Editor’s Note: Check the websites prior to traveling to any of these outdoor destinations to learn their protocols in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Desert Willow Golf Resort
Designed by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Dry (along with Southern California golf legend John Cook), the Mountain View and Firecliff courses frame one of the top municipal golf facilities in the nation. For what the Mountain View offers in stunning vistas and natural desert routing, the tougher Firecliff counters with astute bunkering. desertwillow.com
Indian Wells Golf Resort
Top-ranked by Golf and Golfweek magazines, these 36 holes test players on the Celebrity and the Players courses, which are aptly dubbed “Beauty and the Beast.” Clive Clark’s Celebrity Course stretches across an undulating landscape with flowing streams and waterfall features, while the John Fought–designed Players Course dares linksmen with sculpted bunkers and thickets of native trees. indianwellsgolfresort.com
Pretend to be a golf pro at this hallmark venue, which annually plays host to the world’s best as one of three courses in rotation on the PGA Tour’s American Express (formerly the Desert Classic). pgawest.com
Golfers of all levels will find a challenge at this world-renowned golf course designed by Arnold Palmer. The desert gem offers gorgeous landscape views and over 5,000 pine, California pepper, and olive trees. classicclubgolf.com
Marriott’s Shadow Ridge
The debut domestic design from six-time major winner Nick Faldo tees up a scorecard of resort-style, championship golf. Generous landing areas define fairways, while an onus on approach accuracy proves the key tenet for scoring. golfshadowridge.com
Reflective ponds and sweeping native bunkers dot the 200-acre Arnold Palmer Classic Course and epitomize the scenic lure that Greater Palm Springs had on Palmer. Both resort clubhouses pair hearty breakfast menus (and post-round cocktails) with sweeping course views.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GETTY IMAGES
Book a private tennis lesson with a USPTA-certified pro at one of the top tennis resorts in the world: La Quinta Resort & Club. Or try the fast-paced paddle sport pickleball, which has an easier learning curve. Lessons are available at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. laquintaresort.com
Adventure Hummer Tours
The tour company provides sunset excursions that wind through the labyrinth canyons of the fault zone along with stargazing journeys across the group’s own private nature preserve. They’ll also escort you to nearby Temecula for wine tasting. adventurehummer.com
Big Wheel Tours
Experience the unique terrain with a guided tour through Joshua Tree National Park, or simply discover the beauty of the Coachella Valley by bike or hike from this multifaceted tour operator. bwbtours.com
Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours & Events
Thheir website days they hope to resume tours in mid-September. Get an up-close look at some of the most breathtaking and peculiar natural wonders in the desert, from the San Andreas Fault to the Painted Canyon. Sign up for a tour to learn all about flora, fauna, and geology. red-jeep.com
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ADVENTURE HUMMER
BMW Performance Center
Test your mettle behind the wheel of an M Series or a Mini at this facility in Thermal. Hour-long track drives in one of the luxury manufacturer’s most powerful rides include six laps, while Mini experiences hurl drivers through exercises in handling, braking, and autocross stunts.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JAIME KOWAL
Take a stroll
Bear Creek Nature Trail
For alfresco aerobics, head to this paved pathway that stretches 4.8 miles along the base of the Southern Santa Rosa Mountains and meanders through a protected nature preserve. Natural beauty beckons in all directions, from wispy mesquite trees to scattered boulders to mountain peaks riding in the distance. hikingingps.com
The quiet area enchants with jagged cliffs, trickling streams, and dense palm groves. Visitors have flocked here since the early 1900s, but as the ancestral ground of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the land’s story traces back much further. indian-canyons.com
• READ NEXT: 10 Most Instagrammable Spots in Palm Springs.
PHOTOGRAPH BY BIANCA BAYARDO