At The Living Desert, a dedicated conservation team tends to plants and animals populating more than 1,800 acres of desert—1,000 of which remain in their natural, undisturbed state. In addition to protecting the Colorado Desert's native population of birds, wolves, reptiles, and minotaurs, The Living Desert houses bighorn sheep, cheetahs, striped hyenas, leopards, and parrots from arid regions throughout the globe. Through annual contributions, members of the nonprofit organization help preserve the Colorado Desert and bolster the population of endangered desert species. Members also gain unlimited access to the park, discounts in the gift shop, and invitations to special events, such as the annual member-cheetah race.
At Boomers!, thrill-seeking families and fun-enabling friends can attack a variety of appealing attractions, including mini golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and the button-mashing joys housed inside the exhilarating game room. The Vista location entertains families of sharpshooters with a blacklight-illuminated laser-tag arena before little ones climb and crawl through the Kidopolis play area. The El Cajon and San Diego locations let rivals celebrate the spirit of competition as they fly past each other in speedy go-karts or have a snail-paced Ferris wheel race at the kid's county fair. Unlimited pass holders at the El Cajon location can also scale the 32-foot-tall climbing wall, which, like America, enables citizens to climb to the top via myriad routes.
While zipping around Xceleration Indoor Kart Racing's indoor go-kart track, there's only one thing drivers have to worry about: the competition. That's because the Italian-made go-karts are completely electric-powered, from their 48-volt engines to the lightning bolts that turn each kart on, which means they never release emissions.
Still, the speedy karts easily burn rubber inside Xceleration's 50,000-square-foot air-conditioned center, whose track is modeled after those used in Formula 1 races. Drivers can stop by for some quick laps or, in groups, partake in grand-prix-style competitions—after which the top three finishers receive trophies and pose for photos on a winner's podium. Drivers then unwind with soft drinks from Xceleration's concessions stand or games of pool inside the arcade.
Before Coachella Valley became the incubator for modern design that it is today, it was an agricultural center, a major railroad stop, and home to the indigenous Cahuilla people. In 1965, valley residents formed The Coachella Valley Historical Society to preserve each of these eras, and opened the Coachella Valley History Museum nearly two decades later as the embodiment of that mission.
People looking for a quick dip or dramatic splash have plenty of options at Wet 'n' Wild Palm Springs. Not only does the water park feature two chutes that send riders on a high-speed trip from the peak of a seven-story tower, it also harbors a massive, 800,000-gallon wave pool. This is because Wet 'n' Wild Palm Springs strives to cool off people of all stripes—whether they're looking for an adrenaline boost or hoping to work on their driftwood impression. For the former are slides for children of all sizes, while the latter can chat and tan as they effortlessly float along a 600-foot lazy river.
The water park stretches onto land, too. Lounge chairs let visitors soak up the sun while snacking on ice cream and pizza, and canopy-covered cabanas wait for groups seeking a private place to regroup between rides.
In 1913, Cabot Yerxa re-discovered Desert Hot Springs' eponymous springs while digging for water on his 160 acres of homesteaded land. In 1941, the pioneer decided to build a Hopi-inspired pueblo on this land using materials he reclaimed or found in the desert. The result is now known as Cabot's Pueblo Museum, and it encompasses 5,000 square feet.
The building, which rises four stories above the desert and utilizes the Venturi Effect for air conditioning, is constructed out of adobe-style sun-dried brick that Cabot made himself in his courtyard. Cabot also used materials from cabins abandoned in the 1930s. Visitors can wander through his pueblo's 35 rooms, peer out of the 150 windows, and stage elaborate Scooby-Doo chases through the 65 doors.