The night sky was our ancestors’ Netflix. This weekend’ll be prime time to see why, as the Perseid Meteor shower — a dazzling spectacle of debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle — kicks into high gear. Here are three places to catch the show.
Angeles National Forest has the elevation (7,000 feet) you need to escape the city lights. Head up Highway 2 for about 50 minutes into the park, past Newcomb’s Ranch (a solid roadhouse bar) and seek a pull-out with scarce tree cover. After 8 PM is best, but you could make it a camping trip.
Three Rivers is an all-glass pad near the Kern River (where you can drop a fishing line during the day). It comes with a telescope and a gourmet kitchen. Hit Kern River Brewing on the way in to pick up some growlers.
Rancho Maroma, a Mediterranean-style manse in Santa Ynez, comes with 25 private acres and sits on a hilltop. The back porch has a fireplace to keep you warm, plus plenty of comfy chairs.
Binoculars are requisite for the full celestial experience. Go for lower magnification, as a wider field of view is what you need. A pair of 7x50s will have a magnification of seven times and extract enough light for nighttime. Nikon’s Aculon is lightweight, approachable and gets it done. Orion’s Reolux is your top-of-the-line option.