The Best Spots for Stargazing in San Diego

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You never really truly get to grasp the sheer beauty of the night sky while living in a city full of bright lights. However, if you know the right spots, there are some incredible areas for you to see the stars in all of their glory.

Ocean Beach

While most of us know Ocean Beach as a lovely beach town that always seem to be short on parking, at night, you can catch some incredible views of the sky. Be sure to head over to Pescadero Avenue, and avoid the more crowded areas like Newport Avenue.

Balboa Park

Yes, the middle of the city might not seem like the best place to view the nighttime sky, but the views here are surprisingly decent. With plenty of parking and an ease of accessibility, there are public stargazing events held the first Wednesday of every month. The San Diego Astronomy Association sets up 5-10 telescopes free for the public to use, giving you an ever closer look at the sheer magnitude of the night time sky.

Borrego Springs

Essentially the very best place to get some quality stargazing done in San Diego County, you don’t even really need a telescope. With little to no light pollution, you’ll be blown away at how different the sky looks without the busy city life around it. In fact, Borrego Springs is California’s only International Dark Sky Community, so you know they take their stargazing seriously.

Torrey Pines

Another beach-centric location, head over to the Reserve to get the best views. Be mindful that the parking lot gates close at sunset, but there is open parking along the ocean side of the road. This really is an idyllic beach spot for stargazing, and is best when going on a clear night with no moon.

Mount Laguna

No lights and the crisp night air make this a fantastic for stargazing opportunities. At 4,000 feet elevation, you get the stunning type of views you’d expect for a location like this.

Mt. Helix

Standing high above the city, this 1,370 foot peak is located in La Mesa, and isn’t to bad of a drive from central San Diego. The San Diego Association meets here once a year to bring high-powered telescopes so budding stargazers can experience the stars in an entirely new way

Palomar Mountain

A well-known spot for stargazing enthusiasts, it is often frequented by amateur astronomers who make their way the famous Palomar Observatory. You can also take a tour of the 200-inch Hale telescope during the day if you want to make a trip out of it.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon


  1. Michael Vergara

    July 19, 2018 at 10:29 am

    You can include Sam Marcos in your list. Every Friday night, the Palomar College Planetarium has two presentations that are open to the public. In addition, telescopes are set up (weather permitting) and anyone can come and view the objects that are chosen for observing.

  2. Jeff

    July 19, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Worst list ever. OB? BALBOA PARK??? Whoever wrote this needs to get out of the city more and do some research

  3. Annmarie

    December 21, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    How can you suggest a place (Mt. Helix) for stargazing that closes its gates at sunset? Take your time to write a quality article.

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