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February 2024: Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. No, I'm not eating a snack - that is the distinct and beautiful sound of each footstep as you hike one of our 51 amazing trails here in Greater Palm Springs. From one end of the Valley to the other, you can enjoy some of the most invigorating hikes, from easy to challenging; from lush palm oases and waterfalls; to hikes that feel like you are on the surface of another planet. If you are fortunate to be visiting during a full moon, one of my favorite hikes to do is a Full Moon Hike. Grab a flashlight, and our Friends of the Desert Mountains organization will guide you along the way, as your Moonshadow will be as distinct as your shadow at high noon. Friends of the Desert Mountains posts a full monthly schedule of their guided hikes. The hikes are free, buy you do need to register via their website. Hiking maps are also available here in our Visitor's Center - so come grab a map, and get "crunching"!
January 2024: As we get set for the year ahead, here are a few of my favorite toasting spots in Greater Palm Springs to share with you:
- The Firepit at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage: grab a wrap or a coat and head to their clifftop firepit for a starry-skied al fresco toast with a view. Nestled in a mountain, this is one of the best hotel views in the valley.
- La Fe Wine Bar: if Palm Desert had a "Cheers-type" of bar, this would be it. Locally owned, and the bartenders do know your name. Warm, low-key vibe with a hand picked wine selection. My go-to order is a custom flight - you tell them what you like, and they pick the pours.
- Tack Room Tavern: Located on the famous Coachella Festival grounds, saddle up in this hitching post-become restaurant on the Empire Polo Fields. Their mixologists use all locally grown ingredients, try the Spicy Paloma with fresh squeezed locally grown grapefruit.
November 2023: While visiting the high desert, perhaps you feel like trying something a little…different? There are a couple of options: AutoCamp Joshua Tree provides overnight lodging in modern airstream suites. You will sleep surrounded by the serenity of the desert, but with every possible comfort in one of the world’s most beautiful natural places – just across the highway from Joshua Tree National Park. The facility includes some nice amenities; a spa and plunge pool, fire pits, clubhouse, and activities such as hosted full-moon hikes, outdoor sound baths and meditations, and mountain biking. An elevated camping experience for those who still like their “creature comforts.”
Another amazing option is 28 Palms Ranch. For a more natural experience, try out an authentic Mongolian stargazing Yurt. You’ll have a private observatory take in a moon bath from the roof of your own yurt, and wake up in the morning to the sweet scent of desert flora and fauna. The yurts are designed for those wishing to unplug and reconnect with Mother Earth. Fear not, as each yurt has its sink, heated shower, toilet, BBQ, and fire pit.
Either of these options will surely be a memorable and immersive experience. Happy camping!
October 2023: Greater Palm Springs is well known as an epicenter for Midcentury Modernism. Twice a year in October and February, we celebrate everything “mid-mod” during Modernism Week. The more well-known tours, such as the Double-Decker Bus Tour, Hidden Gem Boutique Resorts Tour, and The Sunnylands Center and Gardens Historic House Tour, are a must-do for Modernism Week first-timers. Did you know you can also sign up for a Midcentury Mixology Cocktail Clinic or a Celebrity Home Tour led by our Drag Queen extraordinaire, Bella da Ball?
There’s an interactive Woodstock-themed Dinner Experience at PS Underground, or swing on down to the Cocktail Party at Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate. Tickets for these great activities sell out fast, so start booking now for the February 2024 Modernism Week. The ticket window opens on November 1, 2023 at noon. Hope to see you there!
September 2023: Ready - Set - Roll em' ! Did you know that Greater Palm Springs hosts six film festivals a year? From the celebrity studded red carpet to the open desert in Joshua Tree, visitors and locals alike enjoy a surprising number of film festivals here in our film oasis. The festivals run anywhere from three days to three weeks, so I say that a "destination film festival" is a fabulous idea. Plan your next visit around one of the film festivals listed below, and round out your time enjoying all the great things our destination has to offer.
- Yucca Valley Film Festival | November 2023 | Yucca Valley
- Palm Springs International Film Festival | January 2024 | Palm Springs
- Native Film Fest | March 2024 | Palm Springs
- American Documentary Film Festival | March 2024 | Palm Springs
- Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival | May 2024 | Palm Springs
- 23rd Annual Palm Springs International Short Fest | June 2024 | Palm Springs
Pro Tip: Grab a bag of Brandini Toffee popcorn to snack on at the show!
August 2023: Calling all Travel Professionals: Come to Greater Palm Springs and become an "Agent of Chill"!
Visit Greater Palm Springs' Agents of Chill Program has become a remarkably popular annual getaway incentive exclusively for Travel Professionals. October is "Travel Professionals Appreciation Month," which happens to be a perfect month to visit this beautiful SoCal oasis. The Tourism Development team is showing appreciation by offering unique coupon offers for Lodging, Dining, Attractions, Spa Services, and even local concerts for our Travel Professionals Community.
Follow this link: Agents of Chill coupons to start planning your getaway today! On a personal note, I am excited to be hosting a few Saturday Meet-ups during October – an opportunity to meet you and fellow Agents of Chill in an informal setting. Whether it's a morning coffee or an afternoon wine tasting, these meet-ups provide a casual way to connect (and yes, a special coupon will be provided for this occasion as well).
So why not break away from the ordinary and prioritize a vacation for yourself – after all, you've earned it!
July 2023: “It’s VINTAGE, dahling.”
Who doesn’t love to follow up a compliment on their outfit by saying “Oh, this? It’s Vintage.” Vintage shoppers and antique enthusiasts come from near and far to forage the dozens of vintage and thrift shops in Greater Palm Springs. It makes perfect sense that we would have an abundance of treasures in our area. Hollywood glamour thrived here not that long ago, and the good stuff always holds up to the test of time. Whether it is clothing, furniture, art, jewelry, or even classic literature or vinyl LP's that you seek, you will find it here. From vintage Chanel and Louis Vuitton to the handmade funky chic of Joshua Tree to Charity Thrift shops, you are sure to find a new treasure that was destined to come home with you. There are far too many shops to list in this space, so I will let you click over to this fabulous article, Vintage Shopping Guide in Greater Palm Springs.
Keep Calm…and shop ‘till you drop!
June 2023: Many visitors come to Greater Palm Springs knowing they can look forward to some excellent authentic Mexican cuisine. Visit Greater Palm Springs has a number of tried-and-true local favorites that have lasted the test of time here in Greater Palm Springs; Las Casuelas (4 locations), Fresh Agave (Palm Desert), and El Mexicali Cafe (Indio). We are also excited about a number of standout newcomers - reaffirming the region’s status as a hub of excellent Mexican cuisine created with Californian produce. Sol Agave (Palm Springs), El Patio La Quinta (La Quinta), Mickey’s Kitchen Mexican Cuisine (Palm Springs), Clandestino (Palm Springs), Impala Bar & Grill (Palm Springs), Low Desert Mexican (Palm Springs), Maleza (Palm Springs), Molé (second Palm Desert location), Reforma (Palm Springs) and Cowboy Cantina (Palm Desert). Treating yourself to any of these should have you saying "Bueno" !
May 2023: We all want to find that hidden gem, not on the published Top 10 list, and a cool thing to do when we go to a new destination. Well one of those gems in Greater Palm Springs is PS Underground. What they refer to as a "Feast for All Five Senses" is a very unique dinner show experience. The Owner and Chef team up to curate themed evenings that range from Woodstock to Broadway to sultry Jazz to a Bacon-themed Brunch. The performance, a four-course (really gourmet) meal and unlimited cocktails are all-inclusive. A great date night option as some of the evening shows are recommended for adults only. PS Underground continually adds updated themes. I have been to about six now and will keep going back for more!
April 2023: Restaurant Week is back in Greater Palm Springs! One of my favorite events of the year is Restaurant Week (and it's actually 10 days). It's that once-a-year opportunity to try that restaurant that you have had your eyes on but needed a nudge (or discount) to make that reservation. This is that nudge. Participating restaurants create special prix fixe menus and exclusive special offers only available during Restaurant Week. The event runs from June 2 - 11, 2023. Last year I took my 90+-year old Mom to Melvyn's for lunch, and it made for a very special and memorable afternoon. You could also take advantage of it for an early Father's Day dinner! View this link so you can check out all the options - Bon Appetit!
March 2023: What lives outdoors, is free, a feast for all the senses, and occurs only every other year? Desert X.
By definition: Desert X is a collection of international contemporary art exhibitions that engage with desert environments through site-specific installations by acclaimed artists from around the world.
In layman's terms: Desert X is a bunch of super cool art installations scattered in random, mostly remote, public places throughout Greater Palm Springs. It's also a bit of a scavenger hunt to find them all, but a great way to spend a couple of days while exploring the desert. This will be Greater Palm Springs' fourth exhibit, and each year brings fresh concepts and creations that will surely stop you in your tracks to take pause and ponder the meaning of what you have just set your eyes upon. Desert x 2023 will run from March 4 - May 7, 2023.
Desert X installation view of Rana Begum, No. 1225 Chainlink. 2023. Photography by Lance Gerber. Courtesy of Rana Begum and Desert X.
January 2023: The Coachella Valley Firebirds have landed in Greater Palm Springs, and they are off to a flying start! The newest AHL Hockey team had its first home game in the beautiful new Acrisure Arena on December 18th, 2022, and hasn’t looked back since. For the first inaugural year, the Firebirds are currently the #1 team in their division.
Greater Palm Springs locals are loving it! Inside the brand new Acrisure Arena, fans are high energy and enthusiastically cheering on their new hockey team. Acrisure Arena seats 11,000 fans, so there truly are no bad seats. It is a state-of-the-art building and features some of our best local eateries such as CVBBQ’s delicious Tri-Tip steak sandwiches, Fisherman’s Market fresh seafood, and locally crafted Buzz Box cocktails. Buzz Box even created a signature cocktail for the Firebirds, using locally grown grapefruit juice.
You should definitely take in a hockey game on your next visit – and maybe you’ll even get a photo with their mascot, Fuego!
November 2022: As we approach the holiday travel season, it is a good time to remind ourselves to be supportive of those traveling with special needs. Things that we may take for granted can be the very things that pose challenges for others. Visit Greater Palm Springs is now a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC), a designation granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Everyone on our staff has completed autism training to better understand and welcome visitors and their families. A little kindness and grace go a long way in the hectic days ahead, not only to those with special needs but to all of us.
September 2022: Hitchin' posts, aluminum siding, cold beer, and great food - if it's a Saloon you want, a Saloon you'll get, at Joshua Tree Saloon. The Joshua Tree area has become very popular with it's authentic desert lifestyle luring visitors up for an escape from city life. A definite must-see when you are visiting the area is the Joshua Tree Saloon - or "JT Saloon" as us locals call it. Belly up to their long wooden bar, choose from one of their locally brewed beers or craft cocktails, and relax and enjoy some of the local live music talent that this area is also becoming quite famous for. I took a French FAM group there, and they were so excited to mix and mingle with the locals, and grooving to the American Classic Rock music filling the place. They devoured their lunches - loving the authentic American Saloon fare. Indoor and outdoor seating is offered at JT Saloon, both areas make you feel as if you have been transported right back into the Old West, y'all.
July 2022: When you walk into D' Coffee Bouteaque, it feels like you have entered a magical secret garden. Their coffees are all organic, and the beverages are all custom creations, often modeled after favorite customers! Croissants are baked from scratch daily, and they are adorned with as much creativity as the selection of coffee drinks. Locally owned, escape to this new Coffee House in Palm Desert for a tranquil treat to all your senses.
June 2022: Chill Poolside! The San Diego ASTA FAM group had a great time keeping cool at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells new HyTides Lazy River - after dark! This was the perfect way to wind down from a day full of adventure in Greater Palm Springs. The Hyatt staff set up a great event with a fabulous dessert display, complete with Bananas Foster and a made fresh, custom ice cream treat!
April 2022: You never know who is going to pop in for a concert at Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs. Yes, none other than Jimmy Buffet who surprised hotel guests at with an intimate poolside concert. And of course, it started at 5:00 (somewhere).
February 2022: Explore a new view of Greater Palm Springs—on horseback! I joined up with the folks at Smoke Tree Stables in Palm Springs for a 90 minute ride through beautiful Murray Canyon in Palm Springs. First of all, these are the most gentle and well cared for horses you’ll ever find. I am a beginner rider, and other than some simple tugs on the reins, these beautiful animals do all of the work maneuvering some strikingly beautiful terrain that you may normally not get to experience. I felt completely immersed in nature and a peaceful escape from the normal rigors of the day.
Fun fact: Smoke Tree Ranch was once the desert home of Walt Disney, and he held his desert getaway home very dear to his heart. Next time you are at Disneyland, look closely at any statue of Walt, and you will see the Smoke Tree Ranch insignia featured on his tie.
February 2022: If you have got something special to celebrate, and want to kick it up a notch, think AvantStay. This Luxury Rental company has acquired some of the most spectacular estates in the Coachella Valley, and are committed to making your event one that you will never forget. Once you give their Estates Experience Manager your occasion or theme, just step back and they will transform the property beyond your imagination. There are no limits to what they will set up for you. I've seen them set up private hot air balloons, fireworks shows, and soundbath sessions. Most of the estates have private lakes, and many accommodate over 20 guests. At AvantStay's Coachella properties, you'll have your own personal concierge who can coordinate a private chef or even massage services.
January 2022: Anyone who knows me, knows how much I enjoy live entertainment. There is no shortage of shows, as well as top-notch venues, here in Greater Palm Springs. From one end of the valley to the other, you will find world-class venues, large and small to see live entertainment. Larger venues include The Annenberg Theater at The Palm Springs Art Museum , The Show at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Rancho Mirage , The McCallum Theater in Palm Desert, The Special Events Center at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, and The Showroom at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella., and those are just the indoor venues. There are a number of open-air venues as well, from the intimate Pappy and Harriet's , to our new Coachella Crossroads whose opening act was Toby Keith. Anticipated to be completed in November of 2022, Greater Palm Springs will add our newest state-of-the-art 10,000 seat arena in the heart of the Greater Palm Springs. This venue will be the home of the Coachella Valley Firebirds Hockey Team, and Greater Palm Springs' largest concert venue yet.
For a full calendar of events coming soon, be sure to check here.