To me, an oasis is the most exotic thing. I didn’t even really conceptualize that they were actually real before coming to southern California and stumbling upon one in the desert. They seemed like they belonged in the Sahara or in a storybook with genies. A good place to explore them is the Coachella Valley Preserve, just off the 10 freeway, east of the windmills. It doesn’t require much sidetracking; you can check the details here.
My picks for other oases to visit:
Fortynine Palms Oasis on the north side of Joshua Tree National Park.
Cottonwood Spring Oasis, on the south side of J-Tree.
Palm Canyon, just outside of Palm Springs.
The cool thing about the Coachella Valley Preserve, though, is that you’ll be basically straddling the San Andreas Fault!