Coachella Valley Preserve.

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!