Located deep in the Pisgah National Forest is a former NASA facility, opened in 1963, just five years after NASA was created. No longer a part of NASA, the facility is now open to the public and, among other fun things, is one of the best stargazing spots in all of North Carolina. But there is also much to see and do at PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute).

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What’s more, in the past PARI has only opened one night a month for stargazing. However, now they are open Saturdays beginning at 9:00 a.m. into the late hours every Saturday night for stargazing. Sunday hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Their staff cafeteria is now also open for dinner on Saturday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and for brunch on both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Cost of admission is: $10 per person ($30 max per family), $8 for seniors and students (elementary through college), free admission for military, first responders, and children 5 and under. (Admission fees do not include lunch or dinner.)

PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) is located at 1 PARI Dr., Rosman, NC 28772. Get more information from the official website for PARI here.

Need a home base for this trip to Western North Carolina? Check out Brevard in this previous article.

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