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Stay & Play in Palm Springs

By Cassandra Anderton, 31 Jan, 2019

    Whatever your idea of a holiday is, Palm Springs can keep you busy, or can be a place where you just merely relax.

     

     

    Palm Springs in California is a simple three-hour, non-stop flight from Vancouver. Many Canadians were lucky enough to buy a place down there when the real estate market took a dip a few years back.



    There are still some great hotel and resort deals though, and whether it’s a family trip, guys, girls or couple’s getaway, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Palm Springs at a variety of price points. One of the selling points of Palm Springs is the amazing architecture; art deco reigns supreme here and many of the hotels have been restored with mid-century elements. One such place is the Holiday House, 28-room accommodation in downtown Palm Springs. There’s an abundance of artwork, garden sculptures and tile decor, the rooms are just gorgeous, there’s a complimentary breakfast, and the stock in the mini-bar is unlike anywhere I’ve seen.

    The first night we were there we took a ride from the hotel on the Social Cycle, a pedal-powered 16 passenger Dutch-style bicycle and dined at the Mexican-themed Las Casuelas Terraza, a restaurant that opened in 1979 inside an historic Palm Springs casita from the 1920’s, quickly becoming a landmark popular with vacationing celebrities.

    While there’s plenty of golf for those who play, you may prefer to take a hike in the Indian Canyons where there’s native wildlife and plants, rock art, a 60-foot waterfall and breathtaking scenery. Follow up with more outdoor walking through the Moorten Botanical Garden, originally established in 1939, home to 3,000 specimens of cacti and other desert plants, and then head into the Palm Springs Art Museum. Spread over the 150,000 square feet, the museum boasts major collections of modern and contemporary art, glass, photography, architecture and design, as well as Native American and Western art.

    For a bit of downtime, venture to the Two Bunch Palms Resort, named the ‘Best Hot Springs in America’, for a wonderful lunch and a luxury soak throughout the resort’s pools. Returning to town I’d highly recommend dinner at The Parker at Counter Reformation, where you should share some small plates and enjoy the superb wines-by-the-glass list, and then Bingo at the Ace Hotel if it’s a Monday.

    The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a definite must; it specializes in the deserts of the world. At this unique zoo and botanical garden, you’ll see desert wildlife and get to feed the giraffes. Another highlight is the The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – the world’s largest rotating tram car – that travels over two-and-one-half miles along the stunning cliffs of Chino Canyon, arriving in Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

    If you are in Palm Springs on a Wednesday, the Barn Kitchen at Sparrows hosts “Chicken” Wednesdays where the hotel serves a family-style supper under the stars. The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage is another option, as there’s striking views of Greater Palm Springs from the resort, and complimentary stargazing sessions are offered every Saturday evening with the resort’s recreation ambassador.

    If large resorts are more your style, the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa, is located nearby in the Coachella Valley and is a better alternative for families as Holiday House is 21 plus only. The murals in Coachella are well worth spending some time walking amongst and no trip would be complete without a visit to a date farm and a date milkshake.

    Whatever your idea of a holiday is, Palm Springs can keep you busy, or can be a place where you just merely relax.

     

    Photos: iStock, Social Cycle, Holiday House, The Ritz Carlton - Rancho Mirage, Melvin Wei

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