One sad reality today is that virtually the entire US is bathed in such a bright nighttime light that most people spend most of their lives never really seeing how cool the night sky can really be. Even if you are in a small town it all gets drowned out in a dull grayish off-black with only the brightest stars visible.
You pretty much have to go to someplace like northern Arizona or rural Utah to see the true beauty of the night sky. That actually will probably play a significant role in deciding where I want to retire someday 25-30ish years from now.
wrote a really cool article about light pollution a couple years or so ago. I go outside, and I just simply don't see stuff like this: