Find Your Desert Oasis
Approximately 100 miles east from the Southern California coast, and on the other side of Mount San Jacinto State Park, you’ll find Palm Springs and Palm Desert. More importantly, you’ll find an entirely different type of Golden State vacation. For starters, the vibe is laidback. The constant buzz of celebrity and beach life is replaced by casual strolls around the public parks to view the latest open-air art installations. And the most popular nightlife typically consists of sipping a glass of wine while watching the sun slip behind Mount San Jacinto.
That said, you won’t have any trouble filling your days with activity. Golf is huge, and at last count there were more than 100 courses in the area, so everyone can find a place to tee up. Between El Paseo Shopping District, various farmers markets, and a number of vintage stores, shoppers will have nearly as many options. And if you are looking for a bit more spirited nightlife, check out the live entertainment lineup at one of the casinos.
Must-Do: Lighter-than-air aviation adds a unique — and utterly tranquil — variation to sightseeing tours. Book a trip with Balloons Above to enjoy distinct views of the Coachella Valley from the basket of a hot-air balloon.
Eat: As the name suggests, Tac/Quila is known for its street tacos — from carnitas to shrimp — as well as a selection of innovative tequila cocktails — try the spicy Jalisco Mule.
Day-Trip: Journey to Joshua Tree National Park to glimpse the namesake plant and spend a day hiking amid one of America’s most notable desert ecosystems. Better yet, go at night to witness one of America’s most luminous starry skies.