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Places in California to Go Stargazing

    Benbow Lake State Recreation Area

    • State parks are places where people can see stars clearly because of the lack of urban lights. Northern California has several state parks, including Benbow Lake State Recreation Area, where stargazers have access to 1,200 acres and a large picnic area. People often go hiking and camping in this area. It is 2 miles south of Gaberville on Highway 101.

    China Camp State Park

    • China Camp State Park was once a Chinese shrimp-fishing village. The park has a spacious intertidal salt marsh and oak habitat full of all kinds of wildlife and a meadow. There are also extensive hiking trails. Before gazing at the stars at night, visitors can spend the day swimming, boating and watching wildlife. Travelers can find the park 4 miles east of San Rafael.

    Malibu Creek State Park

    • Southern California has Malibu Creek State Park, with 4,000 acres of hiking, horseback riding, fishing and bird watching. This area is so picturesque that it was used to film several movies and TV shows, including "Planet of the Apes" and "M*A*S*H*". This area is far away from city lights, which makes it a great location for stargazing. It's located 25 miles downtown of Los Angeles (See References 1).

    Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

    • Stargazers can find the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on the eastern side of San Diego County. It is the largest state park in the contiguous United States. It has 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and miles of hiking trails. Between November and April, the park has presentations on current and Native American astronomy.

    Fremont Peak State Park

    • The Fremont Peak State Park is a major place for stargazing in California, and the Fremont Peak Observatory Association provides observatory facilities. Once a year, astronomers let 2,000 members participate in an observatory event where they are treated to multimedia presentations about space. Some guests can look through the eyepiece of a 30-inch diameter "Challenger" Newtonian telescope, and visitors can also look through various amateur telescopes. Fremont Peak State Park is 11 miles south of San Juan Bautista on San Juan Canyon Road.

    Chabot Space and Science Center

    • In Oakland Hills, visitors can observe stars at the Chabot Space and Science Center. This center provides extensive information on identifying constellations. It also has information on comets, meteor showers, galaxies and quasars. Chabot offers three public telescopes. One of them is California's second-largest refracting telescope. Those visiting the center should wear warm clothing because the dome is not heated and the air is chilly.

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