stargazing

Some of the best moments I’ve had by myself or past girlfriends is when I wasn’t saying anything and sometimes, when we let it, the universe speaks to us…so grab a blanket, a basket, and let mother nature happen.

Here are some suggestions on how you can turn a simple night into a romantic one. When arranging a list of things to bring we suggest you pack things like wine, cheese or any easily transportable snacks, a blanket, flashlight, thermos for hot cocoa, tea, or coffee, and perhaps pack a picnic basket if you plan to stay longer.

Tip* Bring a piece of red paper that you can attach to your flashlight to help you adjust your eyes for quicker night vision adaptation…. And take your trash with you, leave mother nature beautiful.

Silverado, Cleveland National Forest – Tustin Area

staygazing

Just 7.5 miles from the lights of North Tustin, this 19th Century silver mining town is now a laid back unincorporated community with a roadside cafe and a biker bar in Silverado Canyon. Just inside the Cleveland National Forest. There are spots on either end of town where you can park without bothering the locals: a highway pullout near Silverado Creek just past the ridge at the west end of town, and the Mountain View Trail just shy of 4 miles east of town along Silverado Canyon Road. Parking at night in the Cleveland National Forest will require an Adventure Pass, so make sure you’ve got one.

Address: San Diego, CA 92127, USA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/clevelandnf/
Website: www.fs.usda.gov/cleveland/
Phone: 949-497-0716

Crescent Bay – Laguna Beach Area

stargazing

The city of Laguna Beach is a trifle darker at night than its neighbors, as it’s hemmed in by the undeveloped San Joaquin Hills that block some of the glare from the I-5 corridor. Crescent Bay Beach at the north end of town offers a quarter mile of sheltered cove perfect for horizontal lounging and skywatching, and it’s beneath a bluff that serves to block out the headlights on the Pacific Coast Highway. There are houses on the ridge that face the beach, so don’t expect pitch black skies. Still the beach is open until midnight, which allows a good amount of time to watch the stars wheel overhead. Beach cautions apply: be careful of the water, this is not a beach for poor swimmers and don’t bother the seals either.

Address: Crescent Bay Drive, Laguna Beach, CA, USA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Crescent-Bay-Park/118448554874290
Website: www.scc.ca.gov/webmaster/project_sites/wheel/lapage/2_smb/cres.html
Phone: 310-458-8300

Holy Jim Falls Trailhead Parking, Cleveland National Forest – Trabuco Canyon

stargazing

Now we’re talking! This spot is about as deep as you can get into the Santa Anas without strapping on a backpack. In fact, at a certain time of the year this isn’t the best place to try to get to with a low-slung sedan, unless you don’t like it very much. If you’ve got a high-clearance car or truck, the road all the way to the trailhead shouldn’t be a challenge. If you don’t, you can use the large parking area at the junction of Trabuco Canyon and Holy Jim Canyon Road. The area is wooded, but you should be able to find good, expansive views through the trees. Two things to keep in mind: this is Cleveland National Forest land, so a ranger may ding you for an Adventure Pass, and there are a lot of locals nearby, so respect their need for night-time quiet, as hard as that may be when you see that really bright meteor.

Address: Live Oak Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679, USA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Holy-Jim-Falls-114353791995229/
Website: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/cleveland/recarea/?recid=47628
Phone: 909-736-1811

Palomar Mountain, Cleveland National Forest- Temecula Area

stargazing

While visiting this place we suggest that you check out a program sponsored by the Forest Service, is ran by local astronomy enthusiasts, Palomar’s “Explore the Stars” program began about 15 years ago when a ranger at the Cleveland National Forest saw it as a great public outreach opportunity in one of the nation’s most hallowed star-gazing spots, the Palomar Observatory and its 200-inch Hale telescope (formerly the world’s largest) just two miles up the road from the campground. One weekend a month, from April through October, amateur astronomers from San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties set up shop in the Observatory Campground’s north end (a “light-free zone” after 9 p.m.) and invite the scopeless public to have a look through their fancy equipment, learn about what’s out there beyond our light-soaked cities and marvel at the unfathomable.

Address: 33120 Canfield Road, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060, USA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Palomar-Mountain-Snow-Play-226467797367860/
Website: www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=637
Phone: 760-742-3496

There you have it! These great locations make for the perfect stargazing date night. A romantic date like this will surely win you points with girlfriend.

Harold D. Aguirre

Harold D. Aguirre

Staff Writer at OC Foodie Fest
Hi there! I love writing about Orange County and all the wonderful things it has to offer. When I am not writing, I spend time with my loving wife, beautiful son, and our friendly Pitbull, Brooklyn. If you ever see me around, feel free to say hi, we can sit down and have coffee.
Harold D. Aguirre

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