Palm Springs901 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
Head northeast from San Diego to the Greater Palm Springs area, where your definition of “sports” can include tennis, golf, shopping, or lounging by the pool. The La Quinta Resort & Club takes its role as a desert oasis quite seriously. After all, this jewel in Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria collection features 41 magnificent pools within its manicured grounds. The 781-room resort dates back to 1926 and has plenty of stories to tell: For instance, this is reportedly where Frank Capra wrote It’s a Wonderful Life. Anyone can feel like an A-lister here, thanks to the five championship golf courses, the spa, tennis courts, and easy access to shopping, from Old Old Town La Quinta to Palm Desert’s El Paseo. The resort also makes an elegant base camp for desert hikes, including the 5-mile Cove to Lake Trail, or the challenging, 7.5-mile Boo Hoff Trail.