We spent three weeks in Borrego-Springs, our first official stop for Project Escape. It could not have been a better location for us. Besides all the great stuff we did in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, we got out and explored beyond the park, even heading to San Diego for a day. Our plan had been to head to Joshua Tree for a few days as well, but quite frankly we were enchanted by Borrego Springs.
Here are five things to do while staying in Borrego Springs, but this list is definitely not exhaustive and there is plenty more to do!
Check out all of the Galleta Meadow Statues
A really unique aspect of Borrego Springs is the 130 full-sized metal sculptures throughout the area. They are everywhere and the town is so proud of them. The large majority of them are spread out in several meadows surrounding Borrego-Springs. All the meadows are called Galleta Meadows which can be confusing. You can get a map of them at the Chamber of Commerce office.
It is really fun to find yourself amidst creatures that roamed the desert millions of years ago – real and imagined. There are prehistoric mammals, fanciful dinosaurs, and a 350-foot-long serpent/dragon which I am standing under in this photo.
Eat Anything Apple in Julian
We discovered Julian by mistake. We were out scouting on Route 78 and decided to see if there were any grocery stores in the area when Don’s Market in Julian came up. The two grocery stores in Borrego Springs are super small with limited selection (thank goodness for the farmer’s market on Fridays!) so I wanted to see what other options there might be.
Well, we never made it to Don’s, we got side-tracked by apple pie! Once we drove into Julian we could see there was apple everything in a multitude of locations. We got out and strolled around the cute downtown checking out ciders, pies, candied apples and more. We ended up getting apple juice and a pie from Mom’s and went home satisfied.
A few days later we drove seven more miles down the road to the Julian Pie Company (Don’s Market turned out to be right next to it) and bought pie and cider from them as well. Verdict: we liked the cider from Mom’s better and the pie from Julian’s Pie Company. It seems that there are lots of people lined up on both sides with opinions of whom they prefer, but for us, it was a split.
Julian is a 45-minute drive from Borrego-Springs.
Eat and Drink Citrus
Buy fruit here! It is fantastic!
No one was more surprised than I was to realize that this desert area grows fantastic citrus in the form of oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, and lemons. The first clue was the grapefruit, and lemon tree on either side of our spot in the RV park. But then while driving out to Font’s Point our route took us on Henderson Valley Road where there are two farmstands: Seley Ranch and SeaView. In town, there are two fruit stands supporting the Elks Club and American Legions.
The whole time we were in Borrego-Springs we drank freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in the morning and enjoyed grapefruit cocktails several evenings. I spent an afternoon at Seley Ranch to learn more about farming in this area.
Cruise Around the Salton Sea
Voyeur, history buff, environmentalist or outdoorsman, the Salton Sea area has something to offer just about anyone. We spent two days here exploring and being constantly surprised every time we turned a corner.
Drink a Westmoreland Date Shake
Truth be told we were on our way to a town called Brawley to pick up some supplies when I spotted them. The signs. You cannot resist them. There is one every few feet along Highway 86 telling you how awesome the Medjool date shake is in Westmoreland. Having spent many days trying to find where I could buy dates, I practically took over the steering wheel and guided us towards the Westmoreland Date Shake store.
It looks closed, it looks deserted, but once you are inside the store, you are in date heaven and Mr. Misadventures and I came here twice to buy Medjool dates as we ate through the first batch so quickly. Depending on when you go there could be a decent sized line for the delicious shake. Worth the drive, about 30 minutes from Borrego-Springs.
4×4 in Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
We drove through a little of Ocotillo Wells while seeking out the Pumpkin Patch. And we crossed through a bit while driving through the badlands, it was exhilarating. But what is really fun is to rent an ATV (or bring your own, or a motocross bike) and let loose in the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area, an entire park set-up for off-roading.
The park is 30 minutes from Borrego-Springs and very crowded on the weekends. I heard from a local that during the week between Christmas and New Year’s you can see a thousand RVs in the desert pulling bikes and OHV for activities in Ocotillo Wells.
I can’t list golf as something I did, but there are six golf courses in Borrego-Springs, so if swinging the sticks is up your alley, you’ve got plenty of courses to hit.
The town is conveniently located near lots of activities and when you are not exploring the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, you can keep yourself occupied with a few of my suggestions.
How about you? Were any of my five things to do of interest to you? Have you been to Borrego-Springs and done these or other activities? Do you think you want to visit in the future? Do tell!
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