From the framed photos of legendary players lining the walls of the stately clubhouse to the last putt on the meticulously manicured 18th green, Desert Pines Golf Club surrounds players with tradition. Named one of the Top 50 Public Courses in the nation by Golf Digest, the Pete Dye design opened in 1997 and received a major overhaul 10 years later, complete with 18 newly designed and rebuilt greens. The course features rolling mounds and thousands of mature pines that delineate narrow fairways, yielding beautiful views and occasional lucky bounces back to safety. Unlike other area courses and driving ranges that double as airport runways, wind isn't much of a factor at Desert Pines, thanks to its low elevation, dense foliage, and zero-gravity tee boxes.
Course at a Glance:
At Paradise Ranch—an equine educational center that specializes in horse-assisted therapy sessions—expertly trained steeds help students learn techniques to tackle developmental difficulties, boost communication skills, and strengthen their bodies. Children can spend time with Luna, the notorious ranch troublemaker, or Spiritt, who loves to mug for the camera. While they may be confused for the children of Hollywood celebrities, these guys are actually two of the seven therapy horses at the ranch. Specially designed courses take place inside a sprawling, climate-controlled arena, which grants students a comfortable place to learn and helps horses avoid embarrassing underarm sweat stains.
Designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee—the duo responsible for famed courses including Doral Blue Monster and Cog Hill’s Dubsdread—Desert Rose Golf Course spans 6,511 yards of tight fairways and player-friendly terrain. Runaway swings gain traction before the round at Desert Rose’s driving range, where players can warm up by hitting a bucket of practice balls or save them for later use in a seasonal cobbler. Nimble carts traverse the course’s emerald corridors, allowing clubbers to save their stamina for treacherous approaches and breaking putts. After the round, players can replenish energy with a tasty handful of sand out of the practice bunker or a nosh from the Desert Rose Grill or quench their appetite for sounder swings by heading to the onsite practice facilities or signing up for a private lesson.
Course at a Glance:
A long silver limousine pulls up and releases a flurry of energetic moppets, who make their way down a red carpet to the front doors. Though this may seem like a scene from Nickelodeon's Teen Choice Awards, it's an everyday occurrence at Make Me a Star Studios, where aspiring superstars' dreams of the famous life can be realized.
At the studio, beauty experts sculpt coifs and gloss guises to get them ready for the camera. Then, against a green-screen backdrop, celebrities-in-progress strike poses as flashbulbs pop or perform choreography for music videos. Though activities are geared toward kids aged 7–14, grown folk often find themselves headbanging or electric sliding during sessions and can join in if they wish.
Party packages guarantee exclusive access to Make Me a Star Studios' enclave. The Reality Party gives kids glimpses into the true lives of superstars by bouncing them between scheduled interviews, performances, and photo shoots. Unexpected bumps in the road—which may include a limousine breakdown or publication of recent spelling tests in the Enquirer—challenge youngsters to make it to appearances on time and without losing their cool.
Taking in the Grand Canyon’s depths, jetting down the Las Vegas Strip in a limousine, and visiting a tiny town in search of its resident poltergeist—guests of Bindlestiff Tours can have these experiences and more. The company’s expert guides create the wide array of southwestern tours themselves, tailoring the itineraries to their personal expertise and their insider knowledge of camera-shy cacti. Their carefully curated trips can last from a single day to three weeks, with longer trips stopping at far-flung landmarks such as Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon in a single week. Bindlestiff Tours also aims to protect the natural wonders it celebrates, encouraging tour groups to minimize their environmental impact as they travel by keeping to trails and recycling.