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Desert Getaway

Jessica Taylor

Situated on 42 acres within the protected Anza-Borrego Desert State Park—150 miles from Los Angeles on the eastern side of San Diego County—the 63-room Borrego Ranch Resort & Spa offers a welcome escape from the modern world. Here, guests of the $50 million renovated resort (originally built as La Casa del Zorro in the late 1930s by newspaper magnate James S. Copley) can spot roadrunners, golden eagles, and wildflowers in bloom as they hike the canyon slots of the nearby badlands. They can also play lawn chess, climb the resort’s rock wall, or simply enjoy the desert tranquility with a good book under a cabana at one of five swimming pools (if you forgot to bring one, the library in the residential-style lobby offers a wide selection of choices). Other activities include stargazing with a local astronomer, yoga, tennis, or golf at the adjoining Tom Fazio-designed Signature Golf Course. Spa-goers will appreciate Morado—though short on amenities (no indoor whirlpool and a somewhat small changing area), the spa offers expert massages by well-trained therapists. All this healthful living culminates in the resort’s indoor/outdoor gourmet restaurant, Cimarrón, where executive chef Jo Ann Plympton prepares flavorful, in-season cuisine that pairs well with the collection of California wines stocked in the property’s cellar. (800.824.1884, www.borregoranchresort.com)

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Photo by Janos Grapow