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Julian Natural Wonderfest - Scoping Out the Dark of Night

  • Jess Martin Park 2955 Highway 79 Julian, CA UAS (map)

— Ann Reilly Cole

There is not much to do in Julian once the sun goes down, and that’s just the way people like it. After the shops and restaurants close, locals and intrepid tourists get treated to one of the best parts of rural nightlife: a dark sky illuminated by the moon and the stars. 

One of the few places left in Southern California where one can see the Milky Way with the naked eye, Julian is home to many public and private stargazing activities throughout spring and summer.

The annual Julian Natural Wonderfest will be held in the midst of the Perseid meteor showers. Set at Jess Martin Park on Highway 79 from 4 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 3, this free event with exhibitions and presentations about the local backcountry environment includes workshops on astrophotography and an opportunity to look deep into space through some high-powered telescopes. 

Curiosity Peak Observatory regularly hosts free star parties for the public by reservation, while the Observer’s Inn offers guided sky tours for a fee. Visit and

Those interested in associating with like-minded star-lovers to protect the area from light pollution are invited to join the Julian Dark Sky Network,

Julian is one of the best places in the county to enjoy the night sky, and there’s plenty of room to sit back and enjoy outer space.

Earlier Event: August 1
Apple Days
Later Event: September 21
50th Annual Julian Music Festival