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Palm Springs, CA - Best Winter Getaway Destination
If you are in the process of planning a seasonal getaway from harsh winter elements, or simply contemplating the prevailing scenario of leaving the mundane behind just for the sake of recharging your lust for every day life, look no further than Palm Springs. This world renown, cold climate escape is home to just about every year round outdoor amenity one could ask for. Average fall and winter daytime temps range in the balmy 70's and evenings hover around the 50's. Palm Springs is unquestionably a near perfect west coast inland locale to vigorously embrace and exuberantly celebrate the winters rather than hibernate until springtime arrives like some must endure in colder regions situated throughout the country. People from all over the world travel to Palm Springs not only to extract and savor the warmth from the mild year round conditions, but also to exploit and take complete advantage of the abundance and almost limitless outdoor recreation. From the moment you arrive until the time you return your hotel card key to the front desk, your body and mind will be occupied full time with rambunctious pool parties, golf, tennis, walking, hiking and any other activity you can possibly imagine. Or, if your pre-conceived idea of a "Getaway" is to simply expel all notions of participating in tiring energetic activities, and your preference is to clock in and out of a serene, one dimensional experience by exercising your right to relax and do absolutely nothing, Palm Springs is always the place to just kick back, unwind, and realize a comfortable state of suspended sun drenched animation.
Located approximately 90 miles from Orange County CA, 110 miles from Los Angeles CA, and 135 miles from San Diego CA, Palm Springs is nestled snugly between four majestic mountain ranges within the historically significant Coachella Valley. The San Bernardino Mountains to the north, Santa Rosa Mountains to the south, San Jacinto Mountains to the west, and the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the east. There are three airports from which to gain access, LAX from Los Angeles, John Wayne from Orange County, and Palm Springs International Airport which is located right in the epicenter of the city. If you fly into LAX or John Wayne, the drive into Palm Springs will take roughly 90 minutes to 2 hours give or take depending upon the precise time of day in which you are traveling, a primary consideration which always dictates freeway conditions in Southern California.
Accommodations are plentiful and prices reasonable depending upon the time of year you plan your visit. Typically, in desert communities, the "ON" season is everyone else's "OFF" season due to the fact that thousands who visit this oasis each year, are doing so in a health conscious effort to escape the frigid weather they may be experiencing in their home towns and therefore, intend to observe the harsh elements in the rear view mirror. Keep this important travel and planning consideration in mind when contemplating your next vacation here. Upon arrival, if you take advantage of everything Palm Springs has to offer, I can almost guarantee from the very instant you arrive, you'll realize why "Ol' Blue Eye's" packed up his family, well deserved awards, and entire hand picked orchestra and departed his winter worn home in Hoboken only to settle down and establish sturdy, immovable roots in this luscious desert playground. Later to be joined by the rest of his fellow party crew pals for some well documented and world famous raucous escapades.
Together, this rowdy band of rambunctious show business legends, along with other premier movie stars and politicians such as Bob Hope and Gerald Ford, helped Palm Springs carve out a unique hot spot designation on the proverbial map. Frank Sinatra partnered with other celebrities and high profile residents including the aforementioned Bob Hope, to inadvertently promote the irreproachably sexy pool party Coachella lifestyle. As we look back in retrospect, we realize this clan of notables have certainly become integral components of the history of this great city, and Frank Sinatra's very presence and dedication to this desert spring, coupled with famous and at times infamous contributions by fellow compadres, helped to shape the Palm Springs legend, addictive mystique, flamboyantly Hollywood characteristics, irresistible allure, and quintessential Southern Californian star studded charm from the very beginning.
Today as you cruise through town, you will encounter many new residential developments sprouting up within the city and throughout the suburbs, however, certain areas evidently as a result of a conscious preservation effort, have still managed to retain that 1960s & 70's retro appearance and autonomously cool ambiance as tribute to those who had forged this wondrous play-land into the desert diamond it is. I think Frank would have liked it that way.
- PALM SPRINGS HIGHLIGHTS -
Needless to say, and not withstanding notoriety which precedes itself, Palm Springs has built a worldwide reputation for legendary par excellence golfing over the years and at last official count, the city and surrounding communities was host to over 100 professional grade golf courses. So if pursuing the ultra-ultimate game is your passion, don't forget the sticks so you can hack, slice, and dice your way to perfecting that intimidating sub-par game and be well on your way to getting in tip top physical condition for that next competitive round with your friends. Each course is individually designed to precise specifications, some donated by the greatest pros ever to grace the green, so experiencing a repetitive game from one course to the next, is a very rare occurrence. The diversity and difficulty levels cater to all skill levels, from the novice right on up to pro level, and everything in between. All courses come standard with a unique angle and pristine view of the mountains. Televised PGA Tournaments are held here every year and golfers will find a huge selection of facilities which sell clubs and accessories right there in the city, with others situated on the outskirts or neighboring towns like Palm Desert or La Quinta. Pro shops can be found in and around the city for supplies and other necessities.
Lounge by the Pool
Palm Springs, well known for legendary golfing and celebrity status, is also one of the best places to just kick back and relax. Leave all the every day stresses and anxieties behind as put on your swim suit, oil yourself up with a favorite tanning or protective moisturizing lotion, pull up a poolside chair and soak up the sun. I think the only other amenity which is more plentiful than golf courses in Palm Springs is the number of sparkling pools and jacuzzis. Just about every hotel and motel in town has at least one. Some offer poolside service for soft drink and alcoholic beverages, so just sit back and relax as hotel staff caters to your every desire.
Las Casuelas Terazza - Palm Springs Best Mexican Restaurant
If Mexican cuisine is your delicacy, Palm Springs is home to one of the best traditional Mexican restaurants in So Cal. Located on Palm Canyon Drive, which is the main street just as you enter the city, it can't be missed and distinct south of the border architecture will immediately draw your attention. "Las Casuelas Terazza", which first opened its doors in 1979 and going strong ever since, will simply knock you out. The menu consists mainly of traditional fare such as Burritos, Enchiladas, Tacos, & Flaming Fajitas which are some of the guest favorites, and prices are reasonable for the generous portions. Plus, for those interested in a spirits filled affair, the restaurant contains a distinct, fully loaded bar which serves up what else, but fruit flavored margaritas and other Mexican style traditional drinks. If you visit in the late morning hours or the afternoon just as the sun begins to massage the entire city, you will be pleasantly surprised as you walk toward the entrance and experience a refreshing, light, sprinkler treat emanating from the rooftop. Your entire body is immersed in a cool, wet, water mist, soon to dissipate and dry in an instant after briefly moisturizing the body.
***** Las Casuelas Terazza *****
- 222 South Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Joshua Tree National Park
Adjacent to, and a short day trip from Palm Springs is Joshua Tree National Park. A desolate, remote, way off the beaten track monument consisting of approximately 790,000 acres, most of which are designated as wilderness area. Although there are many things to explore here, the main attraction is the indigenous warmth loving tree which bears the parks name, the Joshua. Ranging from small to modest in size, this delicate species has adapted quite well over the centuries to yearn for and thrive within the dry desert climate while needing only intermittent spurts of rainfall to nourish and quench its thirst. There are thousands of different shapes and sizes to gaze at, admire, and photograph.
The park is rather large and at first glance, seems to be almost devoid of any sights or sounds of life. But as you peel away the layers, look deeper into the environmental core, and truly begin to explore, you can actually feel the presence of camouflaged wildlife using whatever shade it can find as a shield until dusk arrives. If you're looking for a place to be one with yourself, alone with your inner thoughts, it's a perfect place to do so. Additionally, there are many family oriented activities designed to engage and share unique experiences with the family. Several campgrounds are located within the park, however, only a few have the necessary infrastructure to support utilities. Two of these campgrounds include "Black Rock Canyon" & "Cottonwood", so be sure to research diligently prior to making reservations.
If you enjoy hiking, this is your spot. There are several trails to choose from including those which will keep your journey close to civilization and the park boundaries to prevent a deep venture into no mans land where park rules are implicitly superseded by wildlife dominion. Rock Climbing is allowed and the park offers several different shaped and sized natural structures to challenge your skills. My recommendation would be to perform this activity with a companion or several other persons just in case an accident does occur, and if you are a mildly skilled novice, this is certainly not the place to refine and develop your skills. The prudent course of action would be to proceed with a reasonable degree of caution. Also check with Park Officials for applicable Rules & Regulations before climbing.
Joshua Tree National Park, formed millions of years ago by cooling molten rock combined with natural sculpting weather elements such as high speed, rock eroding winds, and torrential water flow, is a captivating and at times surreal experience to say the least, and if you're extremely lucky, you might even get the chance to witness a hawk in flight or even cross paths with the ever elusive roadrunner. In summary, the park is a fantastic place for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, and admirers of bronze toned desert landscapes. So if this sounds like your kind of day trip, I don't think you'll be disappointed. <> Palm Springs, A wealth of year round outdoor activities and premier winter getaway choice -
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- All sizes | moonrise in palm tree, Palm Springs CA | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
- All sizes | Joshua Tree National Park | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
- All sizes | Joshua trees | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
- All sizes | Desert Springs hotel pool, Palm Spring | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
- All sizes | Greg Norman Course @ PGA West | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
- All sizes | Palm springs | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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