Frequent visitors to Greater Palm Springs know there is a rhythm to the social calendar throughout the year, dotted with well-known annual events. There’s the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Modernism Week, the BNP Paribas Open, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the list goes on. But what about something fresh?
Here are some new things to do, places to try, and experiences to be had this fall and winter in your Greater Palm Springs repertoire.
Unique Art Experiences
Beyond Van Gogh Palm Springs
You can see a painting at a museum but you can be in a painting at the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit.
From Sept. 30 through Dec. 27, the hit touring experience that showcases more than 300 of the artist’s works, will be on display at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
First visitors learn about the life and struggles of infamous artist Vincent Van Gogh and then the grand finale is an immersive room where his paintings are brought to life, brushstroke by brushstroke, swirling in all their glorious color all around as you stand in a large white room.
Sometimes hopeful, sometimes ominous, Van Gogh’s works of art comes to vivid life. It is a beautifully unusual feast for the senses. Worth the price of admission for sure.
Tickets are available now at vangoghpalmsprings.com.
Information: 81800 51st Ave, Indio, CA 92201
A Place at the Table: Dining at Sunnylands Exhibit
If you wondered what types of flawless and refined tableware was used by Walter and Leonore Annenberg to entertain their plethora of world-famous guests, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Margaret Thatcher, you are in luck. Sunnylands Center & Gardens reopens on Sept. 14 and will feature its first new exhibit in two years called A place at the table: dining at Sunnylands.
This exhibit is serving up a heaping portion of history by featuring five signature tableware patterns that were most frequently used to entertain: Flora Danica, Cheviot Green by Minton, Derby Panel Green by Royal Crown Derby, Green Bordered Queen Victoria and Rothschild Birds.
The exhibit is free and runs from Sept. 14 through June 4, 2023. Sunnylands Center & Gardens is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday starting Sept. 14.
Information: 37977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Slated to open its no-doubt mid-century modernist doors on Oct. 15, the Modernism Museum - the brainchild of Jerry and Tracy Turco - will celebrate all things modernism all year long. It’s located at 370 North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.
Tracy Turco, an artist, designer, author, hotelier, entrepreneur, and style icon, has transformed a 12,000-square-foot gallery into an immersive and interactive experience showcasing the desert’s mid-century modern heyday of the 1950s through 1970s.
It will be a hands-on opportunity for visitors to not just see, but sit in a mid-century modern living room, or hop in the front seat of a classic car, an RV, or a boat from that era. The plan for the property includes a roller rink, bowling alley, and disco pizza place. The goal is for a patron to feel like they stepped into a time capsule.
Information: 380 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92263
Arts and culture buzz with new exciting experiences. To feel inspired and learn about the growing art scene in Greater Palm Springs, see Oasis of Art.
New Places to Stay
Think pink … and then think pink some more. The cheeky new Palm Springs place to stay recently opened on Sept. 1 and is the creation of drag superstar Trixie Mattel a champion on the popular reality show “Rupaul’s Drag Race.”
Trixie Motel is located at 210 W. Stevens Road in the historic Old Las Palmas neighborhood. Step into this dreamhouse filled with pink interiors, pink exteriors, pink beds, pink lamps, pink flamingos … you get the idea. With a variety of themed rooms, it’s quirky and fun and very Greater Palm Springs.
The renovation of the boutique motel was chronicled on the Discovery + series “Trixie Motel” which is now streamable. It might be fun to binge-watch the show and then stay there to see all the drama and celebs that helped make the run-down motel a Drag Queen’s reality.
Information: 210 W Stevens Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Refurbished and reopened in August, the Paloma Resort in Cathedral City is the latest passion project of Tim and Amy Brinkman who own other Greater Palm Springs boutique hotels The Twist, The Float and Limon.
They acquired the property, which has had multiple iterations throughout its long history as a desert resort mainstay, in 2021 and remodeled it into an upgraded stay that highlights the intrinsic beauty of the desert and surrounding cities.
Hints of Spanish architecture are mixed with, of course, a mid-century modern flair and vibrant colors. There are five room types named after desert cities that make you feel like part of desert history: The Palm Springs, The Palm Desert, The Joshua Tree, The Coachella and The Rancho Mirage.
Information: 67670 Carey Rd, Cathedral City, CA 92234. Visit thepalomaresort.com to learn more about the resort and book a room.
A sister property of the popular L’Horizon Hotel and Spa, the Hermann Bungalows, named after creator Steve Hermann, is the perfect place to get away from life and just generally decompress in Palm Springs. Something we can all use these days.
Luxuriate in your bungalow or lounge poolside while enjoying an unobstructed view of the mountains. The site, has 24 modern bungalows with relaxation as the No. 1 priority. It’s also an adults-only property for those 21 and older.
Information: 1050 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
Live Entertainment & Nightlife
It’s almost here. Professional hockey is coming to the desert and the first game is scheduled for Dec. 18 at Acrisure Arena, the 10,000-seat arena that is being built north of the I-10 at 75702 Varner Road in Palm Desert. The Arena will have taken about 18 months to build when it is finished this December.
While the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, will be the primary tenants at Acrisure Arena, it will be far from just a hockey arena. It will also be a busy concert venue with big-name acts dropping in throughout the year.
There is also a secondary sheet of ice on site which will be open to the public starting in January. It will also be used for youth hockey leagues, figure skating and more.
Information: 75702 Varner Road Palm Desert, CA 92211
Pretty Faces Nightclub
This new night spot located adjacent to Hotel Zoso in downtown Palm Springs is a feast for the senses, boasting epic sound and lights, hand-painted murals, and eclectic cocktails. You can bring your own exotic dance moves.
Pretty Faces Nightclub features bottle service, top California DJs spinning EDM, top-40 and hip hop and a generally elevated atmosphere. It is open Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and is attached to Hotel Zoso at 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.
Information: 150 S Indian Canyon Dr Suite B, Palm Springs, CA 92262
La Quinta X Park
The desert’s newest skateboarding option opened to the public in March of 2022 and was christened with a run by none other than Tony Hawk himself. The new X Park features an on-site pro shop, a concrete pump track course for multiple disciplines and a trio of bowls designed for all skate levels from beginner to “how did they just do that?”
On Nov. 11-12 the La Quinta X Park will host an epic exhibition called the El Gato Classic, named after world champion skateboarder Eddie “El Gato” Elguera who is a desert resident and one of the founding fathers of the vertical skateboard movement.
The park is located at 46170 Dune Palms Road in La Quinta. It’s open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The cost is $2 per day for residents and $5 for non-residents. A $25 annual pass is also an option for locals.
Check out elgatoclassic.com for details and tickets to the skating extravaganza in November.
Information: 46170 Dune Palms Rd, La Quinta, CA 92253
Luchador Brewing Company
This new beer-lover option opened in late August in Cathedral City as owners Brent Miller and Jaime Benson opened a second location to go with their original brewery in Chino Hills.
The new brewery features more than a dozen beers from blondes to IPAs to lagers to saisons. They even have a seltzer. But it’s not just about the beer. Luchador Brewing Company, whose cans are emblazoned with the familiar mask worn by wrestling Luchadores, also has food like street tacos and other Mexican bites. It’s open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Information: 68510 E Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City, CA 92234
Hoja Blanca and Bar Chingona
These two establishments located in the Flannery Exchange in Palm Springs pair together nicely like a tasty meal with the perfect cocktail.
Hoja Blanca is a modern Mexican-inspired restaurant featuring such creative plates as agua chiles which is white shrimp, salsa negra, red onion, radish, English cucumber, grapes, salsa macha and tostaditas. The eatery does not serve alcohol, and that’s where Bar Chingona comes in.
Chingona offers craft cocktails served out of an air stream trailer parked next to Hoja Blanca. If you want something spicy, try the Chingona Diabla, a serrano-infused tequila with ancho reyes verde, lime, and a Tajin rim with a Mexican lollipop on the side.
Both establishments are only open from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, at 750 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, so find time in that window to check them out.
Information: 750 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The Knight’s Brew
Shields Date Garden is known for its killer date shakes fabulous cafe food, endless amounts of date-related goods, 17-acre date grove and garden, and film “Romance and Sex life of the Date” movie screening.
Soon, they’ll add coffee shop to their long list of amenities and be known for their date crystal-infused coffee.
The Knight's Brew coffee shop, named after their famous roadside sign featuring a Knight, hopes to open in late fall. It will be located on their vast grounds behind the shop and near The Cafe at Shields restaurant in an existing building.
In addition to date crystal infused coffee it will also feature date-flavored syrup and pastries and snacks.
Shields Date Garden is located at 80225 Highway 111 in Indio.
Information: 80225 Highway 111, Indio, CA 92201
For the full list of recently opened eateries, check out New Restaurants in Greater Palm Springs.
More flights to Paradise
The ever-growing stable of airlines that fly in and out of Palm Springs International Airport now includes Avelo Airlines which, starting this fall, will offer season service to Santa Rosa as well as Eugene and Redmond/Bend in Oregon.
Northern Californians and Pacific Northwesterners will have a new low-cost option for popping in and out of Palm Springs as Avelo will become the 13th airline to provide service to the desert’s air hub.
The service will start in November and offer twice-weekly routes to the three cities with one-way fares starting at $29. Those flights can be booked at AveloAir.com.
Information: 3400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Want to continue your adventure in Greater Palm Springs? See here for more things to do in this Southern California oasis.