For someone unfamiliar with the desert, Borrego Springs, California, is like traveling to another world. Surrounded by the 600,000 acres of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Santa Rosa Mountains, Borrego Springs boasts an authentic desert experience.
Borrego Valley Airport boasts a 5,000-foot paved runway, and the approach brings you across the desert, which to the uninitiated feels like the craters of the moon. The white, sandy landscape is dotted with scrubby bushes and tumbleweeds; boulders along the mountains near Julian are like mounds of underbaked chocolate-chip cookies. It’s a landscape like no other made even more amazing in the spring when the wildflowers and cacti bloom.
Borrego Springs is an international dark sky community. This means that there are light restrictions at night so that star-gazing parties and astronomy nights are commonplace, especially from June through August. There is only one traffic light in the whole city.
On 42 acres outside of Borrego Springs is La Casa del Zorro (home of the fox), a historic hotel and spa that was first established in 1933. It is the classic Southern California resort with hand-hewn wood beams and adobe walls. It was a property of newspaper magnate James Copley (The San Diego Union-Tribune) starting in 1960 and was a meeting place of political figures such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and many famous Hollywood personalities. It fell into disrepair after Copley’s death but was renovated in 2013. There are 44 luxury rooms, four garden rooms, and 19 private casitas with private swimming pools, two dining rooms, a one-mile walking path, five tennis courts, and a full-service spa.
Borrego Springs Airport is just five miles from La Casa del Zorro and offers complimentary transportation.