Top things to do

Top Choice Breakfast in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Red Ocotillo

Empty tables are as rare as puddles in Anza-Borrego State Park at this charmer that serves quality java, all-day breakfast (try the smoked-salmon eggs Benedict) and bulging burgers and sandwiches, all at a quality s…
Cultural in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Peg Leg Smith Liars Contest

This hilarious contest honors Thomas 'Peg Leg' Smith (1801–66), a gold prospector and master in the Western tradition of telling tall tales. Amateur raconteurs can follow suit as long as the story is about lost gold…
State Park in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego comprises a dozen wilderness areas laced with hiking trails, canyons, palm groves and viewpoints. Pick up information on trails and road conditions at the visitor c…
American in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park


The menu is as long as a Tolstoy novel but the choices are good-old-fashioned Americana, hopscotching from burgers to pizza, steak to ribs, salads to pasta. It's popular with locals and visitors alike, not in the le…
Viewpoint in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Fonts Point

East of Borrego Springs, a 4-mile dirt road, sometimes passable without 4WD, diverges south from County Rte S22 out to Fonts Point (1249ft). From up here a spectacular panorama unfolds over the Borrego Valley to the…
Books in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Borrego Desert Nature Center

This nicely curated store run by the nonprofit Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association specializes in desert-related books, publications and gift items. The group also organizes tours, lectures, guided hikes…
Mexican in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Carmelita’s Bar & Grill

This lively joint with its cheerful decor serves the best Mexican food in town, including delicious huevos rancheros. The bar staff knows how to whip up a good margarita.
Supermarket in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Center Market

This well-stocked supermarket in the heart of town also sells cube ice and firewood.
Historic Site in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Vallecito County Park

This pretty little park in a refreshing valley on the southern edge of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park centers on a replica of a historic Butterfield Stage Station. Its 44 primitive campsites are a handy staging grou…
Diner in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Kendall's Café

This old-school coffee shop is a hometown favorite for blueberry pancakes at breakfast and a combination of Mexican (enchiladas, fajitas etc) and straight-down-the-middle American standards the rest of the day. The …