You would not expect to find glitz and glamour in the middle of the desert, but you may not have heard of Palm Springs. This incredible resort city has plenty to offer the luxury traveller. And tourists come flooding in to see the mid-century modern architecture and to relax by the pool while sipping on a cocktail. Palm Springs became the luxury destination that it is in the early twentieth century, when the Hollywood elite and celebrities came in their droves for the perfect sun-filled vacation. They preferred Palm Springs for its discretion and for its relaxing diversions. Although many come to Palm Springs just to relax there are a variety of outdoor sports available such as hiking and tennis. Then relax with a late night spa treatment under the stars at one of Palm Springs’ many resorts. You will feel perfectly pampered. Palm Springs is also an oasis for the LGBT and naturist communities, who pick Palm Springs as their favorite luxury destination.
One of the stunning golf courses in Palm Springs.
Palm Springs grew into the resort town that it is today after Al Capone opened the Two Bunch Palms Hotel in Desert Hot Springs. Then the actors Charles Farrell and Ralph Bellamy bought two hundred acres of desert land, and opened the Palm Springs Racquet Club. Other celebrities like Humphrey Bogart, Ginger Rogers and Clark Gable, soon joined them and became members. By 1940 Marilyn Monroe was lounging around by the pool at Palm Springs Tennis Club, and Elvis Presley was honeymooning here with Priscilla. Today Palm Springs is every bit as glamorous as its colorful history would suggest. Mid century modern architecture has been renovated and re-opened to entice the elites once again. See Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate, an architectural gem designed by E. Stewart Williams in 1947, and featuring incredible floor to ceiling windows and a fitting piano shaped pool.
Palm Spring’s year round sunshine still draws the celebrities and Angelino weekenders, who come for the decadent spas, the luxurious restaurants and the most exclusive pool parties. As a result, Palm Springs has some of the best people-watching in the world, which A-lister will you see reclining by the pool? Check out the Ace Hotel and Swim Club for their world-renowned pool parties, featuring live DJs and film screenings. Palm Canyon Drive is a popular tourist destination. This busy little sidewalk is teeming with alfresco restaurants, cafes and shops. For a more exclusive experience go to the Uptown Design District, which features high-end shops and restaurants. Or try Palm Canyon Drive for cool pool parties at the classy resorts and hotels, rarefied dining options and stylish bars. In fact the surrounding desert resort towns, such as La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, and Cathedral City are all packed full of glitzy shopping centers and golf courses, so both you and your other half have the day’s entertainment ready to go. There are also hotels with casinos attached, run by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, so you can part with your money in style.
The lush green gardens of Palm Springs.
Just like the desert wildflowers of Anza-Borrego in Spring, the art scene in Palm Springs is blossoming. Check out the Palm Springs’ Backstreet Arts District in downtown for spectacular contemporary urban paintings. And make sure that you don’t miss the Palm Springs Art Museum, with its incredible collection of modern and Native American art. California’s largest outdoor concert, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is located here each April. It brings with it a flurry of twenty-somethings ready to enjoy the cultural activities on offer. For fantastic theatre look no further than the Annenberg Theatre, which has regular operas and Broadway shows, and the Plaza Theatre, which was opened in 1936 to premier the film, Camille. This is also where some of Hollywood’s greatest stars have performed, such as Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.
For break taking views of Palm Springs check out the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Your trip will reveal incredible panoramic views of the desert from the cable car as it climbs up Chino Canyon. From the top, you can see for nearly one hundred miles on a clear day. At the top visit the Mountain Station for food, cocktails and souvenirs. For more natural beauty, head to The Indian Canyons, where you can view antiquities from native American life on short mild walks through the canyon. Bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the three shaded picnic areas. If you prefer to view nature from the golf buggy then go to Indian Canyons Golf Resort North Course, first played by Frank Sinatra himself when it opened in 1962. You will enjoy this fine course, speckled with palm and oak trees, and its beautiful mountainous backdrop. Other great golf courses to try out are the famous Bermuda Dunes Country Club and the Indian Wells Golf Resort, which has two championship courses to choose from.
The palms of Palm Springs.
Dining in Palm Springs will delight all the senses. Restaurants abound in this desert resort town. There are so many to choose from that you should only pick the very best, like Le Vallauris, which is set in the beautiful historic Roberson House. Either sit outside in the lovely garden or curl up by the fireplace inside. The Falls is another fantastic dining option, overlooking Palm Canyon Drive. This restaurant specialises in aged meat and martinis, a decadent combination. After dark immerse yourself in Palm Springs’ nightlife scene by heading to Toucan’s Tiki Lounge for a fun night in a kitsch rainforest setting.
Palm Springs is a luxury oasis in the middle of the desert. It is much loved by celebrities for debauched resort getaways, but you can stay like a local in a luxury villa rental and pick and choose from the top diversions to entertain yourself.
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