Nowadays, when you think of the desert it’s less the dystopian backdrop of a George Miller film and more of an oasis for adventure and relaxation. The dry climate coupled with the pleasantly warm temperatures of the springtime make the desert the perfect place for a weekend getaway. These destinations with their luxury resorts, local eateries, and outdoor activities should be at the top of your list to experience.
Located in the Sonoran Desert, Palm Springs has long been a go-to destination for celebrities to unwind and relax under the California sunshine. Today, no matter what your style of vacation is, this town has you covered. Hike, bike, or horseback ride the trails of the surrounding Coachella Valley before taking a dip into mineral hot springs. If live music is your passion, the grounds of the famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are less than an hour’s drive away.
Stay: With its bungalow-style lodgings featuring private patios looking out onto the mountains, the L'Horizon Resort and Spa will make you feel like you have this luxurious retreat all to yourself.
Eat: For brunch that’s worth the wait, Cheeky’s can’t be missed. It’s a local favorite serving up organic dishes that change with the season. One item on the menu that doesn’t change though, the bacon flight.
For those who love to get out on the green, or out on the town, Scottsdale should be your next stop. Tee off at one of the award-winning golf courses, like the par 71 Stadium course at TPC Scottsdale set to the backdrop of the McDowell Mountains. A quick nap in the afternoon will have you ready for a late-night rendezvous at one of the wine bars or dance clubs in Old Town.
Stay: Nestled at the foot of Camelback Mountain, if the views at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia weren’t reason enough to stay, surely the 31,000 square foot spa is. At Joya Spa you can indulge in traditional treatments like a massage or facial, or opt for a more contemporary service like IV therapy.
Drink: Sip on a craft cocktail at Second Story Restaurant & Liquor Bar, an upscale lounge using old world techniques to create a truly unique experience for those looking to quench their thirst.
The largest city in New Mexico located at the northern tip of the Chihuahuan Desert, Albuquerque has a rich cultural history dating back to 1706 when it was founded as a Spanish colony. That heritage can still be seen in Old Town Albuquerque with its narrow streets, adobe architecture, and charming Old Town Plaza which served as the epicenter for the city when it was started, and continues to do so today.
Stay: Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town is the hidden jewel of the Southwest. With demure rooms and suites, the décor is inspired by the Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultures that have defined and shaped this city for hundreds of years.
Do: Watch how the colors of the Sandia Mountains turn a reddish-pink at sunset along the trail at Elena Gallegos Park. “Sandia” means watermelon in Spanish.