When the weather starts to turn colder, a favorite place to go for a long weekend is “The Desert”. Located about two hours east of Los Angeles, the Desert communities include Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta and Indian Wells among others.
The Desert’s popularity is largely due to its temperate and dry climate. The average high temperature in December is 69 degrees – the coldest month of the year. Average highs go up to 108 degrees in July and August but otherwise are pleasantly in the 70’s, 80’s and low 90’s for most other months.
Although the Desert communities in the past were known as a haven for retirees, they are now considered a year-round destination for people of all ages. With more than 350 days of sunshine per year, a popular outdoor activity is golf at one of the 125 golf courses that make this a premier golfing destination. Other outdoor activities include tennis, hiking and horseback riding in the canyons and visiting the natural mineral water wells. A good place to start a trip is at the Palm Springs Visitor Center on Highway 111 at the turn for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, another popular attraction in the Desert.
There are many events and activities year-round that bring visitors to the Desert. Along with PGA golf events, the BNP Paribas Tennis Open is held every March and draws top professional tennis talent from around the world. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is held annually in January and the Coachella Music Festival is held two weekends in April. There are art festivals held throughout the year as well as theater performances, fund raisers, museum events and architectural and design events. The Desert has world-class restaurants, accommodations of all types and an international airport. And there is shopping for everyone – from high end designers on El Paseo Road in Palm Desert to prime outlet shopping in Cabazon.
Palm Springs is also home to one of the world’s largest collections of mid-century modern architecture. A magnificent example of this is Sunnylands Estate in Rancho Mirage. Formerly the home of the Annenberg family and designed by A. Quincy Jones, it recently opened for tours to the public. It has hosted numerous dignitaries and Heads of State including President Obama’s most recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It is considered “a West Coast ‘Camp David,’ where global leaders seek to advance international agreement.”
The Desert landscape is unique and breathtakingly beautiful. Jutting layers of mountains against a crisp, blue sky and endless palm trees. In addition to it’s beauty, gorgeous weather and tranquility, the Desert has evolved over recent years to really offer something for everyone. Although we have visited many times, there is still so much to explore and do. Or not do. That’s the beauty!