Borrego Springs, California

Borrego Springs, California

Borrego Springs is California’s desert hideaway. It is a placid village sprinkled across the vastness of a broad sunbaked valley. Relatively flat terrain in town, only a few feet above sea level, extends thirty miles to the east where the state=s largest inland water body, the Salton Sea, lies 228 feet below sea level. Nearly encircling rocky mountains rise abruptly to elevations more than a mile higher than the village.

Juan Bautiste De Anza passed through in 1774 en route to Monterey. However, the site was so isolated and inhospitably hot that it was seldom visited before settlement began around 1912. Borrego Springs remained a tiny settlement until improvements to air conditioning after World War II began to attract year-round residents.

Today, growth continues at a leisurely pace as sun-seekers opt for this quiet alternative to the famed desert resort communities that lie around the mountains to the north. California’s largest state park surrounds town, and attracts increasing numbers of visitors to the low desert's most compelling attraction—natural palm-lined oases fed by year-round springs in scenic gorges. Campers and hikers are especially rewarded when winter rains cause a myriad of wildflowers to burst into brilliant colors in early spring. Several compact resorts and golf courses are draws. There is a short but growing list of places to eat and shop in and around the village. In addition to a few resorts and comfortable motels, one of the California desert=s most delightful little inns recently opened in town.