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Sunset at Alisal Lake: View from dam

The Ultimate Guide

Stargazing at Alisal Ranch This Summer

The Ultimate Guide to Stargazing at Alisal Ranch This Summer

Exterior view of Golf View Cottage

Wrangle up some stars this summer with the magic of clear nights at Alisal Ranch, where our California homestead offers a unique opportunity to stargaze, far from the city lights. Whether you’re an experienced stargazer or just looking for a peaceful way to end your day, our summer skies offer the perfect setting for an evening of stargazing that’s romantic for couples and enjoyable for the whole family! Below is a guide to what you can expect to see when you join us this season. Haven’t booked your stay yet? We still have room availability in August.

Constellations to Watch for Starting July 1st, 2024, at 11:00 PM: 

Draco: Look for Draco, the Dragon, winding its way between the Big and Little Dippers. This constellation is visible year-round and is especially prominent in the summer sky.
Where to look: Draco can be found in the northern sky, wrapping around the Little Dipper​.

Lyra: Home to Vega, one of the brightest stars, Lyra is small but noticeable. Vega is part of the Summer Triangle and is a key feature of the summer sky.
Where to look: Lyra is best viewed by looking towards the eastern sky after sunset​.

Ursa Major: Ursa Major, also known as the Great Bear, contains the famous Big Dipper asterism. This constellation is visible year-round and is especially bright in the summer sky.
Where to look: Ursa Major can be seen in the northern sky, with the Big Dipper pointing towards Polaris, the North Star​.

Libra: Libra, the Scales, is a smaller constellation visible in the summer right by the moon. It represents balance and is one of the few constellations that represent an inanimate object.
Where to look: Libra is found in the southern sky, best seen in the early evening​.

Cassiopeia: Cassiopeia, the Queen, is easily recognizable by its distinctive W shape. It’s a prominent constellation in the northern sky and is visible year-round, making it a summer stargazing favorite.
Where to look: Cassiopeia is located in the northern sky, opposite Ursa Major​.

Below is a visual representation of what you’ll see when stargazing at Alisal Ranch:

Best Spots for Stargazing at Alisal Ranch

view of hills and Alisal lake

-Golf View: Enjoy the stars from the lawn in front of the Golf View Cottages. The open greens provide an unobstructed view of the night sky, making it an ideal location for a relaxing stargazing experience.

-Hiking Trail Head: Begin your stargazing adventure at the trail head of our hiking trail, where minimal light interference allows for perfect visibility of the night sky.

-Along the Front Pasture of the Ranch Entrance: A perfect spot for stargazing, the front pasture of the ranch entrance provides a nice area to settle in right by the horses!


Tips for an Unforgettable Stargazing Experience

Bring a Star Map: Embrace the Alisal Ranch spirit by going old school—print out a star map like the one above for a fun, hands-on way to explore constellations in the night sky. Stop by the Front Desk and they will be happy to print a copy for you.

-Download an App: For an interactive approach, upgrade your stargazing game by downloading an app. We recommend the following to help identify constellations and planets:

Use a Telescope or Binoculars: While many stars are visible to the naked eye, a telescope or binoculars can enhance your experience, revealing more details and even some planets. Our Front Desk has a telescope you can use or check out Amazon for some great deals on travel telescopes.

Join Us for Stargazing at Alisal Ranch

Stargazing at Alisal Ranch is an experience that you won’t want to miss! Whether you’re visiting for the first time or returning for another adventure, our California resort offers the perfect setting to connect with the cosmos. So, pack your telescope, download a stargazing app, and book your stay with us this summer to discover why Alisal Ranch is a place where memories—and constellations—are made. 

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