California's Newest Dark Sky Community Is a Starry Gem

You adore it for apple pie, old-timey charm, and beautiful hikes: Now Julian is the second Golden State community to receive the designation.

Kevin Key/Slworking

What to Know

  • Julian is located in San Diego county
  • The quaint village, beloved for its apple treats and quaint charms, was just named an International Dark Sky Community by the International Dark-Sky Association
  • Borrego Springs is the other California Dark Sky Community

HERE'S A QUIRKY QUESTION: Are there more apples in Julian, the quaint San Diego County town that's beloved for its homemade pies, or are there more stars shining down upon it at night? That's an easy one, of course: Stars will always outnumber apples, what with the unquantifiable size of the universe and all. But given the pretty hamlet's apple-famous reputation, we can understand if you paused before responding. But here's something fans also adore about the mountain-high burg, in addition to its perfect pies: Julian's lovely, low-lit, super-starry nights. Of course, regular visitors already know that Julian is a superb place to stargaze, and regional astronomy clubs have long called upon the area, which sits far outside the brighter lights of Southern California, to peer through powerful telescopes. But the...

INTERNATIONAL DARK-SKY ASSOCIATION... just named Julian as an International Dark Sky Community, the second California town to receive this designation. The announcement was made on May 10, 2021, with background on how the decision was made. "Enacting a quality outdoor lighting policy is at the heart of achieving International Dark Sky Community status," the association shared in a statement, and "... the Julian Dark Sky Network worked closely with officials from surrounding San Diego County, California, to affect changes to the County's outdoor lighting ordinance. The results help pave the way for future communities in the County to become certified by IDA."

READ MORE NOW, and learn about other International Dark Sky Communities, including California's first Dark Sky town, Borrego Springs, at this site. And if you'd like to call upon both of the Golden State's current Dark Sky towns on one astronomically amazing road trip? Julian, the apple of our sky, er, eye, is less than an hour's drive from the gorgeous desert village.

Pictured: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park near Julian

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