Only a two hour drive from Los Angeles, holidays in Palm Springs offer the chance to experience dramatic and stunning desert scenery without leaving city comforts behind. With a warm and dry climate 350 days a year, it's a perfect relaxing year-round destination to escape the hustle and bustle of LA.
Here you'll find designer shopping, 130 golf courses, top class shows, a wide choice of eateries (we love the authentic Mexican food here) and world class hotels all set against an amazing backdrop.
Straddling the California/Nevada border and the largest national park south of Alaska, Death Valley is known for its extremes. It’s North America’s hottest and driest spot, and has the lowest elevation on the continent at Badwater Basin, 282 ft below sea level. Named by gold prospectors struggling through this baron area in 1849, Death Valley has had many inhabitants including Native American Indians, Chinese immigrants and Japanese Americans who were interned here during World War I.
It’s an eerie but fascinating place with its sculpted rock layers forming deeply shadowed, eroded crevices at the foot of sharply silhouetted hills and their exotic mineral content turning million-year-old mudflats into rainbows of sunlit phosphorescence. Spend your time here discovering many unusual sights like Artist’s Palette, an eroded hillside covered in an intensely coloured mosaic of reds, golds, blacks and greens. The endless salt flats at Badwater or Zabriskie Point, one of the best viewing areas in the park.
In 2013 the International Dark Sky Association declared Death Valley as the world’s largest “international dark sky park”. With the park being enough distance from the large cities of the southwest, much of the night sky above the desert floor is near pristine and, in many places, offers views close to what could be seen before the rise of cities. Whilst you’re in the park check with the Tourist Information Bureau to see if any Park Ranger Night Sky programmes are taking place, these you won’t want to miss.
Where you stay is the heart of your holiday. Location reigns supreme but do you prefer resort facilities or unique and boutique? Historic and old world or modern and shiny?
We aim to present choices across the spectrum but there are many hundreds of places to stay and not room to feature them all. Do speak to your Bon Voyage travel consultant and click the video for our take on this important topic.