A little tequila, a little dance, a little party in your pants. — Kay Kudukis

It’s Cinco de Mayo again, happens every damn year — and we’re very happy about that. Before we get into where to go and what to do, let’s clarify a few misconceptions about the day.

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That date is actually September 16 (someone needs to get on that right away, we always need another reason to drink tequila).

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of one, count ’em, one battle. And that battle was the Battle of Puebla. The players in the battle: 6,000 French troops vs. 2,000 ragtag, poorly supplied but determined Mexicans. The battle raged from daybreak to early evening, and when the smoke cleared, the French had lost nearly 500 soldiers, while fewer than 100 Mexicans lost their lives. Viva la Puebla!

In 1863, the first Cinco de Mayo celebrations began in southern border states like California, and always ready for a reason to break out the tequila, in the United States it’s been a jammin’ party ever since. That bolded part is important because the only people in Mexico that celebrate the day are the Pueblans. No banks are closed, the mail still comes, no parades, and no parties.  

But thankfully we’re hedonists, and our own worst enemy (have you ever experienced a tequila hangover? Death seems preferable at the time). Here’s a list of all of the local spots for great Mexican food and getting your tequila on in moderation:

El Mirasol — there are two locations in Palm Springs (one at the Los Arboles Hotel), try the jalapeño margarita and the stuffed pepper 

Dinner is served at El Mirasol. Photo by Kim Munkres

Azucar — fancy, downtown, with a rooftop bar (at La Serena Villas)

Las Casuelas Terraza — expect a Mariachi Band, and much more

Las Cazuelas Original — the food is terrific

Felipe’s — great food and margaritas, family owned

JJ’s Mexican Oasis — family owned and delicious Cadillac margaritas

Loco Charlie’s — off of Sunrise near the Albertsons, it’s a “joint” but the food is fabulous (and the drinks are, too)

Tac/Quila — upscale Mexican seafood, and the design is super

La Bonita’s — haven’t been, but I hear it’s good

Maracas — great people watching

El Patio — run by Felipe’s

The poolside view of Azucar. Photo courtesy of La Serena Villas

La Perlita — way off the beaten path, but it’s got some great food and drinks

El Taco Asado — authentic Mexican food and full bar

Blue Coyote Bar and Grill — right downtown

Rio Azul — on Indian Canyon, and I hear it’s terrific

El Patron — best for people watching

Sancho’s — breakfast and lunch, brand spankin’ new

El Mirasol at night. Photo by Kim Munkres

And here are the only two places, right now, that are having full-blown, advertised Cinco de Mayo celebrations:

Cinco De Mayo at Hunters Nightclub

Margo Rey and an All-Star Latin Jazz Band at Jazzville (Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs)

If you don’t drink, you can alway eat, and all of the above have terrific food. Those who celebrate events with cannabis should jump on the Cannabus for one of their Express Tours. Dispensaries now have beverages for consumption, as well as powders to put in your soda water (never ever put it in an unsuspecting person’s drink or meal, or you might end up in jail like these ladies did. Rude!). Make sure to read the dosage labels, like I didn’t — I ended up riding a light beam into the deepest recesses of my mind. It was fun, but not for everyone.

As always, consume everything responsibly, and grabs some Beano before you go! 

By Mary Farah

Valentine’s Day road trip, anyone? I’m that person who is a sucker for Valentine’s Day. While long gone are the days of exchanging “Be Mine” valentines, I love the chance to get away with my husband. With the pressure of the winter holidays behind us, Palm Springs is an ideal weekend destination for us as we’re under two hours from home in Los Angeles.

Get an Aerial view of Palm Springs 

One of the beauties of a drive out to Palm Springs is hitting the road mid-morning (hit that snooze button one more time) yet arriving in town by the afternoon. A terrific first stop is to the world’s largest rotating tramcar at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Ascend almost three miles to a gorgeous alpine forest and take in the spectacular views of Mt. San Jacinto State Park as you enjoy an intimate lunch at their Forest View Restaurant, or cocktails at the Lookout Lounge. If you and your honey prefer to get down and dirty with a hike, enjoy over 50 miles of trails.

Check in to ARRIVE

For a unique hotel that’s both modern and personable, look no further than ARRIVE. A 21 and over Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel, ARRIVE is not your usual hotel. Check-in is at the pool bar, guests can reach the concierge via text, and their pool offers a lively atmosphere often with DJ’s or movie nights.

Best part? On-site at ARRIVE is Wexler’s Deli, a marvelous diner that made it tempting to stay at the hotel and chill on our patio with their smoked meat dishes; Cartel Coffee Lab, making it extremely easy to roll out of bed and get that first cup of caffeine; Draughtsman, an incredible BBQ house that will make you drool and last but not least, Ice Cream and Shop(pe).

With such an impressive option of meals and light bites, it’s no surprise why we love it at ARRIVE.

Other romantic retreat boutique hotels in Palm Springs include:

La Maison: Consistently voted one of the most romantic hotels in the country by TripAdvisor, the beautifully intimate La Maison is a dream getaway.

Dive:  This 11-room resort conjures the timeless style of St. Tropez with its elegant rooms and lush grounds.

La Serena Villas: Originally built in 1933, this romantically historic hotel sits on over an acre of beautiful landscaped grounds in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.

Ingleside Inn offers a special Valentine’s Day brunch and a decadent 3-course dinner menu crafted with love, including live music.

Enjoy a Night “on the town” at the Palm Springs Art Museum

Not only does the Palm Springs Art Museum display a diversity of beautiful art, but also Cabaret and Broadway performances at their Annenberg Theatre. Just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend, enjoy an evening with Broadway performer, Tony Yazbeck. Best known for his Astaire Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated role in On the Town, Yazbeck will be bringing his suave dance moves and smooth vocals to the museum on February 15th, an ideal evening for theatre lovers like myself.

More Evening Fun

Consider Mr. Lyon’s Steakhouse for a cozy meal for two at a candle-lit table, and don’t miss Seymour’s, their speakeasy, open nightly for an expertly crafted cocktail. If you love a great Old Hollywood atmosphere, head on over to the Purple Room. The urban legend is this is the club where an RCA executive first signed Frank Sinatra and the boys to conceive the Rat Pack. Owner of the Purple Room, Michael Holmes, never keeps it dull with weekly performances on stage at the restaurant as Judy Garland and Old Blue Eyes himself.

Where will Valentine’s Day take you in Palm Springs?

If you love the creative style of independent filmmakers, then staying at a small independently-owned hotel will fit right in with your ethos.  Every hotel is beautifully curated for an extraordinary experience. And if you’re heading to the 30th Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, at least two of our member small hotels are offering festival rates including Alcazar Palm Springs and Los Arboles Hotel.

Alcazar Palm Springs offers a great location that is close to both downtown and the arts district. Two fabulous restaurants, Cheeky’s and Birba are right on site.  Alcazar’s contemporary style has a distinctly hip European vibe.  It boasts imported Italian linens, flat screen TV’s, fireplaces, poolside and private patios, salt water purified pool, cooling misters, Jacuzzi and a beautiful garden courtyard in which to lounge. Festival Rate Code: PSFF

The Courtyard at Alcazar Palm Springs
The Courtyard at Alcazar Palm Springs

Charming and historic, href=”https://www.palmspringspreferredsmallhotels.com/stay/los-arboles-hotel”>Los Arboles Hotel is home to the iconic, El Mirasol Mexican Restaurant and bar.  Family owned and operated, it features 21 well-appointed rooms, a heated pool, Jacuzzi, room service and is located walking distance from shopping, dining, and nightlife.  This is one of those places where delighted guests return year after year. Festival Rate Code: PSFF19 for 10% off.

The patio at Los Arboles Restaurant and Bar, Palm Springs

The patio at Los Arboles Restaurant and Bar, Palm Springs

Village Fest Palm Springs

March is one of the best times to visit Palm Springs. The weather is balmy, lots of flowers are in bloom, and activities abound.  Whatever your interest may be — hiking, biking, culture, art, shopping, history, entertainment, eating or drinking — there is so much going on.  Here are some ideas about what to do in Palm Springs in March.

Month of March:  Photographs from celebrated photographer, Michael Childers, will be featured in an exhibit titled “Rockin’ Hollywood,” which opens February 29 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The exhibit features portraits of such Hollywood greats as Elton John, Cher, John Travolta, Rod Stewart, and Ringo Starr and includes the fascinating history behind the celebrities portrayed.

March 4First Wednesday Art Walk at the Backstreet Art District, 2600 Cherokee Way, from 7 to 10 p.m. Art galleries and artists’ studios are open for art lovers to enjoy original art by local, national, and international artists. This is an amazing opportunity to interact with artists and to view their paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewelry, while savoring refreshments and vibrant camaraderie.

 

March 5, 12, 19, 26: Palm Springs Villagefest is a street fair held every Thursday along Palm Canyon Drive (between Baristo and Amado roads) in downtown Palm Springs, 6 to 10 p.m. More than 180 vendors feature food, art, crafts, and entertainment. This is always a wonderful time for sampling some great food, mingling, and shopping.

March 6:  Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward will be speaking about his career and current issues. Woodward is best known for uncovering the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein in 1973. Celebrated for his investigative skills and fair, objective approach, Woodward should be a fascinating speaker. He will offer a knowledgeable perspective on what’s happening in politics today. Richards Center for the Arts, 2248 Ramon Road, 7:30 to 9:30. Tickets $30 to $150 can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/palm-springs-speaks-presents-bob-woodward-tickets-67044334409

March 7 & 8; March 21 & 22:  Desert Art Festival will be held at Frances Stevens Park, 555 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists present their works in all media for visitors to view and purchase. This beautiful setting in Uptown Palm Springs is an idyllic spot for a leisurely weekend stroll. Admission is free.

March 7Wildflower 5K Fun Run/Walk at the Civic Center, 43900 San Pablo, Palm Desert. This is a family friendly event with strollers and dogs welcomed. Registration opens at 7 a.m. and RSVPs are required. Registration fee is $30 and includes a t-shirt. RSVP at https://www.desertmountains.org/calendar/2020wf-5k-ccpark

March 9-11:  Max Von Essen is performing at the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, 6 p.m.  Max has won many awards, including a Grammy.  He has starred in the Lincoln Center’s revival of Falsettos and has appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Les Miserables. This should be a truly inspiring and entertaining performance. To purchase tickets, go to the Annenberg website (link above).

March 11:  Let’s Talk: Walk a Mile in My Shoes. Anthony Purnel, a member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, discusses the many challenges he faced during his inspiring 132-day hike from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 East Baristo Road, 6 p.m. $10 for members of the Cultural Center and $20 for non-members.

March 13-15; March 20-22: How to Survive an Apocalypse is a surprisingly delightful romantic comedy (despite the title) about a young, stylish couple who are convinced that their chic, partying lifestyle is coming to an end. They become hoarders and hunters and learn a lot about their relationship. At the Palm Springs Woman’s Club, 314 S. Cahuilla Rd. Tickets available via website (link above).

March 7, 14, 21 & 28:  The Certified Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 Baristo Road, from 8 to 12:30. This bustling outdoor market features a seasonal variety of fresh food products, craft items, and chef demonstrations.

March 27:  Palm Springs Community Drum Circle. This unique, inspiring experience is led by sound healer, Scott Meredith, and held at the Gallery at Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Drive, downtown Palm Springs. Free event.

March 29: Slim Man Rat Pack Big Band Show.  Award-winning jazz vocalist, Slim Man, leads a 17-piece big band with favorite songs from the 60s, recreating the era of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and Nat King Cole. At the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, 5-8 p.m. Tickets available at  www.slimman.com

Also keep in mind that the Palm Springs Historical Society offers a wide variety of walking and biking tours throughout March, such as tours focusing on such topics as Architecture & Glamour, Rat Pack Playground, Frank Sinatra’s Neighborhood, Modernist Treasures, Uptown Design District and many more. To see what is available and sign up, go to the society’s website (link above).

By Nicole Anderson, Modern Magazine

If Palm Springs is synonymous with modern architecture, then Modernism Week is the celebration of Modern Palm Springs. Several boutique hotels, including The Triangle Inn Palm Springs, L’Horizon Palm Springs, and The Monkey Tree offer stellar examples of the mid-century aesthetic. Nicole Anderson’s piece for Modern Magazine, beautifully summarizes the appeal of Palm Springs mid-century architecture.

Everyone has an opinion and we want to know yours! So, tell us, what do you think of Palm Springs? Share your thoughts and you will be entered to win a Free Palm Springs Vacation.

Enter the drawing by taking the survey — Click here >>

“In August most of Europe goes on holiday.” ―Tony Visconti

In Palm Springs, just like Europe, many local shops/restaurants close, and take a vacation. That doesn’t mean we roll up the streets and close the blinds – we’re not a ghost town by any stretch of the imagination. We’re still mostly open, and have a ton of wonderful getaway hotels for you to have the perfect lazy break from the every day. Generally, prices go down a bit, so you can catch a real bargain.

And yes, Splash House is happening, but if you don’t already have tickets, you’re SOL. But I’ve still got some stuff you might fancy doing, so grab a coffee or a cocktail (I’m not judgy, it’s been a crap year.) and read on:

Gre Coffee House

Early mornings are still okay for a quick walk to a coffee shop; you can read about them here.

Want more than coffee? How about a breakfast-y, lunch-y, brunch-y situation? Here’s a great article about all of your brilliant choices. There is also newcomer, Sam’s Place, (now serving alcohol) where Ruby’s Diner used to be (2020 RIP).

Afterwards, wander up and down the strip. Most of it is enhanced with misters, so you’ll stay pretty cool while you do it. Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen though. And pay attention to where you’re walking, you might be stepping on one of your favorites on our Walk of Stars.

Stop in at Crystal Fantasy and have a reading (psychic, tarot, palm), or get a piece of jewelry with the latest TikTok must-have crystal, Moldavite. I’m told there’s a new girl in town that’s about to blow up on TikTok – you can ask their well-informed staff all about it, and what might work best for you. They also have woo-woo classes you should check out if you’re into the woo.

Time for a nap, right? How about a little sunbake (with sunscreen) by the pool. But not after 11 a.m., and don’t forget to hydrate your insides while you think about nothing until cocktail hour. We have some outstanding restaurants, and I’ve written another post about all of our international delights. We have outstanding American restaurants here, I just didn’t include them.

And…Wash. Rinse. Repeat. That’s what sane people do on a lazy getaway.

For those who are toeing the edge of sanity, aka anyone who needs to “do something”, then read on:

Shows:

PS Underground – see the full list here. They’ve got a new one, collaboration with Nickerson/Rossi Dance called Repertoire that looks pretty cool.

Music: 

Cascade Lounge in the Agua Caliente Spa courtesy of DJBaz

Wednesdays: Jazzville is back, and it has a new home! DJBaz brings in the best jazz players from around the country, so book these fabulous shows well in advance. At the Cascade Lounge in the Agua Caliente Spa in downtown Palm Springs.

Woody’s Motown Monday nights, Saturdays is the Stanley Butler Band, Sunday night entertainment is happening but so far it’s TBD.

Comedy!

August 6: Off The Charts Dispensary and Lounge brings nationally touring comedians to their Williams Road dispensary. “Raffles! Prizes! And Goodie Bags!” says the flyer. Seating is limited. Take an Uber. I don’t know the parking situation there. Nor is the event on their website. But I have a flyer, dammit.

The Cascade Room is not only bringing jazz, but also comedians to Agua Caliente Spa Casino.

8/20: Jamie Kennedy

8/27: Deon Cole

You’re A Star:

Snazzy Sassy Songsational Summerific Sing-a-Long

If you’re a fan of musicals, drag queens, gay choruses, and movie sing-a-longs, you’re gonna love this. The All-Summer Sing-A-Long at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.  If you’re into lifting your voice with like-minded people, this is church. Hosted by the fabulous Rosemary Galore. Book here.

We’ve also got the Retro Room, where you can Karaoke the night away, and it’s all about you, up on stage, belting your heart out.

Michael Holmes and the Purple Room are returning on 8/31. His Judy Show is my favorite show in Palm Springs – he plays Judy Garland, Bette Davis, and Pearl Bailey and he’s hilarious. When I told Michael I was looking forward to it, he said, “I’ve gained so much weight during Covid, I may have to do Totie Fields instead.” I’ve seen him, he looks great. Judy will go on, as will the other great acts he brings in from all over the country.

I can’t say this loud enough, BOOK FOR PRIDE NOW! Book your hotels, and book your seats for the parade. Roly China Fusion has the trifecta on parade day: Drag Queens, Drag Brunch, and a rooftop spot to watch the parade. Make reservations here. Or you can wing it on the street. But the hotels?  Do that for sure now.

On a personal note: We are a tight knit community. We know how lucky we are to live here. Palm Springs is a very special place. We care about each other. To that point: If you have been vaccinated, please, come enjoy the mask-free environment. If you haven’t been vaccinated, for whatever reason, I have a 93 y.o. uncle I’m trying to keep alive and thriving, so please wear a mask.

 

Palm Springs’ busy season is underway, with great events happening during the month of November!

Greater Palm Springs Pride  11/1-3

This popular LGBTQ festival brings the community together for free events that celebrate diversity, equality and solidarity, including live musical performances, a block party and a parade, as well as a number of events that are new this year, including the Art of Pride party at Palm Springs Art Museum (https://www.psmuseum.org/events/art-of-pride-2019) and the Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical at the Palm Canyon Theater in Palm Springs. (http://www.palmcanyontheatre.org/event/341b41a6bbd15534351787458f468456)

http://www/pspride.com

Greater Palm Springs Pride parade

 

Palm Springs Vintage Market  11/3

The monthly Palm Springs Vintage Market, held at the Palm Springs Cultural Center on the first Sunday of the month from October through May, features vintage furniture, decor, art, clothing, jewelry and more from local and national vendors, as well as delicious food (try the Heyday burger!) and live entertainment. http://www.palmspringsvintagemarket.com

Vintage Market

 

Amazing Grace Gospel Brunch  11/9

Enjoy gospel music and brunch (including a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar!) in the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Meyerman Sculpture Garden before heading into the museum’s Annenberg Theater for a special showing of the Aretha Franklin performance documentary, Amazing Grace.

https://www.psmuseum.org/events/amazing-grace?date=2019-11-09

Amazing Grace - Aretha Franklin

 

Alohana: A Palm Springs Celebration of Tiki Culture  11/9

Tiki lovers will not want to miss this new event at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, featuring a tiki marketplace, hula performance and hula lessons, a tiki culture history talk, musical performances, and a special interactive screening of the film “South Pacific.” https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alohana-a-palm-springs-celebration-of-tiki-culture-tickets-75943851103

Alohana flyer

 

Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival  11/23

Props & Hops returns for its eighth annual celebration of craft beer and aircrafts at the Palm Springs Air Museum, featuring beer tastings from local breweries including Desert Beer Company, Coachella Valley Brewing and La Quinta Brewing Co., as well as top breweries from across the country. Attendees can participate in aircraft rides over Palm Springs in vintage planes.

https://palmspringsairmuseum.org/programs/8th-annual-props-hops-craft-beer-festival/

Palm Springs Air Museum Props and Hops Festival