When I was in high school, a friend and I joined a group called Amateur Astronomers Incorporated. It was a group of adults who welcomed us in. We travelled to the Princeton Observatory. I also helped build an 8" refracting telescope and they let me keep it until I went to college.
Last summer, my wife and I stayed at the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim. Our cabin faced the rim and we slept with the window open. From our pillows, all we had to do was look up. I have never seen so many stars without the aid of magnification.