Comets and asteroids leave a tail of smaller particles in space. Several times of the year the earth traveling in her orbit passes through these awaiting star shows.
This year (August 12-13 2010,) there will be a NO (August 10) moon to compete with the meteor showers. The weekend to plan out is August 13/14/15
Sunset about 7pm (and getting daytime getting shorter)
I suggest you go to non populated lakes in and around the
region and go for a night time canoe or kayak. Sacramento
Alternatively, there are many granite peaks that are void of trees that are perfect theaters for the more land based people.
I would welcome the opportunity to point you in the correct direction. (did you see my first post?)
Bonus: watch for satellites about an hour after sunset. Your part of earth is in shadow. However, the satellites are flying in high orbit and their panels often reflect directly down to you!