Pima County, AZ
Launch into space from a mere 6,877 feet—without leaving earthly comforts behind. Built on a mountaintop in the Sonoran Desert, the observatory sits on the Tohono O’odham Nation reservation, about an hour southwest of Tucson. The facility houses one of the world’s largest collections of research telescopes and offers nighttime observation programs. Amateur astronomers will learn to identify constellations with star charts, while seasoned stargazers can hunt for planets, galaxies, and star clusters through intensive telescope-viewing.
+ We also love Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
Turn Off the Lights
In 1965, Doug McEachern and Stan Shaff leased out a small storefront and opened Audium, an electronic sound art event played in a completely dark 44-speaker room. The experience has grown in the past 53 years, with nature sounds now whooshing and crashing and whirring out of 176 speakers as unsuspecting audience members listen in. Even though it’s grown, don’t worry: It’s still in complete darkness.
Go for a Walk in the Park
Finding respite in the heart of most cities may seem unimaginable, but St. Louis’ Forest Park is proof to the contrary. Home to 45,000 trees and a 75-foot waterfall, the nearly 1,400-acre public space serves as a natural oasis. Park visitors will find hiking trails and birdwatching hot spots throughout John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest, as well as seasonal foliage on display in the Jewel Box, the park’s glass-encased flower conservancy.
+ We also love Schenley Park in Pittsburgh; Balboa Park in San Diego
Test Out Your Tree Pose
Even in a city as lively as New Orleans, there are still ways to steal quiet time. Center yourself amidst tranquil Spanish moss and 64 works of art at Besthoff Sculpture Garden, where the New Orleans Museum of Art holds yoga every Saturday.
Take a long lunch // Indulge your inner artist at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. Each ArtFULL Wednesday brings different hour-long activities—workshops, gallery talks, food-and-art pairings—and is tied to a current exhibition or work in the collection. Quiet your mind while surrounded by Himalayan artifacts at The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Weekly Mindfulness Meditation sessions run for 45 minutes and are open to all skill levels. Can’t be there in person? There’s a podcast version, too. On the second and third Friday of every month, The Baroque Room in St. Paul, Minnesota, puts on a free lunchtime concert series, where the musical acts range from string quartets to avant-garde guitarists.