This retro resort town known for its midcentury modern style has shed its reputation for steak-and-béarnaise heavy menus in favor of more modern, local cuisine. At Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro, crispy, thin-crust pies are fired up in an authentic wood-fired masonry oven that sizzles at 800-plus degrees for perfectly charred crust. Not in the mood for pizza? Take in the views of Mount San Jacinto and Palm Canyon Drive while you enjoy classically prepared bistro dishes like porcini-rubbed rib eye and wood oven roasted chicken.
Other worth-it destinations include Tinto in the Saguaro Hotel; Iron Chef Jose Garces creates creative tapas warmly rustic and inviting setting—great for a hot night when you want to eat light but eat well. Also consider Essence, the sophisticated restaurant of the swanky Two Bunch Palms resort and spa in Desert Hot Springs. Enjoy the mountain views as French born chef Cossi Houegban present dramatic combinations, such as tempura-fried Blue Lake green beans with crisp lemon and truffle emulsion.
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...