TOP CITIES DESERTS
Recreational playground in the sun
Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Barstow, Indian Wells, Needles, Salton Sea, Mojave, Indio
There aren’t many places where you can golf while wearing shorts in the morning, snowshoe in the afternoon, and laze by the pool with a cocktail in the evening. Which explains why more than five million visitors a year descend on Palm Springs and the surrounding desert region.
Begin with lush palm oases, hot mineral springs and awesome landscapes. Add sublime winter weather plus a to-see-and-do wish list from biking and ballooning to casinos and spas. And top off with an eternally cool desert lifestyle that recalls the 1940-60s, when Hollywood stars turned the area into a world-famous winter retreat. Welcome to a region where the summer never dies, the Modernist architecture is retro-chic, and the reinvigorated youthful spirit feels as refreshing as a chilled martini.
An easy 90-minute drive from Los Angeles, “Palm Springs” is understood as the entire Coachella Valley, comprising eight “desert resort communities” clustered at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. They merge into one another along Highway 111—one of California’s great urban drives. The physical setting is out of this world. Majestic mountains soar on three sides, glistening with snow in the winter sunshine. There’s no shortage of activities and attractions. The dining is fabulous. The spas are among California’s best. And the region boasts several ritzy casinos. Museums cater to WWII aviation buffs, art fans and nature lovers keen to experience desert ecology. El Paseo gives Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive a run for its money in its quality and range of boutiques. Palm Springs’ music,