Borrego Springs, the Borrego Springs Resort and Country Club
By Waleed Rashidi
Why you must go: If you’re seeking an escape from the typical fanfare surrounding most vacation destinations and you’re temperature tempered (we arrived on the Summer Solstice at a sprightly 118 degrees in the afternoon), Borrego Springs is a major catch, putting relaxation and isolation in foreground. Situated in the heart of the Anza-Borrego desert sink, there are some striking mountains surrounding three-quarters of the panoramic view, of which you’ll have to traverse to enter the region. The drive to the destination is largely a leisurely one with rural and county highways carving through forest, field and more decidedly arid landscapes. Once you land at the Springs, fresh off the switchbacks on Montezuma Valley Road, plenty of small-town desert niceties dot the main drag (Palm Canyon Dr.) that only bolster this location as a quaint, honest getaway. Shopping centers like “The Plaza” and “The Mall” (well, it’s not exactly like the type of mall you’re probably thinking) sport local gifts and goods, while the visitor’s center a block from the town’s center of Christmas Circle can offer the best advice that zero cash can buy.
The Borrego Springs Resort and Country Club is itself unpretentious and simple, yet quickly accommodating, with large, unfussy rooms. However, the gorgeous golf courses (27 holes total) are the Resort’s crown jewel and main attraction, with picturesque scenes of the well-manicured fairways from all angles. Such viewing of this lush greenery—yes, even on a searing summer day—extend to the large windows of the Arches restaurant dining room, where a menu hosting a full complement of dishes and wines means that one doesn’t have to even leave the premises for an excellent meal (our halibut dish really made for a great night capper). The grounds also feature activities for those sans a 9-iron, including two swimming pools, a fitness room and six tennis courts.
Borrego Springs Resort and Country Club, 1112 Tilting T Drive, Borrego Springs, (760) 767-5700, $100-$175, 888-826-7734, 100 rooms; summer “Stay and Play” specials from $125–$175. For more rates and packages, visit: www.borregospringsresort.com
Where to eat: If you’re not aiming for a table at the Arches, then the Red Ocotillo is a choice destination. This Quonset hut-turned-roadside diner serves up a plate of fish & chips that really hits the spot.
What else to check out: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Though it was closed when we attempted to check it out, the park’s visitor center is situated at the far west end of Borrego Springs and gives one a close-up view of the natural desert landscape.