With world-class golf courses set against dramatic desert landscapes and top-quality tennis courts beneath towering palms, two sports get classy treatment in the Palm Springs region—great if you’re a spectator or if you like to play.
"Coachella Valley boasts more golf courses per capita than any place on earth."
Long considered one of America’s golf capitals, Coachella Valley boasts more golf courses per capita than any place on earth. And we are talking seriously beautiful courses. The Pete Dye-designed TPC Stadium at PGA West in La Quinta earned honors from Golf Digest as one the top 100 public courses in the world. PGA West also features the La Quinta Resort Mountain Course, which is famous for its innovative design and spectacular combination of lush landscaping and eroded, pink-hued stones of the Santa Rosa range that frames the vista to the west.
Tennis holds its own place of honor in the desert, with outstanding public courts throughout the valley. Area resorts offer both premium facilities and lessons with skilled pros, including at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, where you can live out your Wimbledon fantasies on two grass courts. And if you want to play where the pros play, the spectacular Indian Wells Tennis Garden (home to springtime’s BNP Paribas Open, a top-tier event drawing Federer, Sharipova, Nadal, and other tennis mega-stars) offers nearly 30 open-to-all courts (many of them lit at night).
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...