If there’s ever a time in California when you might feel especially ready for a beer, it’s after a day exploring the dramatic desert parklands around Palm Springs. The beer scene here isn’t quite as hot as the climate (yet), but fortunately, a handful of artisanal breweries will invite you in for a cold one.
In Rancho Mirage, the region’s oldest brewery Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse at the River offers a gold-medal-winning Blackfin Lager and a Belgian Vanilla Blonde Ale. Call in on a Monday and enjoy the weekly 50 per cent discount on most of the taps; with over 35 international awards under their belt, you really can’t make a bad choice.
In Thousand Palms, Coachella Valley Brewing Company will slake your thirst with the cleverly named Kölschella, and on Friday evenings and Saturdays you can enjoy a free tour of the brewery. The sustainably minded CVB (as it’s known to the locals) is also proud of its high-efficiency brewing system, which uses less water and creates less waste than conventional systems. Spent grain left over at the end of the brewing process is used as livestock feed by local agricultural businesses.
Just down the road in the community of Palm Desert, visit the friendly tap room at La Quinta Brewing Company to try a Bourbon Barrel Aged Koffi Porter. You can also sample their beers at their nearby Palm Springs Taproom and the Old Town Taproom in La Quinta. And in the High Desert town of Hesperia, order a Mojave Mud IPA or a Santa Ana Saison at the Desert Barn Brewery.
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...