Located just a little more than 100 miles from Downtown Las Angeles sits the desert resort town of Palm Springs, CA. This is truly an oasis in the middle of the desert, and with summer temperatures that can reach well above 100 degrees in the height of the summer season, and pleasant 70 degree temperatures during the winter, this is a great outdoor playground. Located in the Coachella Valley, and at the base of a number of mountain ranges that include the nearly 11,000 foot peak of the San Jacinto Mountain range, this is truly a naturally stunning place to see.
For decades, Palm Springs has been a great getaway for people from Los Angeles, San Diego, and other parts of Southern California. If you’re looking to brave the blazing heat of the summer time, you might as well find one of the dozens of beautiful resorts that are spread out throughout the city. Belly up to the outside bar, grab yourself something to read, and take a dip in a nice, refreshing pool. Live like royalty for a few days, and pretend to soak up some of the rays. Just remember, the sun will literally fry you, so soak yourself in sunscreen. Summer is ideal for groups that are looking to party it up a bit in the hot, but dry heat, hit up some of the nightlife, and feel the experience of being in a true desert oasis. Be warned though, this is not the city with the happening, young clubs, but more of a city with a calm, night out enjoying new food. While most residents are here to retire and play golf, there is more to do and see than the fairway.
Perhaps the best time to visit Palm Springs is during the other three seasons throughout the year. The areas surrounding the city are filled with running water, dunes, hiking trails, and more, and can lead to some of the most spectacular hikes in the area. Something that must be done when visiting is taking the Aerial Tramway 8,000 feet up into the jowls of the San Jacinto Mountains. Simply being lifted swiftly up into the mountain, and seeing geological features that change so quickly is stunning. Within minutes, you will pass from dry, desert landscape, and up through high-desert, and eventually into a pine tree covered forest. It’s fun, the view is spectacular, and it whips you to the top in no time at all. It is significantly colder at the top though, so come prepared with a nice jacket so you can focus on the breathtaking views.
For those who are more into hiking, and want to get up front and personal with the desert landscape, there’s no better place to do it than at one of the various Indian Canyons. Take your pick from Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon, or Murray Canyon, and discover everything from tranquil creeks, to look out views that will absolutely blow you away. You will feel like you have somehow landed on a different planet, and will feel about 1 million miles from the City of Angels. One note, and something that must be considered is that nature is a true beast and must be respected. This area is filled with rattlesnakes, and other predators, so use caution. Additionally, even in the spring and summer time, temperatures can plummet, so go prepared. With that said, it’s beautiful, and a highly-recommended trip.
And at the end of the day, coming back to an incredible room to relax just makes the trip even better. The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage is an incredible hotel to stay at, and with a year round pool overlooking the valley below, provides ample opportunity to take the whole city in at once. Located on the edge of the city, the rooms are very well appointed and comfortable, but not too outlandish, and pricing per night is beyond reasonable for the full Ritz-Carlton experience. We recommend trying the EDGE restaurant while in town as well, serving up some of the best steak and cocktails enjoyed on our short journey.