Death Valley's Happening Nightlife Scene

The clubs are few -- well, non-existent -- but the spectacular show? So rich.

HOW'S THE NIGHTLIFE? The term "nightlife" isn't exactly a portmanteau, though we'd dearly love to say it is, because "portmanteau" should come back into more common usage, but it could qualify as the less colorful (but highly accurate) compound word. And the fairly new word "nightlife" -- well, newish, since it came well after "night" and "life" -- means just one thing nowadays: entertainment, action, go-go-go. Okay, that was a few things, granted, but people generally take it to mean a city's bars, clubs, restaurants, the whole going-out scene. But why can't a remote area also boast a nightlife, especially if it, too, has a show to stage? Maybe not of the neon-bass thumping-swanky cocktail variety, but a show that is spectacular nonetheless. A show that may involve the universe, or at least the cosmos as viewed from earth, in all of its Milky-Way-esque glory.

IF WE CAN USE... that measuring stick, then Death Valley National Park has a MAJOR nightlife. Nope, the thumping bass and valet line is not to be found, but there are full moon guided hikes led by park rangers. There's a reason these after-dusk strolls are popular: The International Dark-Sky Association named Death Valley a Gold-Tier location. "With clear nights the norm and the exterior lights of the resort dim by design, the big sky of the desert shines with starscapes that can be experienced in few places in the U.S.," says a Furnace Creek rep.

OH, AND FURNACE CREEK? We know you've got some lovely nightlife in the form of restaurants and pools to swim in under star-twinkle. So we're not saying some touches of traditional nightlife don't show a little bit in the very nice lobby bar at the Inn at Furnace Creek. That exists. But if you're version of nightlife is more about the moon and quiet and scurrying lizards and actually seeing the streaky evidence of the galaxy in which we call home, then your night will take on life -- yep, we did that -- in D.V.

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