Travels with Corie...
PALM SPRINGS IN THE SUMMER?! (June 2016)
Is there any sane reason a person would intentionally go to the desert in the summer?! Temperatures are easily in the triple digits in the daytime and seldom get below 70 degrees at night. Of course it's a "dry heat" as we Californians like to say...as if that makes it a whole lot better.
However, there is LOTS of air conditioning there and many places have "misters" outside to cool the air for you. There is certainly LESS people, far better traffic, fewer lines and great parking!
The trade-off is many venues are "closed for the season" (mid June till almost September):
- Wally's Desert Turtle (my favorite restaurant because of their ambience, wonderful service and incredible wild game food choices)
- Arnold Palmer's (more great ambience, service and food)
- Lavendar (also great ambience, service and food...just not the wild game options)
- McCallum's Theater...the great performances will return with the first "Snowbirds"
Others, like the College of the Desert Market on Saturdays and Sunday's, goes from 300+ vendors and good eateries to less than 30...but you don't have trouble getting GOOD parking and there are NO lines!!
These changes force you to return to familiar haunts, the CLIFFHOUSE in La Quinta (one of my favorites and has some nice desert views) as well as finding some new places...
- Si Bon restaurant in Rancho Mirage is a "must try" with excellent food, good Belgian beers and outstanding service. Reservations can be necessary here even in the summer!
- The Edge Steakhouse at the Ritz Carleton (turn uphill at Hwy 111 & Frank Sinatra Drive) has a view from the "edge" of the hill over the Coachella Valley. Make reservations so you can have a table with a gorgeous view and watch the colors of the sky and valley change as you move from day into night (there is something so beautiful about lights at night in the desert). Besides the outstanding service (Lanay and Scott provided impeccable service for our dinner and Brian was a superb Sommelier), their menu options are fantastic (Duck 3 ways, Wagyu beef that literally melts in your mouth and the special that night...Wild Boar that was the BEST I have ever had). The restaurant is very contemporary and the Kitchen is only enclosed with glass so you can watch the activity of the Chef and his team if you wish.
You can also plan your day so the heat does not really interfer...
- Take the fantastic Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of 8,000 foot Mt. San Jacinto...it's ALWAYS cooler up there!! You can actually do some short hikes or just hang out and relax. There is food and a bar. The real treat though is the new tram that now "revolves" as you climb the face of the mountain!! You get to see everything..the valley, the hillside, the windmills...just get to any window as you board.
- Spend the day at the Palm Springs Art Museum (and have lunch at their casual, but good Cafe). There are amazing works of art by well-known and not-so-well-known artists. The museum is well laid out and also has a sculpture garden if the AC in the Museum has made you too cold!! It's fun to recognize the names of the many donors since this town is so closely connected with the entertainment industry! (William Holden, Kirk Douglas and George Montgomery just to name a few).
- Numerous other museums are here including an Air Museum home to one of the largest collections of working WWII aircraft in the USA and a General George Patton Memorial Museum.
- There are also golf courses, bowling alleys, water parks, dog parks and an ice skating rink!
- Plenty of air-conditioned malls and movie theaters to escape into as well.
- And if you are in need of furniture, there are an overwhelming number of stores carrying quality used furniture at good prices because of the "turn key" nature of much of the housing in the Coachella Valley.
- Just relaxing around a pool wth a good book is another option...or going to one of the spas for a day of total pleasure!
One last benefit to a summer visit...the costs for lodging are also VERY reasonable this time of year!
A good website to plan your trip there anytime would be VisitPalmSprings.com
Have Safe & Fun Travels!! Corie :-)