media tour hosted by Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge this past June.

The story includes information on places to stay in the region, great overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and unique experiences to enjoy during the day before the stars come out at night. There are also helpful tips from local Frank Baratta, who organizes public stargazing programs hosted by PLAY Roanoke.

The following is an excerpt from the piece:

"The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway also largely avoids major cities. This means light pollution isn’t a big problem along many of the roadways and overlooks. Even nights with a full moon can show up to about 2,500 stars from any given location along this road. Sit back, turn off the headlights, and view the heavens from one of the prettiest drives in America."

View the complete article on the Space Tourism Guide website.