Death Valley is known for parched terrain and sneaker-melting summer heat, with temperatures topping out at over 120 degrees. Luckily, highs generally stay in the double digits between September and May, when the gardens and swimming pools of the Furnace Creek Inn make the harsh desert feel welcoming.
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By day, hike through windswept sand dunes, lunar-like craters, and wild-flower fields—El Niño is delivering an otherworldly bloom—or rent a Jeep for off-road adventures past historical mines. Cool down with a pint of the resort’s signature Badwater Ale. Then, come night, you’re practically guaranteed a view of the Milky Way: Death Valley is the world’s largest International Dark Sky Park.
From $369; furnacecreekresort.com