Nestled in the northeast area of San Diego County, hundreds of thousands of visitors are drawn to Borrego Springs from throughout the world. The weather and climate with the dry air and mild winters, combined with the breathtaking beauty are what make this small town of yesterday so friendly and inviting.
Borrego Springs is the only certified Dark Sky Community in California, and one of the only two in the country where the stargazing is unparalleled. The community is surrounded by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is an oasis without even a stoplight and protectively by far the largest state park in California. Font Point in the park has been nominated as an 8th wonder of the world.
One thing’s for sure, there is something here for everybody. You will want to come back as often as you can with anticipation to relax, play, or adventure in California’s “secret desert.” It is a prime travel destination spot that is unforgettable. The more you explore, the more you will discover, it’s never-ending.
The desert blooms and wildflowers are a must see, and the Borrego Desert Nature Museum and Visitor Center is not to be missed. The talented artists and artwork on display are absolutely fantastic. Some of the dramatic yet whimsical works of art are the desert metal sculptures dotting the 22 miles of mostly paved roads throughout the park. Each exhibit tells a story of the past. The landowner of Galleta Meadows Estates said the property was developed for the sole purpose of displaying the metal sculptures. He had envisioned the starkly beautiful desert property enhanced with the incredible steel-welded sculptures of artist Ricardo Breceda, who is based in Paris, CA. About 130 of his sculptures are located in this area with new ones always on the horizon. The original sculptures were inspired by animals that lived millions of years ago in the Anza Borrego area during the Plio-Pleistocene age. Later works were representative of local history, and whim and fantasy motivating the creation of many others. There is even a full-sized Willy’s Jeep CJ-3A with a passenger. You can purchase a road guide to all the sculptures while visiting. The guide will take you to each location where grouped or individual art is placed. These sculptures in themselves are worth the visit.
Another wonder located in Borrego Palm Canyon is a worthwhile hiking destination to a real oasis. The hike/walk is one and a half miles to reach the lush oasis, which is located deep within the canyon. All life in the desert revolves around water so don’t be surprised to see Peninsular bighorn sheep, which are an endangered species, lizards, wonderful birds and a great deal of action around the water and palm trees. One is seriously transported to another world. Another interesting experience is seeing the remains and traces of the ancient people, the Cahuilla Indians, who chose the Palm Canyon area for a home and village site. Today their presence is strongly felt.
The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is named after Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. It is the largest state park in California, with 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and miles of hiking trails.
We stayed in one of the ruins at the park where a working fireplace still stands and is useable today for campers. We enjoyed sitting at the campsite watching a full moon, and constellations and meteor showers.
If roughing it is not your thing, there are hotels with full amenities nearby. Borrego Springs Resort is family friendly, and the more high-end Borrego Valley Inn offers an amazing stay. It’s a premium desert inn that offers a great breakfast and afternoon treats. The inn has two pools , one for bathing suits, and the other a private European pool for nude swims and sun bathing. It is a rich, rustic experience, with a courtyard that has a beautiful bird aviary.
As for the dining experience in the Borrego Springs area, the local restaurants have everything imaginable, with a wide range for every taste bud.
There is so much to do at Borrego Springs and if you are extra adventurous, you will not have to drive far to a many more hot spots of interest. Horseback riding, tennis, a championship Golf course, fitness centers, recreational activities of all kinds are all located just a couple of hours out of Los Angeles. No matter what the season, it’s always worth bringing your camera and getting great shots. Many want to keep this place a secret but I hope you will come and see , that it is just the secret place you have been waiting for.