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Starstruck: Stargazing in Sonoma County

The best places to stargaze are out in nature, away from bright city lights. With the many parks in Sonoma County, it’s not too difficult to find a nice spot to spread out that picnic blanket with your friends, lie down, and look up. Here are some of our favorites!

Sugarloaf Park, Kenwood

This beautiful nature park is home to the Robert Ferguson Observatory, Northern California’s most active public observatory. Surrounded by hills that block out the light pollution from nearby cities, it’s the perfect location to see the night sky in all its dazzling glory.

Another area in Sugarloaf that’s great for stargazing is an overlook called Gunsight Rock. This rock outcropping is a beautiful and serene place to sit and enjoy the wide-open sky.

Bodega Head, Bodega Bay

State beaches with kiosks won’t let visitors in past six, so head to areas with open access like Bodega Head. With a large flat walk-able area along the cliffs, you’ll be well away from city lights. With the sound of the water crashing against the rocks below and flat grassy areas to lie down, it’s the perfect place to rest and enjoy the beauty of the night sky.

Portuguese Beach, Bodega Bay

Another open-access beach, Portuguese Beach is a lovely place to get away from the city lights and see the open sky. The parking lot is on a cliff overlooking the main stretch of beach and is a great spot to relax at a safe distance from the powerful waves.

Mt. St. Helena, Calistoga

The top of the mountain is an amazing place to see the stars above, while the scenery below is lit by moonlight. It’s a difficult trail, but you won’t want to miss it!

Summer Young is a senior at Sonoma State University pursuing a Bachelor’s in English. When she’s not in class, you can find her drinking coffee and exploring the world or on instagram @_justaseason_.

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