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Best time to travel to California


If you want to escape loud city life, then stargazing in California is your thing

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You may have tried kayaking in Bali, going on safaris in Argentina, or skydiving in Estonia, but don't think you've done it all :) As good as all these activities can be, nothing compares to stargazing in California. Let's see when the best time to visit the state for the night sky action is and which spots work best.

The best time to visit California for stargazing

When planning your trip to Cali, you have to know that the season during which you visit affects how productive your stargazing experience will be. The best time for watching the after-dark activity even has a name—the "observing season." Normally, it starts in April and ends in October. This way, you have relatively long nights to catch the stars and warm weather conditions to enjoy the experience fully.


To make the most of your sky-watching adventure, you have to visit places that are really dark. For this reason, we suggest opting for destinations located far away from big industrialized areas. With its isolation and a romantic vibe, Mendocino is kind of perfect for this. This county is located on California's North Coast, a remote enough place to see the beauty of dazzling stars, planets, and star clusters. And during the day, it offers breathtaking views of nature, so feel free to plan a family trip with your loved ones. Mendocino is perfect for all ages.

Siskiyou сounty

Siskiyou сounty is one of California's quietest regions. The county doesn't have much city glare, allowing the eye to focus on only celestial creatures. We recommend going specifically to Somes Bar, a small town with very little light pollution. There, you'll be able to enjoy amazing nighttime shows by mother nature and let your soul relax. Siskiyou country also offers many daytime activities like kayaking, horseback riding, and fishing. All these things make Siskiyou an ideal getaway destination.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is not only a gorgeous place for hiking, fishing, and all sorts of fun daytime activities, but also a suitable sky-watching spot. You can go to Lake Tahoe with a blanket, lay it out anywhere in the lake area, and get a terrific stargazing experience. The territory can boast perfect conditions to enjoy the stars: dark nights, clear skies, and an altitude that offers a panoramic view of both the lake and the sky. The mountains near Tahoe provide an elevation of more than 6,000 ft. You can either join one of Tahoe's stargazing tours or plan your own trip.

Death Valley

To some people, "Death Valley" sounds scary. In reality, this place isn't frightening at all. On the contrary—it's a terrific place for a weekend getaway and even a stargazing adventure. Specifically, Death Valley National Park alone boasts several places perfect for watching the star spectacles in terms of light and weather conditions. The park has even been recognized as the third dark park in the United States. See our point? The area makes for one of the best stargazing spots in California and the country in general.

San Diego & around

Good news: San Diego is among California's least marketed star-watching destinations. Why is it good? Because it is also one of the best places for it—when it comes to weather, star-related infrastructure, and natural settings. The city and its surroundings host an air & space museum, mountains to watch the stars from, and even an observatory, which (due to its quietness) serves as a perfect place to relish the celestial bodies. Thanks to all these factors, it's safe to say that San Diego offers opportunities for star chasers of any age. To read more about the city's stargazing benefits, click here.

Palm Springs

The Palm Springs area is jam-packed with awesome stargazing spots. The area offers gorgeous otherworldly landscapes to enjoy during the day and stunning places to watch the starry night action. You'll have all conditions for seeing terrific constellations, faraway planets, and nebulas. And all of this is done without too much effort, as the drive from Palm Springs to the nearby sky-watching spots will be short. To find out where you should go in the area for stargazing, check out our article.

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Last updated: by Nataliia Chaika