Bright Buds, Big Sky: Death Valley Spring Break

Dots of pink and purple near Furnace Creek add to the show.

LISTEN UP, BEACH: Hello, ocean? Sandy shores? Little tide pools and places to place a giant towel? First off, know that we love you, and while that may seem very forward, expressing real emotion for the coastline, the Big Water, the waves, every grain of sand and all of the bits and bobs that go along with beach life is a very proper thing to do, if you're a person. (And even if you're not; gulls and crabs and kelp and myriad other plants and fishes love the beach, too.) But how the beach began taking all of the spring break traffic is a study best left to those peering into the annals of college vacations, where colder campuses are located, and the building of beach town culture.

ALL INTERESTING STUFF, and while we'd never want the beach's hotness to cool down, we'd love to see the desert rise in the spring break ranks. Here's our thought: It's warm in the desert (spoiler alert). Here's another thought: It's actually quite warm, and there are often swimming pools, meaning that those who seek a break, whether they're in school or not, will get that desired time splashing about in the water. Look to Death Valley, and The Inn at Furnace Creek and The Ranch at Furnace Creek, where spring breakers with a love of long vistas, starry night canopies, and all of those desert-bright wildflowers are in ya-don't-see-this-every-day bloom.

KNOW YOUR RANCH FROM YOUR INN: The two historic properties each have their own character, and character to spare, but the Ranch is down, on the valley floor, and the Inn is up, on a striking rocky outcropping. Both have spring-fed pools, and opportunities abound for outings in the area (The Borax Museum, golf, biking). But if you're trading the beach for the sand of the desert, don't you want a little something out-of-the-ordinary? We'll answer for you, if we might: You absolutely do. Wildflowers are going to town, well, desert-style, which means that while you may not come across great carpets of them, the pinks and purples you do spy in the sparse stretches will stand out like a colorful beach towel against pale sand. Why wouldn't you want to see that at least once, or, preferably, every other spring break? We know, it is hard to leave the beach completely, and we wouldn't want you to do so. Beach/desert love is real, and can be accomplished, spring breakers. 

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