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View Meteor Showers From These Low-Light Oases

There's something so magical about watching the night sky explode with lights from a meteor shower. Unfortunately most urban areas are riddled with light pollution, so you’ll want to grab a Gig and drive out someplace dark to take in the show.

Don’t forget to bring your Gig Card to lock/unlock your ride outside cell service. If you haven’t received a card yet, you can request one in the app, order through Member Support, or pick one up at a AAA branch. If you've lost or damaged your card, request a new one by emailing membersupport@gigcarshare.com.

You don’t have to go too far, really. Here are some of the best stargazing options in your area.

Bay Area

North Bay

  • Mount Tamalpais: Located just north of San Francisco in the heart of Marin County, you’ll be able to find a sweet spot at this park to witness the astronomical magic. The park closes after 7 p.m. – unless you're camping, so you’ll want to bring camping gear and snag a reservation or one of their first come, first serve sites.  
  • Point Reyes: Stargazing across the majestic Pacific Ocean is epic, and this beach is one of the best. You can pick up fire and camping permits at the Bear Valley Visitors Center.

East Bay

For more Bay Area Gig destinations, check out our piece on the city's hidden gems.

Sacramento

  • El Dorado Hills: Consider driving out to the El Dorado Hills; about 22 miles east of Sacramento, El Dorado Hills is an unincorporated area near Lake Folsom, and is filled with parks and recreation areas; some open as late as 10:00 pm.
     
  • Ice House Observation Plateau (IHOP):  A little more than an hour outside of Sacramento, you’ll find this large open space in El Dorado National Forest. According to darksitefinder.com, head north on Ice House Road a short ways, turn left on Peavine Ridge Road, and look for a clearing on the left.

Seattle

  • Genesee Park: This South Seattle park features a wide-open field. It is slightly darker than surrounding areas because it is located in a residential area. The park is open until 11:30 pm. 
  • Sunset Hill Park: Even if you don’t see meteors, this park offers a beautiful view of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Skyline. It’s open until 11:30 pm. 
  • Hamilton Viewpoint Park: Located in West Seattle, this park says it all in its name — viewpoint! Not only is it a great place to watch the sky, it offers stunning views of the harbor, the city, and of mountain peaks. It’s open until 10:00 pm. 

Curiocity offers more ideas on their blog.

Meteor watching tips

Space.com offers some tips on the best ways to view a meteor shower, which include:

  • Leaving the telescopes or binoculars at home. 
  • Letting your eyes adjust to the dark. Put your phone away so you won’t be tempted to look at the bright screen.
  • Laying flat on your back so you can see as much sky as possible (bring a blanket!). Meteors can happen anywhere in the sky.
  • Being aware that the glare created by the moonlight can wash out the faint meteors.

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