Tour Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, where presidents will meet

Tour Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, where presidents will meet

President Obama and China's President Xi Jinping will meet this weekend at Sunnylands, the 200-acre Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage. It has hosted five decades of political and Hollywood luminaries behind its pink walls.

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More on California Deserts

Southern California Close-Ups: Joshua Tree National Park and Desert Hot Springs

Southern California Close-Ups: Joshua Tree National Park and Desert Hot Springs

It's a dry heat – a boulder-studded, wind-raked Mojave heat, in which rock stars lie low, artists think big, marines train, weird...

A peaceful interlude at the Mojave National Preserve

A peaceful interlude at the Mojave National Preserve

For a nation in perpetual motion, to cross the lands that make up the Mojave National Preserve has long meant only one thing: You are very...

The Willows: A hidden retreat in Palm Springs

The Willows: A hidden retreat in Palm Springs

A decade ago, when my wife and I were honeymooning on Italy's Amalfi Coast, we'd talked — maybe even vowed — to return there for...

Palm Springs' 'goat trails' by mountain bike

Palm Springs' 'goat trails' by mountain bike

Rocky and mostly barren, the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains southwest of Palm Springs offer terrain hospitable only to king snakes,...

Escape urban stress at Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Escape urban stress at Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Barreling across the desert toward Palm Springs, I measured my progress on Interstate 10 by the unsightly roadside landmarks I passed: a...

Death Valley: A different kind of winter wonderland

Death Valley: A different kind of winter wonderland

In the summer, the sun in Death Valley shows no mercy, pushing the mercury over the 115-degree mark, sucking every drop of moisture from the...

Trailer accommodations in Joshua Tree

Trailer accommodations in Joshua Tree

I had my doubts as I turned off the isolated highway onto the sandy open desert.

Chasing musical legends in Joshua Tree National Park

Chasing musical legends in Joshua Tree National Park

Typically, we go to the desert at least once a year. We love the expansive space, several of the inns and restaurants and, of course, the...

Hop in, hang on and enjoy Death Valley

Hop in, hang on and enjoy Death Valley

Death Valley National Park is a tease. You can see some of its famous sites from the highway, but many of the park's attractions are...

A warm welcome to Death Valley

A warm welcome to Death Valley

At 2 a.m. the coyotes began circling, yipping and howling in the darkness beyond our tepee. I gulped hard and stared at my friend Terry....

California deserts will soon burst with wildflowers

California deserts will soon burst with wildflowers

The valleys and hillsides of the Southern California deserts have been preparing all winter for their close-up. Silent and forlorn, often...

A visit to 1959 Palm Springs

A visit to 1959 Palm Springs

The year was a seminal one for the desert resort town; 50 years on, it's still a swingin' time.

What happened in Palm Springs in 1959

What happened in Palm Springs in 1959

In January, Fidel Castro takes over Cuba.

Beauty blooms in the Antelope Valley poppy reserve's high desert

Beauty blooms in the Antelope Valley poppy reserve's high desert

Some friends think I'm nuts for living in the high desert. Why, they wonder, do I put up with the howling wind, devilish heat and beige...

In Borrego Springs, development dreams -- and pitfalls

In Borrego Springs, development dreams -- and pitfalls

The desert backcountry of San Diego County has always been a great place for long shadows -- the wiry ocotillo stalks at dawn, the oasis...

Way cool: Death Valley charms families

Way cool: Death Valley charms families

About 300 miles northeast of Los Angeles, vast Death Valley National Park is a place of extremes: hottest, driest, lowest. Amid its timeless...

A desert hike through Joshua Tree with high tech

A desert hike through Joshua Tree with high tech

Joshua Tree National Park

Wild about Anza-Borrego's desert wildflowers

Two Anza-Borrego Desert State Park visitors get an early start on a viewing season expected to yield a riot of color.

Ace Hotel & Swim Club is a hybrid apart in Palm Springs

The first thing that caught my eye: the coyote wearing a pearl necklace.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs

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Amazon Fire TV unboxed

Amazon Fire TV unboxed

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California: Steinbeck fest highlights in Salinas

California: Steinbeck fest highlights in Salinas

Tough times. Drastic climate swings. Sound familiar? The 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s momentous “The Grapes...

California: Gold medal conditions at Mammoth

California: Gold medal conditions at Mammoth

Glazed with more than three feet of fresh snow, Mammoth Mountain is fully loaded for President’s Weekend, with 100% of the terrain...