Get to your favorite Palm Springs Boutique hotel faster than ever.

Five major airlines have announced expanded services at Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) just since May of 2018 to accommodate the 2.2 million total passengers estimated in the coming year.

Some hotels, with staff always dedicated to excellent service, will even pick up and drop off at the airport.  Be sure to ask if you need a ride.

How to Travel Safely by Car

Not since the days of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez’ road trip to California and when the Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe traveled to Palm Springs have road trips been so popular. This is the time to nostalgically take a road trip and reflect on those bygone days.

Pack your car and head to Palm Springs to enjoy one of the elegantly restored boutique mid-century hotels in the group known as the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. With almost 80 hotels from which to choose, you can be revitalized a poolside environment and snuggle in a cozy bungalow.

Before you head out, though, there are some safety precautions you should know during these times of Covid-19.

What to Bring in the Car

Even if you are traveling a short distance, bring all your travel documents—your auto insurance card, your driver’s license, auto registration, and your health insurance card.

Try to bring as much as possible of what you may need to be self-sufficient and cut down on trips to stores once you arrive. Bring water, snacks, lunch (to eat on the way or once you reach your destination), disinfectant wipes, masks, gloves, phone chargers, medications, and Ziploc bags. If you want to have some wine and spirits, pack those bottles under the car seat so you don’t have to journey to a liquor store.

Stopping for Gas and a Restroom

Like it or not, that gas stop and restroom is sometimes necessary. When you are pumping gas, disposable gloves are a great idea. Once you have finished pumping, use sanitizing wipes on anything you have touched– door handle, steering wheel, knobs for air conditioning or the radio, and your credit card.

As far as public toilets at gas stations, prepare for the worst. Bring toilet paper and soap. Make sure you really scrub your hands for at least those 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose before washing. Grab a clean paper towel to grab that door handle.

Staying at a Hotel

Here comes the beauty of staying at a Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel. With all hotels being less than 50 rooms, your room will be on the ground level or one flight upstairs. There will be no elevator rides or long hallways to negotiate. That’s because most of the small hotels were designed to face open-air courtyards.

While all of the Palm Springs Preferred Hotels have undergone deep cleaning and as a group have in place a set of baseline of safety sanitation standards, it is still a good idea to practice safety cleaning of your room. Once you are inside, use sanitary wipes to clean areas where people touch like door knobs, tables, faucets, toilets, sinks, light switches, phones, remotes, and curtain handles. Wipe down anywhere you will rest your belongings.

Eating and Drinking During Your Stay

Palm Springs is currently not open to indoor dining. But the wonderful part about visiting Palm Springs is that the weather is conducive to dining outdoors, a much safer option. Many of the finer restaurants provide food and cocktail delivery so that you can just sit back and dine comfortably in your room or by the pool. A list of some of those options are: The Tropicale, Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge, El Mirasol Restaurant, Jakes’ Palm Springs, and 533 Viet Fusion.

Note that the City of Palm Springs mandates the use of face masks in public, whether you are indoors or out.

So, grab your swimsuit and a slice of nostalgia on a well-deserved road trip to Palm Springs where unsurpassed blissfulness, hospitality, and tranquility await.

The front entrance of the Triangle Inn men's clothing-optional boutique hotel in Palm Springs, California, has purple and yellow and pink flowers and green grass

Michael Green and Stephen Boyd traded in careers in the advertising business, and the humidity of Atlanta, for the resort life and year round sunshine of Palm Springs.

The husbands traveled quite a bit, and always tended to choose bed and breakfasts when booking a place to stay. They became “enamored” with several, Michael said, and in 1999 decided to open their own, originally thinking about starting it in Florida. They remembered how much they liked their previous visits to Palm Springs, though — and the idea of leaving behind the weather and bugs of the South and East Coast — so instead, they packed up and moved out west in 2000.

Michael and Stephen bought the Triangle Inn Palm Springs, a gay men’s clothing optional resort, and got to work researching and then learning the practical ins and outs of running a resort.

“We had marketed a lot of hotels, but had never run one, so that was different for us,” Michael said.

The laid-back Triangle Inn is a mid-century modern hotel, opened in 1958 as the Impala Lodge and designed by Hugh Kaptur for his first commercial contract — it’s a prime example of the steel, glass, and stone designs from the time period. The hotel has eight suites with comfortable furniture and fully-equipped kitchens or kitchenettes.

“We’re a popular destination for people coming from the UK or Germany, who love to go anywhere where there is sunshine, and we always fit the bill,” Michael said. 

Michael and Stephen live on property, “and it really does feel like we’re having friends in the backyard,” Michael said. When you run a boutique hotel, “you’re often on 24/7, and it is never easy to get away, especially if you live on property,” he said. “You really do have to love it, and care about the people.”

Palm Springs offers blue skies, palm trees, and snow-capped mountains. Photo courtesy of visitpalmsprings.com

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels — a collection of more than 70 boutique hotels — have reopened just in time for those who crave the sun and need a change of scenery from the recent California lock-down orders. Many hotels have special offers to celebrate the reopening, including free nights and percentages off.

“Palm Springs small hotels are ideal for those who need a change of scenery but aren’t ready to be around many people,” says Michael Green Chair of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels/TBID commission. “It’s the perfect time to escape to somewhere bright, sunny and safe.”

The comfort and safety of guests continues to be a top priority. Over the past few weeks, the owners and general managers of Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels have collaboratively created a baseline of safety sanitation standards.

Most Palm Springs boutique hotels have fewer than 30 rooms, making them easier to thoroughly clean and keep sanitized. Common areas are typically outside, and a majority of rooms have their own private entrances and HVAC.

Hoteliers will continue to take every precaution during this time, from sanitizing surfaces throughout the day to rearranging patio furniture to ensure social distancing,” says Green.

As Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels are independently owned with unique property designs and configurations, each one will have its own safety guidelines in addition to the requirements set forth by the city of Palm Springs and the ones they collectively developed. This information will be shared with guests when they receive their reservation confirmation. Those who have visited before can expect some changes when it comes to checking-in and food and beverage services.

Some hotels, such as The Alcazar Palm SpringsLa Serena VillasLos ArbolesVilla Royale, Holiday House, and the iconic Ingleside Inn, have restaurants on site. Additionally, many Palm Springs restaurants and bars offer cocktail and food curbside pickup and hotel delivery services for those who don’t plan to leave their pool lounge chair.

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Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is a consortium of independently owned boutique hotels, which are an essential part of this desert resort town’s uncommon culture and economy. From quirky to charming, mid-century modern to clothing-optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has got your stay. Follow the fun on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Pinterest. Please visit Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels special offers page for details.

 

Looking for the perfect way to romance your partner on Valentine’s Day? You’ve come to the right place. I don’t have one, so I can spend all of my time figuring out the swoon factor for you. And I think I’ve got it. How about a Palm Springs spa vacation at one of our small resorts? I know, it’s perfect, right? What’s better than enjoying a night or a weekend in the lap of luxury in the place locals call paradise (because it is).

That gives us five options, and two of them have a fancy restaurant on site. So here’s a link for that. But don’t go anywhere just yet, I’m going to tell you a little bit about them, as well as give you some dinner options in case you’d like to leave the property for a few hours.

Hotels and resorts

La Serena Villas — Just behind the heart of downtown, where you can enjoy a romantic stay and still be close to the action. Whispers for spa services, and Azucar for romantic meals, as well as a rooftop bar.

A massage at Whisper’s is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Photo courtesy of La Serena Villas

Andreas Hotel & Spa  — In addition to the spa, Andreas is located downtown, and has a patio bar for poolside drinks.

Korakia Pensione — Super eclectic and truly unique to Palm Springs. It might fall under the boho chic category, with that pensione vibe, yoga, hot breakfasts, and tea service. Massage treatments can be booked in the indoor/outdoor spa lodge or in guest rooms.

The Monkey Tree — Recently restored, this mid-century modern hotel is on the north end of Palm Springs away from all the noise. A truly relaxing space, and while they don’t actually have a spa (a.k.a. massage services), they do have a heated saltwater pool and a Scandinavian spa, which includes a newly built sauna, hot tub, and cold plunge.

L’Horizon Palm Springs — The wow factor here is off the charts. The spa has massages, facials, and body treatments, aromatherapy, and a fresh juice bar. I’ll let them tell you about their restaurant: “Dramatic, refined, and intimate, SO•PA offers a unique alfresco dining experience. Join us for dinner in an intimate setting.” Finished with fire pits and fountains, this Steve Hermann-designed space is the desert’s most distinctive restaurant.

The grounds at L’Horizon. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

Restaurants

As I mentioned in the events blog, we now have Michelin Guide restaurants in Palm Springs. Bar Cecil, Boozehounds, Workshop Kitchen and Bar, Cheeky’s, 4 Saints, The Barn at Sparrows Lodge, Colony Club, and Tac/Quila. Super proud to say that two of those options can be found at our boutique spas and hotels: Cheeky’s (breakfast and lunch) is with Alcazar Palm Springs, The Barn is at, as the name states, Sparrows Lodge.

The Barn at Sparrows Lodge. Photo courtesy of Sparrows Lodge

Here are some other dinner options:

Le Vallauris — Recently remodeled and is now part of the Soho House Group. The patio is the place to be for romance.

Farm — Styled in French farmhouse decor, it’s like ducking into the countryside. The food is French, the service is not. Great choice for dinner or brunch.

Tac/Quila — Owned by the folks that brought us Farm, Tac/Quila is Jalisco-style elevated Mexican fare. If you’ve never had fried avocado, you haven’t lived. Sounds awful, but it’s SO good. It’s in a tempura batter. Yum. The decor is pretty special too.

John Henry — Locals like to keep this place to themselves, and that’s been fairly easy as it isn’t that easy to find. Located on Tahquitz, just past Sunrise, blink and you’ll miss it. Parking is weird, but so are you. Book the patio, you won’t regret it.

An experience:

Lesbian Foray, a pop-up event on Feb. 18. 188 S. Indian Canyon.

The Purple Room — A three-course dinner while being serenaded by the song stylings of Rose Mallett.

Oscar’s — Jack Donahue and dinner. About Jack: he is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and actor who has performed in many of the great jazz and cabaret venues across the country and recorded four critically-acclaimed CDs. Jack was also twice selected by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs as Best Male Jazz Vocalist.

Palm Springs Cultural Center — Enjoy Bruce Vilanch interviewing Lesley Ann Warren, one of the stars of Victor/Victoria, with a tribute performance by “le Jazz Hot” Ethylina Canne, then stick around for a special screening of the film on the big screen.

Melvyn’s — Located in the iconic Ingleside Inn, enjoy dinner and live music from the Casablanca Lounge.

The elegant dining room at Melvyn’s. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Chocolates and flowers

Brandini Toffee — Located right in the heart of downtown next to The Plaza Theater. I’ve linked to their terrific story, and I promise you it’s the best toffee you’ll ever taste. Hands down.

My Little Flower Shop — They say it’s the best in town.

If you don’t have a sweetheart, and you’re a little bitter about the whole romance thing, then PS Underground is the place you want to be for Stupid Cupid. It’s raunchy, it’s good dirty fun, and you can soothe yourself with booze and great food. PS Underground is always a good choice.

As Porky Pig so elegantly proclaimed many many years ago…“Aba-de-ba-da-di-ba-da – that’s all folks!”

Joshua trees against a blue sky and clouds in Joshua Tree National Park

Day tripping is a fun way to get out and play at some of the super cool spots around Palm Springs. That’s what Dwight D. Eisenhower did in 1954, when he slipped away for many hours under the cover of having an emergency dental appointment. It is speculated that he was taken to Edwards Air Force base to talk to some aliens. The tall gray ones called Nordics

Believe it or not, we do have some actual history with “space aliens” — and I’m not talking about the energy vortex of Desert Hot Springs, where many have claimed to have had UFO sightings. Although now that I think about it, that counts.

What I am talking about is the Integratron, located an hour outside of Palm Springs in a town called Landers. The Integratron was built by George Van Tassel, and funded, it is said, by Howard Hughes. Van Tassel claimed he got the plans from Venusians, aka inhabitants of Venus. He claims the Integratron was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity, and time travel.

Integratron

The Integratron. Photo by Kay Kudukis

Today it is used as a sound bath, and it’s fabulous — 45 minutes of quartz singing bowls played at different frequencies while you lay on a mat with your eyes closed. Rejuvenating. I grew a whole new limb. (No, I didn’t. That’s regenerating, and another story.) Go a little early and check out the gift shop and hang out in their outdoor area. It’s pretty sweet.

Not far away is Giant Rock, an ancient tribal ritual site where Van Tassel held Interplanetary Space Conventions to raise money to keep building the Integratron. You can read the whole fascinating story at The Mojave Project.

The Integratron is booked waaaaay in advance, but if you do get in, on your way back to Palm Springs stop for a bite at the world-famous Pappy and Harriet’s.

Behind Pappy and Harriet’s is an old Hollywood Western film set called Pioneertown. You’ll feel like you traveled back in time to the Wild, Wild West (not the Will Smith movie, that was baaad.) There’s even a staged shoot ’em up at high noon.

The Salton Sea: It smells. Real bad. But there are reasons to go. It has a great history with the Hollywood types, and there’s actually stuff to do. Sheephole Oasis (thumbs down to the naming committee) and Hidden Springs are said to have a nice bloom of wildflowers.

The Salton Sea at sunset. Photo by Catherine Garcia

While you’re in the area, check out the art installation known as Salvation Mountain, then continue on to Borrego Springs for lunch, art, and scads of hikes.

Joshua Tree: I’m sure Joshua Tree is on your list already. It’s a national park so there is a fee to enter, but it’s hella worth it. If you happen to be there on April 22 or 23, there will be a free concert called SoundcheckEarth. Warning: The rocks are higher than you think. Do not jump off them. Someone I know may have done this. It may have been me.

Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Catherine Garcia

Idyllwild, Lake Arrowhead, and Big Bear Lake: All adorable mountain towns that are great little day jaunts.

Whitewater Preserve: Very short ride down a very long road to a very secluded place with a ranger’s station/museum, beautiful picnic areas, a natural wading pool, and a longer hike to the swimming hole. Very relaxing day.

Redlands: Less than an hour from Palm Springs is the adorable city of Redlands. Lots of old architecture, and this article tells you all about the museums, theaters, parks, and places to eat. They seem to like making beer here — there are quite a few little breweries around town.

Umbrellas provide shade and public art in downtown Redlands. Photo by Catherine Garcia

This last one is going to take all day, but if you’re into ghost towns, Calico is where you want to go. There’s an old railroad, a mine, and more. It’s a regional park so you do have to pay to get spooked. Dress in layers.

And that’s all I’ve got for you this time. Hope you enjoy your stay in one of our chill boutique resorts, and that no matter where you go, you have a gas.

Stay cool everyone, and keep on keeping on.

Big Bear Lake. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

A fountain in front of Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs, California

There are only a few places to have a destination wedding in these United States where it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll have sunny skies, and Palm Springs is one of them. This is a big little town, intimate but offering a lot for your guests to do. The airport is international, and as far as airports go, it’s adorable.

So, if that’s a consideration for you, have a peek at some of the things our romantic little town has to offer to make your big day the best wedding ever. As an FYI, I’m going to split this into two blogs, because there are a lot of options and I don’t want you to miss any.

Say “I do” at your boutique hotel

Pink Bougainvillea covering the building at Casa Cody boutique hotel in Palm Springs, California

Gorgeous bougainvillea cover the buildings at Casa Cody. Photo courtesy of Casa Cody

Rather than getting ready somewhere else and shoving your gorgeous dress into a carriage of some sort, why not stay where you’re going to marry and have the reception there too? In fact, why not have everyone stay there? If your wedding is on the smaller scale, you can accomplish this and make it one of the most memorable weekends of your life — and your guests’ lives! There’s plenty to do in Palm Springs, and you can plan activities galore or let your pals entertain themselves until the moment you walk down that aisle. 

Alcazar — Warm and modern, the Alcazar describes itself as a “serene, peaceful oasis.” Open since 2011, the hotel’s 34 rooms and gathering areas are sleek and stylish. The outdoor space also dazzles, boasting a saltwater purified pool, cooling misters, garden courtyard, and fire and water walls. For an excellent meal, you don’t have to go far — the breakfast hot spot Cheeky’s and Italian-focused Birba are right next door.

Casa Cody — The old-world charm and opulence of Palm Springs is on display at Casa Cody, where the contemporary interiors strike a delicate balance of sophistication with a sense of playfulness. This is a Class 1 historic site with 30 rooms across several historic structures and freestanding homes. There’s Olympic Cottage, which housed athletes during the Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics; Winter’s House, an original 1930s California ranch house; Adobe House, a true adobe built in the early 1900s and one of a handful still standing in Palm Springs; and the quaint and cozy Harriet’s Cottage.  

A giant mural of yellow and blue flowers at Fleur Noire Hotel in Palm Springs, California

The flower murals make Fleur Noire come alive. Courtesy of Fleur Noire Hotel

Fleur Noire — The 21 Spanish-style casitas, studios, and standard rooms each have their own distinct look, courtesy of interior designer Chris Pardo and wallpaper designer Ellie Cashman. Before guests even get to their rooms, they are dazzled by the stunning outdoor murals of desert flowers created by artist Ouize and greeted by staff with a welcome drink. Expect furnishings inspired by the mid-century modern era, pink Keurig coffee makers, and refrigerators that are stocked daily with complimentary water. The heated pool is original to the property and is the centerpiece of the hotel. The grounds are covered with native desert plants and shaded by palo fierro trees, and guests are invited to linger around the fire pits. Fleur Noire has a clubhouse with a communal pantry, lounge seating, and working and dining areas.

Ingleside Inn — This 30-room Spanish Colonial Revival-style property was once owned by a wealthy automaker, but was transformed in the 1930s by Ruth Hardy. This Palm Springs pioneer turned it into an invitation-only private club, where everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Ava Gardner to Marlon Brando stayed and Carole Lombard and Clark Gable honeymooned. The Inn is also home to Melvyn’s Restaurant, where diners can indulge in Frank Sinatra’s favorite dish, the Steak Diane, and enjoy tableside food preparation.

A beautiful courtyard fountain at Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs, California

The perfect wedding backdrop. Photo courtesy of Korakia Pensione

Korakia Pensione — The historic 28-room property says it “blends the silhouette of Tangier with a whisper of the Mediterranean,” and is the perfect escape. There are two restored historic villas with spacious rooms featuring wood-beamed ceilings, stone showers, balconies, private patios, French doors, and antique and handmade furniture. The Moroccan villa was built in 1924 as a hideaway of Scottish painter Gordon Coutts, who wanted to recreate his earlier life in Tangier, and the courtyard is filled with fountains, date palms, and a stone waterfall. You can book massage treatments in the spa lodge, but plan on spending much of your time in one of the two heated saltwater pools, boasting views of the San Jacinto Mountains.

L’Horizon — Truly elegant, L’Horizon is the flagship of Steve Hermann Hotels, and was originally designed in 1952 by William F. Cody as a retreat for television producer and oil tycoon Jack Wrather and his actress wife, Bonita “Bunny” Granville. The 28 light and bright rooms are spaced across three acres and feel more like private residences, with such luxuries as Frette bed linens, Nespresso coffee machines, smart TVs and Le Labo toiletries. The property is also home to SOPA, a gourmet restaurant and cocktail lounge and The Spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials.

Smoke Tree Ranch —You have to actually book here, or know someone who did, to get through the gates. That’s how special it is. There are 49 cottages, from quaint and quietly secluded bungalows to hip and modern poolside-hangouts. I’ve heard it’s in the “Awesome” category, but you’ll have to check it out yourself. I’ve never been.

Rocky ledges and palms surround the beautiful pool at Sparrows Lodge Hotel in Palm Springs, California

The Sparrows Lodge pool is a natural gathering place for guests. Photo courtesy of Sparrows Lodge

Sparrows Lodge — When it was first built in 1952 for actor Don Castle and his wife, Zetta, the property was known as Castle’s Red Barn. In 2013, it underwent a full restoration, but its spirit remains the same, and guests often remark on its rustic yet modern feel. There are no televisions or telephones in the 22 rooms, to ensure that guests are unplugged during their stay. Horseshoes outside, a communal barn, an outdoor fire pit, a vegetable garden, and a spectacular pool. The Barn Kitchen whips up simple yet delightful breakfasts for guests as part of their room rate. 

Okay, that’s it for small hotels and resorts where you can put the entire wedding party and hold the wedding. In the next post, we’ll talk about bridal party options as well as where you might house your guests, a different event space, and some bakers in Palm Springs. See you soon!

When you’re planning your holidays, don’t forget about Palm Springs; it’s the perfect place to celebrate. Why? It’s the best of both worlds: it’s sunny and there’s snow, but we keep it in the mountains, where it belongs. It’s an arrangement we have with the weather. It’s all very official, you can look it up at City Hall (you can’t).

There’s a lot to do throughout the Coachella Valley, and if you’re looking for charm (seriously, who’s ever said “I hate charm”?) make one of our small resort hotels and inns home base.

We’re pretty tight with our sister cities — like most families, we’re all very different yet we’ve bonded. The new entertainment arena recently built in Thousand Palms/Palm Desert was initially planned for Palm Springs, but everyone agreed that it would ruin the feel and create a parking nightmare. It has been a bone of contention for years – in fact it was only in the last seven years that larger brands have been allowed to build in downtown Palm Springs. But our small inns and resorts know no one else can offer a Palm Springs experience like they can. Every frequent traveler wanting to inhale the culture will always stay local; it’s how you keep your favorite vacation destinations open. Bonus: no one knows Palm Springs like the locals. And we’re very happy you’ve come to visit.

Find your home base here using the preferences dropdown to plan your perfect stay. And now, here are some big holiday events throughout the valley. Most of these are kid-friendly, or just for the kid in you:

Cathedral City

Dec. 7: Cathedral City tree lighting and North Pole Village 

Take the kids to meet Santa and watch them light the tree. The town square is adorable, and check out the fountain; the material surrounding it is bouncy.

Indio

Magic Lights at Polo Club — The Polo Club is not just about the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Beyond Van Gogh has been there since October and for the holidays they’ve set up a grand drive-thru, so pile everyone in the car and head on out. Prices are reasonable. (P.S. I went to the Van Gogh exhibition, and it was pretty awesome.)

La Quinta

Old Town Artisan Studios: Gingerbread Lane — Trust me when I say this place is everything. The grounds are stunning and at Christmas they go ALL out, including Gingerbread Lane featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus. You can paint a pre-made ceramic which they will fire for you to take home. Prices are modest and support the art programs specifically for kids with challenges, seniors, and veterans. It’s really special.

Rancho Mirage

Dec. 4: Children’s Discovery Museum Jingle Bell Rock. Please note you have to be accompanied by a child. Also, the museum has been closed for quite some time for a remodel. I believe this is on the grounds, and not in the museum itself.

Dec. 10: Home For The Holidays. A free concert from the city of Rancho Mirage at the Amphitheater produced by Desert Theatricals. This company is always top-notch.

Palm Desert

At the McCallum Theatre: Dec. 2-3: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas; Dec. 6: All is Calm: The Truce of 1914; Dec. 9: The Storm Large Holiday Ordeal; Dec. 18: Merri-Achi Christmas; Dec. 19: Dave Koz & Friends Christmas. I went here for the first time a few weeks back, and it’s an impressive space with fantastic production values.

Wild Lights at The Living Desert. The zoo always does it up over the holidays. My favorite is the miniature train. It was cold when I went last year, and I didn’t wear a heavy enough jacket, so we never made it over to see how the animals decorated.

This is not a holiday item, but come December, there’s a new kid in town: Acrisure Arena. It’s in Thousand Palms/Palm Desert (it’s Thousand Palms) and has a mix of hockey and some pretty big name entertainment. They’re starting strong with double-header Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, Maroon 5, Shania Twain, Lizzo, The Eagles, and more. Score some tickets, then plan a future getaway. Music, comedy and sports — it’s a hat trick!

Palm Springs

Dec. 3:  PS Festival of Lights Parade. Palm Springs is like stepping back in time during Christmas. The streets are decorated just like the ones in my small town growing up during the 1960s.

Dec. 10: Modern Men Chorus holiday show at Palm Springs Cultural Center.

Dec. 14: Palm Canyon Theatre Let It Snow Holiday Concert. Community theater loved by many.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season, and a marvelous new year. I’ll see you in 2023.

Although the mountain backdrop is brushed in hues of brown, the rest of the Coachella Valley is pretty darned green. Canna-Tourism was smokin’ hot (#sorrynotsorry) until, you know, the pandemic. Sure, dispensaries were considered an essential business (how else would you get through the pandemic??) but now that we’re in the yellow, let’s talk about just how green our grass is. And yes, we’re talking cannabis.

Downtown Palm Springs has ten (sorry if I missed anyone) dispensaries, and I’ve added Joy of Life on the north end because she’s very active in our little community, and deserves the love. She also owns Crystal Fantasy, which I talked about on my “Events” blog last month.

Before I give you the list, most Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, and definitely the larger ones, do not allow any kind of smoking on their properties. But some do, so it’s always worth a query unless they have already stated otherwise. But there are other ways to medicate without breaking any rules.

Edibles. A lot of people don’t like these. Personally? I’m a fan. I still like my flower, and the occasional vape, but edibles are great when you can’t, or don’t want to, smoke or vape. You do, however, have to find the right strain and dosage for you. If you’ve never done them before, tell your budtender, they are trained to guide you. Most products recommend an initial dosage of five to ten milligrams.

There is a general conception that edibles mean brownies, cookies, gummies, and sugary treats, but there are also cocktails, syrups, powders and cooking products. However if you don’t know how to use them, you could end up in your room hoping you’ll come down soon. I had that issue years ago with medicated goldfish. I ate some, was watching Naked and Afraid and got hungry. I had nothing in the house to eat, then I remembered, “Oh, I have goldfish!” I ate the rest of the bag. Don’t do that. Seriously do not.

If you fancy an infused dinner with an executive chef, Brooke Egger is a great choice. She’s been on television (Cutthroat Kitchen) and has been a personal chef to many celebrities. She also has her own brand of edibles, Kande. Check out her IG (above).

CannaBUS Express Tours is always a great way to start your journey in the world of weed, or even for long-haulers. There is so much to learn! And it’s a hella fun ride. As fun as that ride is, it’s also incredibly informational. Cannabis is BIG business, and it goes through a lot before it ends up in your dispensary. You’ll stop at growhouses, manufacturers, distilleries, and distributors – the tour changes each time you go because there’s so much to learn, and so many places to see, and owner, Lynne Daniels tailors the tour on the fly for her riders.

The CannaBUS courtesy of CannaBUS Express Tours.

I want to tell you about a topical created by a Coachella Valley resident. Debbie’s husband got pretty banged up in his younger years, which made getting older pretty painful. She researched the medicinal and created Wild Bill’s Miracle Rub. It’s great for sore joints, arthritis, and it saved my bacon last year when I broke my shoulder. There is THC is the recipe, but it won’t get you high, it will just relieve your pain.

Wild Bill’s Miracle Rub courtesy of Zuma Topicals

Joan of Angels, another local, has a YouTube show about the 420 lifestyle. She’s very spiritual as you can see from her website. Give her a listen.

Four Twenty Bank and Dispensary is pretty unique. It’s 38,000 square feet scattered with seating areas for smoking your purchase, and other fun activities – pool tables, pinball machines, board games, a giant chess game, and more. It’s a unique experience, so give them a try.

And now, the list, from the North end to South end of Palm Springs: Check the location of your boutique hotel to find the one closest to you.

Joy of Life Wellness Center

142 W Oasis Rd
(760) 318-1420

Holland Pharms
150 N Palm Canyon Dr (818) 836-7908

OG Arabian Nights
232 N Palm Canyon Dr

Harvest HOC of Palm Springs Dispensary

312 N Palm Canyon Dr
(442) 226-4300

Lighthouse Marijuana Dispensary

395 N Palm Canyon Dr  (
760) 320-4420

Coachella Valley Green Dragon

53 S Palm Canyon Dr
(760) 438-9333

Four Twenty Bank Dispensary and Lounge

296 S Palm Canyon Dr
(760) 318-6877

Rockstar Cannabis Dispensary And Delivery

530 S Indian Canyon Dr
(760) 537-1334

PSA Organica

400 E Sunny Dunes Rd
(760) 778-1053

Off The Charts

1508 S Palm Canyon Dr

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Paint on a rock and a giant cross on the top of Salvation Mountain

Spring is in the air, and our indigo-colored cloudless sky is showing off our area at its best. Now is a great time to seek out some of the unique attractions a short drive away from Palm Springs.

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum showcases Coachella Valley’s history 

Buildings at Cabot's Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum. Photo by Kathy Condon

A short 12 miles from downtown Palm Springs is Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, where you can learn about the history of the Coachella Valley. Cabot Yerxa was a homesteader in Desert Hot Springs who called the Agua Caliente tribe his friends. He admired their culture, and when members of the tribe showed him where there were hot springs, he started building a home nearby. 

Yerxa continued adding to the adobe home during his lifetime, and today, you can take a guided or self-guided tour of the property. The house includes wonderful collections of Native American artifacts, and the grounds allow you to get up close to desert fauna.

The house has an admission fee, though you can walk the grounds for free. Plus, they have an outstanding gift shop with art and a collection of history books about the area.

The Integratron in Landers 

The white domed Integratron in Landers, California, with two women in front of it and a palm tree

The Integration in Landers. Photo by Kathy Condon

If you have never had a sound bath, I suggest you make reservations (in advance) at the Integratron in Landers, 50 miles from downtown Palm Springs. Here you will also see Joshua trees and massive boulders and experience the beauty of our mountains.

The parking lot is surrounded by a wall that will immediately catch your attention because it is covered with colorful art. I suggest coming at least an hour before your reservation because the yard surrounding the building is filled with hammocks and art that will make you smile.

The Integratron is considered one of the top acoustically built buildings in the world. Several singing bowls are played for 15 minutes, interspersed with classical music that helps the sound feel like it is reaching the marrow of your bones. After the sound bath, head to one of the hammocks and enjoy the calmness of your body and the surroundings.

Salvation Mountain near the Salton Sea 

Paint on a rock and a giant cross on the top of Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain. Photo by Kathy Condon

East of the Salton Sea and a 90-minute drive from Palm Springs, Salvation Mountain will keep you entertained as you ascend steps and literally head inside this immense attraction. Leonard Knight constructed the monument, a form of “outsider art,” as a tribute to God, but it is not just for religiously inclined visitors. I found it fascinating wandering through the tunnels and viewing the giant painted trees and flowers that grace the walls of the mountain. It is 50 feet high and 150 feet long and was made with adobe clay and donated paint.

The International Banana Museum is a fun stop on the way to Salvation Mountain or back. Be sure to check the hours in advance, because they don’t keep a traditional schedule.

Cabazon Dinosaurs 

The giant pink dinosaur in Cabazon, California, with the T-Rex behind it

The Cabazon Dinosaurs. Photo by Tony Mataras

Many visitors to Palm Springs end up at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets and Cabazon Outlets. Here, you’ll find retail stores from some of the most prominent designers in the world, like Prada and Gucci.

While you’re out that way, stop and meet Dinny and Mr. Rex. They became famous by starring in the movie Pee-wee’s Big AdventureClaude Bel began creating the sculptures in 1965 to attract people to his restaurant, and they were finally finished in 1986, just two years before Bel died. The dinosaurs were sold and today, they are an excellent place for photos, especially if you come for a holiday — they get fresh coats of paint and will soon have on their Easter apparel. If you don’t have time to stop, look for them on your way to the outlets while traveling west on Interstate 10.

Graffiti Park in downtown Palm Springs 

Graffiti on concrete barriers with palm trees in the background at the Graffiti Park in Palm Springs, California

Graffiti Park. Photo by Kathy Condon

These stops don’t involve a long drive — they are right in the heart of Palm Springs. Once you’ve taken photos with the larger-than-life Marilyn statue near the Palm Springs Art Museum, take a stroll through the city’s new park. There is still no official name for the park, but there is a groundswell of support for having it named after Nellie Coffman, who was instrumental in building Palm Springs as a resort town and welcoming Hollywood stars to her Desert Inn.

Across the street is the Graffiti Park, where various forms of the art can be found throughout the sandlot. Wander around and read the words or stop and try to guess what the artists are saying in their original designs. If you have some paint in your bag, you are welcome to add your design.

Graffiti Park is a fun place to visit any time of the day, and is a great spot to take photos since it’s colorful and captures the city’s vibes.

Picking a home base in Palm Springs

If you’re flying into Palm Springs, consider booking a rental car for at least part of your stay so you can visit these unique attractions. If you’re still looking for a boutique hotel, click around the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website to find the property that best suits your needs. Book soon — there’s a lot coming up in the next few months, including the BNP Paribas Open and the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.