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Day In Palm Springs: California’s Sparkling Desert Diamond!

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Palm Springs has never been more vibrant. Whether relaxing by a sun-splashed pool or shopping and dining downtown, Palm Springs is a sparkling diamond in the California desert. We invite you to come along on a sunup to sundown adventure as we shine our lights and focus our cameras during one exciting day exploring many of the facets to be found in this beautiful desert getaway. So get up early, bring plenty of H20 and let’s have some fun…

Palm Springs Visitors Center

Mid Century Splendor. Visit palmsprings.com.

Visitor’s Center

We start our day at the Palm Springs California Visitors Center where we catch our first glimpse of the snow topped peaks of Mt. San Jacinto, and learn a little history about how PS got so fabulous…

Built in 1965, the Center attracts more than 125,000 visitors each year. The building is a Palm Springs landmark designed in the Palm Springs modern architecture style (an historic site) by Albert Frey and Robson Chambers.This unique building was orignially designed for and used as a gas station for more than 20 years.

Palm Spring Aerial Tram

Palm Springs Aerial Tram

Aerial Tram

Only a quick trip from the Visitor Center, our next stop is the world famous Palm Springs Aerial Tram.

Known as the “8th Wonder of The World,” the Tram’s Valley Station affords a spectacular view up Chino Canyon’s sheer cliffs to the frequently snow covered Mountain Station 10,834 feet above.

The vision of electrical engineer Francis F. Crocker began in 1935 and became a reality in 1963. Since then, The Tram has transported over 12 million visitors along the 2½ mile ride from the warm desert floor to the pristine wilderness and majestic Mountain Station above.

Completely modernized in 2000, the tram carriages and facilities consist of the world’s largest rotating fleet of tram vehicles that make the 10 minute ride silky smooth with just enough bumps to make the ride fun and exciting.

The last Tram descends at 9:45 pm offering a one-of-a-kind view of the lights of Palm Springs. While the views to the Coachella Valley below are breathtaking, the Mountain Station is also a major
gateway to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. You’ll find miles of beautiful hiking trails that begin at the top of the Tram and extend over the San Jacinto Mountains to the outskirts of Idyllwild, traversing the southerly side of the Coachella Valley, officially designated a treasured natural and cultural resource.

For more information call the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountain National Monument Visitor Center: palmspringslife.com/santarosa.

There is frequently a 40 degree weather change from the bottom to the top. So be sure to consider bringing something warm to wear. The Tram Weather Station is a great way to help you decide how to dress for the ride. See it all at The Aerial Tram’s well-appointed website pstramway.com. Click on “Weather Now” to see what’s happening weather-wise on the day of your visit.

The Facts

Cars depart at least every half hour Monday-Friday starting at 8:00 am. On Saturdays, Sunday and holidays, cars depart starting at 10:00 am.

On weekdays, the first Tram is up at 8:00 am and the last Tram ascends at 8:00 pm.

Prices and hours of operation are subject to change without notice. Annual maintenance is scheduled for September 10-23, 2012, tentatively reopening September 24, 2012.

Sorry, pets are not allowed. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult of 21 years or older.

Palm Springs Desert Influence

Raymond Lowey, The Father of Industrial Design at his Palm Springs home. circa 1950

Architectural Splendor

Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley became a mecca for those who appreciate California Mid-Century Modernist architecture.  There was an influx of people with taste, talent and wealth who enjoyed the aesthetic of international style architecture and reinvented it to blend into the California desert lifestyle.

Sprinkled across the valley, you will find impeccable examples of the work of influential architects and industrial designers including Raymond Loewy, John Lautner, Richard Neutra, Albert Frey and a host of other luminaries who changed the face of American industrial design and architecture.

Additionally, Palm Springs billionaire, Ambassador Walter Annenberg and his wife Leonore started Sunnylands, a 200 acre mid-century modern wonderland designed by Southern California architect A. Quincy Jones.  The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands became an international beacon for the mid-century aesthetic and a gathering place for American Presidents and world leaders.

Indian Canyons: Where It All Began

A short drive from the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, the Indian Canyons offer a shady respite during your day in Palm Springs.

The canyons are an excellent source of historical info regarding the Agua Caliente Cahuilla (pronounced Kaw-we-ah) Indians who settled in the area centuries ago. These peace-loving hunter gatherers lived an abundant life just a bit southeast of today’s Palm Springs in the fresh water oasis that would become the site of North America’s largest natural fan palm oasis.

One of many Cahuilla bands, the Agua Caliente had a reputation for independence, integrity and peace and that spirit can be felt as you visit the sacred grounds and experience the zen-like vibe.

The canyons are open thru June, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Ranger hikes available. Tours are approximately 1.5 hours/1 mile treks.

The Indian Canyons of the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians are at
38500 South Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs CA 92264

Here’s a quick synopsis of each:

Palm Springs Tahquitz Murray Andreas

Pedro Chino: A very important Agua Caliente shaman, leader and captain of the Agua Caliente people. Born at the foot of Mount San Jacinto in what is now known as Chino Canyon. Pedro was a shaman and acknowledged intermediary between the physical world and the
supernatural realm. Pedro Chino died on November 25, 1939, he was believed to be the oldest living man in the United States at an estimated 123 years of age.

Fifteen miles long, Palm Canyon is a spot of unusual beauty in Western North America.  It’s indigenous flora and auna, abundant Washingtonia filifera (California Fan palm trees) are breathtaking contrasts to the stark, rocky gorges and barren desert lands beyond.

While in Palm Canyon visit the Trading post for hiking maps, refreshments, Indian art and artifacts, books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weavings and conversational cultural lore.

Tahquitz Canyon is home to a seasonal 60 foot waterfall, rock art, ancient irrigation systems, artifacts and cultural and educational exhibits.  Self-guided hikes or Ranger-led hikes are available.

Located at the entrance to the canyon, the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center, at 500 W. Mesquite, just west of Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, offers exhibits, an observation deck, and a theater room for viewing a video regarding the legend of Tahquitz Canyon.

For more information or to reserve a ranger-led interpretive hike, call the Visitors’ Center at (760)416-7044.

Admission to Tahquitz Canyon is: Adults $12.50 and Children $6.00 (12 and under).

Murray Canyon is an easy hike south from Andreas Canyon.  Foot and equestrian trails lead to recreational spots among the many palm trees.  Peninsular Big Horn Sheep (an endangered species), ule deer and other animals still roam the high ground above the canyon and can be seen by the lucky visitor.  Murray Canyon has it’s own secluded beatuy; and at least one known endangered species of bird, the Least Bells Vireo, is known to nest here.

Giant Fan Palms and more than 150 species of plants within a half-mile radius welcome the visitor to this lush oasis.  A scenic foot trail leads through the canyhon, passing groves of skirted palms, rock formations and the perennial Andreas Creek, where one can still see the bedrock mortars and metates used centuries ago for preparing food.

The Agua Caliente people enjoyed a rich ceremonial life, with the sacred and medically beneficial hot springs often serving as a gathering place.

The site of the present day Palm Springs Spa Hotel and Mineral Springs ls located on a Cahuilla Indian hot spring. Today’s spa and hotel is noted throughout the world.

Adults: $9.00
Seniors (62+): $7.00
Children (6-12: $5.00
Student and Military:
Equestrian: $11.00

The canyons are open thru June, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Ranger hikes available. Tours are approximately 1.5 hours/1 mile treks.

The Indian canyons of the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians are at:

38500 South Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs CA. 92264
(760) 323-6018

Palm Springs Tahquitz Creek Tahquitz Creek - Hitting the Links

No day in Palm Springs would be complete without a round of golf…Home to over 200 spectacular courses, the Palm Springs area is a golfer’s paradise.

We stopped in at Tahquitz Creek Country Club, the pride of the City of Palm Springs, just minutes from the Palm Springs International Airport and downtown. This spectacular course offers a great view of Bob Hope’s oyster shaped mansion and magnificent mountain views.

Golf Digest recently rated Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort as “One of the Best Places to Play”.

The Legendary course, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, is a traditional country club style while the resort, a well known Ted Robinson design, is a desert links style that offers beautiful mountain views, along with scenic waterscapes, and greens that are friendly, yet demanding. Come out and see what locals have known for over 50 years.

Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort
1885 Golf Club Drive
Palm Springs, California 92264

Palm Spring Riviera Riviera Resort & Spa - Poolside Splash

Many feel that Palm Springs is all about serious R&R next to a sparkling pool and we couldn’t agree more. If absolute rejuvenation is necessary for mind body and soul, then there’s no place better than the Riviera Hotel to recharge your batteries while soaking up rays in arguably the coolest spot in town. The Riviera screams Palm Springs and takes you back to the halcyon days of the 60’s but includes new millennium technology, four star comfort and impeccable service.  The Riviera is a decadent swirl of swizzle sticks and poolside splendor served up in a palm shaded theatre of relaxation amid world class shopping, golf and all of the attractions that make Palm Springs special. Originally opened by Irwin Schuman as the Chi-Chi Club in 1937, the Modern Riviera was opened in 1958 and the wheel shaped pleasure palace became an instant international hit. A perennial favorite of the Power Elite and a favorite watering hole for Hollywood’s most celestial stars, the Riviera remains the place to be and a sure bet for a great Palm Springs afternoon.

Palm Springs Shopping

Palm Springs Shopping

Retail Therapy - Uptown, Downtown & Design Districts

As the afternoon heat starts to rise, It is time to get out of the pool, towel off and head downtown for a little retail therapy along the flourishing shopping districts Palm Canyon and Indian Canyon Drives. Even the most seasoned shoppers will find one of a kind treats and treasures in the hundreds of world class restaurants, hotels, art galleries, boutiques, and shops. Beautifully lined with majestic palms and continuously lit in sparkling lights, a stroll down Palm Canyon Drive and Indian Canyon Drive is an absolute must to experience the unique flavor of Palm Springs. Divided into three designated areas: Downtown, Uptown and the Design District, there are restaurants, bars and cafes with ample places to stop and watch the world go by with shaded areas and cool mists to make your afternoon experience comfortable, relaxed and one of a kind…like all things Palm Springs. See a complete directory of all that down town Palm Springs has to offer at http://www.palmsprings.com

Our day in Palm Springs draws to a close with an indescribably beautiful sunset and a canopy of desert stars. The temperature is typically balmy and breezy and the lights of downtown and the surrounding communities twinkle and beckon visitors to step out and enjoy a spectacular evening in one of the many nightspots in town.
We found Copley’s On Palm Canyon a perfect venue to reflect and savor the remaining moments of our day In Palm Springs.  The cozy restaurant is warm and inviting and the patio is perfect for dining under the stars or relaxing next to the open fire. Our day in Palm Springs was a great time, but if you have more time to spend, be sure to visit http://www.visitpalmsprings.com for tips and destination suggestions.  Until then, we wish you Health Beauty and Life.

The “Day in Palm Springs” team of Health Beauty Life Magazine would like to thank the following individuals for their guidance, assistance and participation. We appreciate you! Hillary Angel, Therese Everett-Kerley Ralph Kato, Brandon A. Alexander Lena Zimmerschied, Bob Bogard, Steve Sharp Juliana and Andrew Manion-Copley Ashley Dunphy, and Brittany Bevis

Cool Off & Soak Up Some Culture

The Palm Springs Art Museum has two magnificent locations: One in downtown Palm Springs and a newly opened location in Palm Desert. Both feature world class works in artfully-designed buildings. Open every day (except Mondays and major holidays) 10-5. Open Thursdays from 12-8. Thursdays are always free at both locations. For more information call 760-322-4800 or go to psmuseum.org

Posted in: A Day In...Spring 2012Travel
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One comment on “Day In Palm Springs: California’s Sparkling Desert Diamond!
  1. Jane says:

    Hi Greg,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Palm Springs to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you!

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