Only a leisurely two-hour drive from downtown San Diego, the desert community of Borrego Springs is known for having some of the best stargazing conditions in the U.S. Because of its dry air, minimal light pollution and more than 300 clear nights a year, it is a popular destination for sky watchers of all kinds With pleasant weather most of the year, this small rural community offers visitors a magnificent desert landscape unlike any other in the area, and a nighttime starry sky you'll not soon forget. Though it's located in the heart of one of the most densely populated regions of the planet, Borrego Springs is an attractive destination for stargazers. Because of the town's exceptional commitment to dark sky protection and restoration, the International Dark Sky Association designated it in 2009 as the first International Dark Sky Community in California. It remains the only one in the entire state. Borrego Springs is one of the darkest towns in Southern California, partly because it is completely surrounded by nearly a thousand square miles of the dark Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, itself designated as International Dark Sky Park in 2018. Mountains flank the desert on three sides and effectively block much of the light pollution from distant desert and coastal cities. In addition to a variety of popular public lectures, workshops and special events throughout the year, the annual Nightfall Star Party is hosted here by the Riverside Astronomical Society every autumn. In 2011, KCET designated Borrego Springs as one of The 7 Best SoCal Locations for Desert Night Sky Viewing . In 2012, USA Today named the town as one of Ten Great Places to Stargaze in the U.S. , and in 2013, KCET ranked it first in its Seven Best Places to Stargaze in San Diego County . In 2014, The Active Times dubbed Borrego one of the Top Spots for Stargazing Out West , and Afar Magazine listed it among the the world's Epic Stargazing Destinations . In 2018, Livability lists Borrego Springs as one of the Six Places in the U.S. That Take Stargazing Seriously , and the San Francisco Chronicle dubbed Borrego and the surrounding Anza-Borrego Desert State Park as one of California’s Best Four Spots for Stargazing . And be sure to listen to Dennis’ podcast with Visit California about stargazing in Borrego . To learn more about the village of Borrego Springs—its lodging, restaurants, activities and more—please visit the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce & Visitors’ Bureau .
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