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« Previous Edition   |   This California Travel Edition Posted on 03/09/15

Visiting California's Desert Region

In the salad days of Route 66, Needles marked the climactic end of the iconic roadway’s 2,450-mile journey from Chicago to the Santa Monica Pier – and it’s a must-stop for road trippers retracing the legendary path this spring and summer. Even though Needles is sometimes called “America’s Hottest City,” the community is one last oasis before Route 66 takes westbound travelers through the arid Mohave Desert.

Of course, roadside treats along the way include the Graffiti Corridor, past Essex, the Amboy Crater, outside the ghost town of Amboy, the Bagdad Café in Newberry Springs, and the Route 66 Mother Road Museum in the mountains of Barstow.

Indio sees giant crowds, April 10th through 12th, and again April 17th through 19th, when the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival returns, bringing with it more than 100 musical acts, dozens of visual artists, food trucks, and many more activities. Skip expensive camping and parking passes by sleeping off-site in Indio, or in the nearby communities of Palm Desert or Palm Springs.

Palm Springs visitors in search of a different kind of musical experience will find the 17th Annual Opera in the Park event on April 12th. Bring the whole family to Sunrise Park to see the arias of Rossini, Bizet, Wagner, Puccini, Verdi, and more performed by the Palm Springs Opera Guild.

A go-to getaway for southern California’s elite, Palm Springs boasts a bounty of first-rate cuisine served up at one-of-a-kind restaurants throughout the city. Taste for yourself at Palm Springs Restaurant Week 2015, May 29th through June 7th, when local favorites like Alicante, Balisage Bistro, and Bellatrix open up with special menu items, prix fixe menus, and tasting events.

To the far South, El Centro is an ideal stop for Interstate 8 travelers. The milder spring weather is perfect for practicing your swing at the 9-hole Lakeview Golf Course, and Imperial Valley Mall offers a wide range of retail shopping options.

Runners gather in El Centro on April 18th for the 3rd Annual Color Fest 5K. The course starts and finishes at Bucklin Park. Don’t afraid to get dirty – color bombs paint runners every color imaginable along the way. What’s more, the Children’s Fair takes over Bucklin Park right after the race.

Desert Region Hotel Map

Best Western Rewards

11 Best Western Hotels
in Desert Region

    Desert Villa Inn




    Main Street Inn


    John Jay Inn


    John Jay Inn

    El Centro

    Date Tree Hotel


    Colorado River Inn


    Palm Desert Resort

    Palm Desert

    Inn at Palm Springs

    Palm Springs

    Las Brisas Hotel

    Palm Springs

    Gardens Hotel at Joshua Tree National Park

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Desert Region Events

April 2015

April 17-19, 2015
2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

For three days, the town of Indio will become a hub for hundreds of alternative musical acts, artists, and music fanatics. The festival start time is TBA.

April 25, 2015
2015 Earth, Wind, & Fire

Catch the iconic group perform their biggest R&B and jazz hits at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. The show begins at 8 p.m.

May 2015

May 2, 2015
2015 Brew at the Zoo

Sip fine, handcrafted beers from over 50 regional breweries at the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

June 2015

June 29 - May 7, 2015
2015 Palm Springs Restaurant Week

Experience some of the best restaurants and meals the desert valley has to offer during Palm Springs' Restaurant Week. Start times vary by date and location.

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