1/16 Joshua Tree National Park, California

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Southern California residents should consider themselves lucky with easy access to one of America's last great wilderness areas. Joshua Tree National Park, just two hours east of L.A., offers the chance to escape the chaos of the big city and enter an otherworldly-like place that feels like no other. The landscape is filled with strangely shaped plants and massive boulders towering hundreds of feet into the sky, giving it an appearance of a scene from a sci-fi flick. 

From the Joshua tree itself to the bizarre Cholla cactus, this remote park is a magical wonderland of strange yet stunning alien shapes. Away from the smog and light pollution of the city, you'll be mesmerized by the incredibly clear night's sky that reveals billions upon billions of brightly glowing stars. As one of the best places for stargazing on earth, you'll experience the true original planetarium.