In-the-know visitors make sure to come to the Palm Springs area with room in their suitcases. Bargain hunters beeline for the town of Cabazon, home of Desert Hills Premium Outlets and an impressive list of designer brands including Prada, Burberry, and Gucci. Nearby Cabazon Outlets offers more great deals on clothes, shoes, and housewares.
In Palm Desert, the wide, artwork-and-flower trimmed street known as El Paseo has boutiques, galleries, and shops trendy enough to earn in the nickname “The Rodeo Drive of the Desert.” The Gardens on El Paseo retail complex is especially luxurious—a great destination for strolling on warm evenings before having dinner at one of its outdoor cafés—it really doesn’t get much better than this. Creativity also plays a big role in Palm Springs, where the Backstreet Art District features artist-owned galleries and working studios, giving you a chance to chat with artists as well as buy their one-of-a-kind pieces. Browse at shops in the appealing Uptown Design District, a hotbed of vintage and contemporary treasures in Mid-century Modern buildings as retro-chic as the items for sale inside.
The thwack of a golf club, the hum of the wind buffeting towering sand dunes, the splash of a dive into a perfect pool—the desert region is a sensory feast.
Following winter rains, springtime wildflowers paint the desert with colour.
Death Valley National Park holds the record for hottest temperature ever recorded (129°F/54°C in 1913), while the deserts of Joshua Tree National Park have giant boulders and alien-like yucca plants. At Anza-Borrego, California’s largest state park, discover amazing springtime wildflowers. The oasis-like Palm Springs region (2 hours east of L.A. and 3 hours northeast of San Diego) has golf resorts, midcentury modern architecture, and every spring, the epic Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
For all of the desert’s natural splendor and outdoor destinations, creativity comes with the territory, too. Throughout the year, the region finds ways to celebrate art, design, music, and film...