Escape the Frozen North in these Sunny Sanctuaries
The area between Los Angeles, CA, and Phoenix, AZ, offers a number of enjoyable winter vacation spots in what is known as the Desert Southwest. Golf communities and luxury resorts have sprung up around pleasant towns in the San Bernardino Mountains, offering a great choice of vacation rentals, condos and villas for snowbirds, retirees and those looking for a short winter break in the sun. Villas on golf courses are particularly popular, with pleasant views across the fairways, while apartments in suburban settings make shopping and dining out very convenient. Here are seven of the best winter vacation spots in the Desert Southwest:
Palm Springs has been known as a Mecca for the spring break migration, but more recently it has become the winter home of well-heeled retirees and Hollywood stars. The upmarket town center is lined with palm trees, boutiques and outdoor cafés, giving it the feel of a European spa resort rather than a small American city. Vacation homes with pools are particularly popular, along with onsite tennis and golf amenities that make the most of the outdoor lifestyle.
Surrounded by mountain scenery and the Saguaro National Park, Tucson offers world-class golf resorts, excellent restaurants and plenty of culture as Arizona’s second-largest city. Museums and art galleries, theaters, restaurants and nightlife are complemented by outdoor activities. Hikes to desert oases, horseback rides in the wilderness and the desert flora and fauna offer something for every visitor.
Just down the road from Palm Springs, Palm Desert is a newer, fast-growing city just as enjoyable as its famous neighbor. Every winter, 32,000 visitors head for Palm Desert to enjoy outdoor activities and superb attractions. Shopping, movies, art walks, hiking, history and attractions such as the Living Desert Tram Tour make Palm Desert villas an inviting option, especially in the winter months.
La Quinta is a lovely resort destination located in the Coachella Valley between Indian Wells and Indio. Visitors come to La Quinta from all over the world to play golf on some of the best courses in the world. Rent a vacation home on the golf course and spend your winter with like-minded friends. Temperatures remain well above freezing, and the area receives less than five inches of rainfall per year.
Winter vacations in Las Vegas have a lot going for them. The city is unsurpassed in entertainment, shopping and dining, and prices are very competitive. Beyond the bright lights are a number of natural attractions, including Lake Mead Recreation Area, Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley National Park. From private mansions with their own golf courses to condos just minutes from The Strip, Las Vegas makes a great winter vacation choice.
Situated in the desert of southwest Arizona, Yuma attracts many winter visitors for its history and sunny climate. The Yuma Territorial Prison is a living museum portraying life in the 19th century, while the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park shows military life in the early 20th century. The Imperial Sand Dunes are within an easy drive of Yuma vacation rentals and are ideal for exploring with off-highway vehicles (OHVs).
One more suggestion for winter vacation rentals in the Desert Southwest is Santa Fe, with its rich cultural heritage of Native American and Wild West history. Museums, hiking trails, historic towns, markets, golf courses and casinos make this a top choice for a warm winter getaway.
Soak up the sun in one of these luxurious California Desert vacation homes