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Best Places to Go Stargazing Near Los Angeles

Best Places to Go Stargazing Near Los Angeles

There is something so magical about looking at the California sky. Here are the best places to go stargazing in Los Angeles.

Palig Dzadourian


5 min read

June 25, 2022

The City of Angels is always so bright and alive, with no dull moments. Los Angeles is one of the most photographed cities in the world, with good reason, as it is home to some of the best sceneries in the world. What’s even greater is that the Los Angeles night view is just as mesmerizing as the regular day views, if not more. Stargazing is one way to appreciate the wonders of the night when things get quieter and calmer, and the time to relax arrives. Now if you are wondering,Where are the best places to see stars near me?” you’re in the right place. Here are the best places to go see the stars near Los Angeles.

Where can I see the night stars in Los Angeles?

Before you dive into the list, know that driving a little outside of the main L.A. areas is a requirement to escape the shimmering lights of the city and chase the glimmering dots in the sky. Check out all the places where you can sit back, relax and admire the glittering dark sky.

Griffith Park Observatory

Catch the shining stars in the sky at the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles.

One of the few places where you can go stargazing in Los Angeles is the Griffith Observatory. The iconic landmark that appeared in La La Land is a public observatory owned and operated by the city of Los Angeles, giving an opportunity to learn and observe to just about anybody who's willing to. The Griffith Observatory is located on Mount Hollywood, access to it is free from Fridays to Sundays, and visitors can take advantage of all parts of the observatory. You can use the telescopes to make out constellations and see certain stars and planets that are hidden from the naked eye.

If you are really lucky, on an especially clear night sky the stars will show themselves without you having to use telescopes, and you can spend the evening on the deck and take in the beauty of the city of Los Angeles, along with the wonders of the sky.

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Topanga State Park 

Topanga State Park is one of the two places that are considered to be among the best stargazing spots in Los Angeles. Nestled on the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica mountains – even though it is located within Los Angeles – the bright lights of the city do not reach the park, making it fairly dark and ideal for looking up at the stars. What’s special about this park is that it is considered to be the world’s largest wildland within the boundaries of a major city, a whopping 11,000 acres of land littered with open grassland trails stretching out onto 36 miles.

Although the park closes its gates after sunset, you can still enjoy the stargazing show from the entrance, where you can park your cars and find the stars waiting for you in the night sky. The best times to visit are after midnight when the sky is darkest. The clearer the skies, the more you will be revealed to you, so it is recommended that you check the weather before going on your sparkling journey of stargazing.

Malibu Creek State Park

Experience the Malibu sunset before the stars show up and the night gets dark.

Malibu Creek State Park is just 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Located in the Santa Monica Mountains, it has been given the nickname “The Yosemite of Southern California.” Over 8,000 acres of beauty await at this park, with endless amounts of outdoor activities to discover, from hiking, fishing, climbing, and much more!

What brings us to Malibu Creek State Park this time, however, is the incredible stargazing opportunities it has. The shrub-lined hills do a very good job of keeping any light pollution away from the area. With the added open grassy meadows, it is one of the best places to stargaze in C.A. The ideal plan would be to arrive at the park during the end of the daytime and capture the magnificent views of the Santa Monica sunsets, then stick around and wait for the night sky. The park gates close at 10pm, but the parking areas are open for whoever wants to witness the lustrous starry night. Wonder where the best places to go stargazing nearby are? Wonder no more, Malibu Creek State Park is always a safe bet.

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Sunset at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, just a few hours away from your stargazing fun.

Just a 90-minute drive away from Los Angeles, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is shielded by any city lights thanks to the positioning of the mountains. Near the end of the Mojave Desert, this State natural reserve promises good times both in the daytime and nighttime. With a lot of charming hiking trails and beautiful seasonal surprises during spring, it is the ideal place to kick back and relax in the quiet countryside. The only downside to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is that it is not open to public access after the sun goes down. Worry not, however, as many experienced stargazers of the area have a special secret: The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club. This club works in tandem with California State Parks to open up the parking lots after hours to be able to hold star parties and keep the stargazers satisfied.

The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club also hosts a number of star parties North of Los Angeles, so if you are inclined to pursue more stargazing adventures, follow their itineraries.

Joshua Tree National Park

Take in the magic of the night sky, filled with mysteries and wonders at the Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree National Park is a national treasure with breathtaking vistas, amazing desert ecosystems, and most importantly, huge open plains. It's perhaps the greatest site in California to stargaze. Joshua Tree National Park is around two hours' drive from Los Angeles, but the additional effort is well worth it, particularly if you're determined to have the greatest stargazing experience in Northern California.

Joshua Tree National Park is a dry paradise, and it transforms into a celestial space at night when everything but the twinkling stars disappears into the darkness. The reason why this park is so dark is that it is very far away from any major city, and also because it is located in the High Desert 5,000 feet above sea level.

The best spot for stargazing at Joshua Tree National Park is on the East side of the area. It is also recommended to visit when the moon is not out to minimize any source of light that might obstruct the stars’ shine. You will even be able to see the Milky Way when the Moon is absent.

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