Dying for a relaxing retreat away from the hubbub of everyday life? Travel 2 hours from Los Angeles to the magical desert oasis of Palm Springs, nestled in the Coachella Valley, a unique destination perfect for families, friends, and couples.
Lake La Quinta Golf Course, Palm Springs — Photo courtesy of Gina Jones
Known as a golf mecca to aficionados, Palm Springs is home to some of the best public golf courses in the world. Golfers go gaga for Indian Canyons Golf Resort, one of the only courses in the area not part of a real estate development, snuggled at the base of the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains. Boasting 2-18 hole championship public courses, a wind-free environment, and 25 station driving range, golfers can tee-off surrounded by breathtaking panoramic natural views. Take advantage of special promotions like Golf-N-Lunch, offered Monday through Saturday after 11am, and 9-N-Dine dinners, on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Thousands of visitors and locals take to the streets every Thursday night for Villagefest, a bustling fair featuring arts, food, and entertainment that occupies roughly 3 blocks in Palm Springs. Visit various shops and restaurants along Palm Canyon Drive, or just people watch while listening to street musicians and enjoying fresh Farmer’s Market fruits and vegetables. Many stores stay open late on Thursday nights specifically for Villagefest; keep a lookout for BOLT (Business Open Late Thursdays) sign on establishment windows.
Eager to soak up culture and escape from triple-digit temperatures? Palm Springs Art Museum houses an impressive collection of art including pieces by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Ansel Adams. Current exhibitions showcase modern sculpture, Michael Petry, and American paintings and architecture. Take in live professional performances of famous and beloved plays and musicals at the 433-seat state-of-the-art Annenberg Theatre. Dine indoors or outdoors in the sculpture garden at the Muse Café, offering tasty bites like salmon quesadillas, panini sandwiches, and beef lasagna. Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission Thursday nights during Villagefest and the second Sunday of every month.
Knott's Soak City — Photo courtesy of Smart Destinations
Traveling with kids? Beat the heat at Knott’s Soak City, a 21-acre water park in Palm Springs with 18 drenchingly awesome rides and attractions. Lollygag along the lazy river in a tube, while the kids hit up Gremmie Lagoon, a special children’s attraction aimed towards pint-sized clientele. Open mid-March through Labor Day, Knott’s is a must for families who love water slides, wave pools, and high-speed thrills!
Hikers and bicyclists can explore miles of maintained routes for picturesque photo ops of Southern California’s tallest mountain ranges. Check out Coachella Valley Hiking Club, which offers 3-6 hikes per week for hikers of all abilities. Rent bikes from BIKE Palm Springs Rentals and Tours or Scoot Palm Springs to mark your own self-guided tour through the town and desert. Grab some wheels and create your own adventure! Turn the vacation mirage of your dreams into sweet reality by heading to Palm Springs for outdoor fun, arts and culture, or just some much-needed relaxation time. You deserve it!