In Bloom: the Best California B&Bs for Early Sights of Spring

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Winter-weary travelers desperate for sights of spring can pack their bags for California’s deserts and coastal regions, where they’ll find sunshine and some of the earliest spring blooms in the country. The past season’s heavy rains are expected to yield abundant blooms. Members of the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) can guide guests with maps and trail suggestions for blooming desert landscapes and lush hills dappled with native wildflowers.

Winter-weary travelers desperate for sights of spring can pack their bags for California’s deserts and coastal regions, where they’ll find sunshine and some of the earliest spring blooms in the country. The past season’s heavy rains are expected to yield abundant blooms. Members of the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) can guide guests with maps and trail suggestions for blooming desert landscapes and lush hills dappled with native wildflowers.

The luxurious El Morocco Inn & Spa in Desert Hot Springs serves as an ideal base for discovering the magic of Southern California’s springtime desert wonderland. The inn is conveniently located within a short drive to Joshua Tree National Park, Morongo Valley Preserve, and the famous Palm Springs Indian Canyons, including Tahquitz Canyons with its spectacular waterfalls. Cacti and wildflowers generally begin blooming in the lower elevations of the desert basin in late February and at higher elevations in March and April. The innkeepers provide guests with hiking maps and insider information on the best places to walk, run, bike and hike, including favorite hidden waterfalls and blooming oases. Afterwards, slip into the inn’s natural hot springs swimming pool for a relaxing soak or raise a glass at the inn’s nightly happy hour featuring their signature cocktail, “The Morocco-tini.”

Other desert-area bed and breakfast inns include Las Fuentes Inn and Gardens, Andreas Hotel & Spa, Lake LaQuinta Inn, Rendezvous Bed & Breakfast, Roughly Manor Bed & Breakfast, and Villa Royale Inn.

California’s winter rains have transformed Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California, into a verdant island paradise. The island’s typically arid hills are now lush with greenery and the native wildflowers are soon to bloom, painting the hills with blue, yellow, orange and white. Tidy tips and blue dicks, shooting stars and milk maids, island poppies and wild hyacinths will bloom alongside California poppies, Mariposa lilies and prickly pear cactus, creating dazzling swaths of color. There are two fabulous bed and breakfast inns in Avalon to choose from. The sleek and modern Aurora Hotel features a roof-top deck with sweeping views and ocean-view or city-view guest rooms with plush bedding and flat-screen televisions. The Avalon Hotel on Catalina Island creates an enchanting environment with luxurious bedding, unique artwork and classic Craftsman style. Expeditions to the interior of Catalina Island, including Jeep tours and hiking trips, can be arranged through both inns.

On the far northern coast of California in Westport at Howard Creek Ranch, spring begins in February and just keeps going. A working farm and a designated historic site, Howard Creek Ranch is nestled on sixty acres of wilderness with an adjoining beach and trails into the redwoods-covered mountains. Hiking through fern-covered canyons, guests will find an array native wildflowers, including California Lady Slipper, Wild Iris, Wake Robins (Trillium ovatum), Wild Hyacinths, Coast Lily, Redwood Lily, Larkspur, Columbine, Buttercup (Ranunculus californicus), Indian pinks (a form of Silene), Morning Glory (otherwise known as bindweed) and wild violets. The guest accommodations include rustic cabins and suites with views, fireplaces, skylights, antiques and handmade quilts. The inn also features a hot tub, sauna, massage, a piano, flower gardens and a 75-foot swinging foot bridge over Howard Creek.

To find more information and to search for other desert and coastal region bed and breakfast inns in California, visit http://www.cabbi.com.

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