Big Bear Lake, CA
Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 20:45
Located just two hours from Los Angeles and San Diego and its native fan palm groves, Palm Springs has been a favorite getaway for almost a century. Shaped by the legendary “Two-hour Rule” by Hollywood Studios, Palm Springs quickly became a desert playground for celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Luci and Desi, and Elvis and Pricilla. Many made it their escape from the Hollywood scene and some actually purchased getaway homes. Visionary architects also embraced the special desert landscape and developed an aesthetic known today as Desert Modernism. Taking in the climate and the indoor/outdoor simple and relaxing lifestyle, talented architects like Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Donald Wexler – to name a few – created everything from private residences to schools, commercial buildings and hotels.
The brilliant blue skies during the day, star-filled nights, and the dramatic mountain, palm and architectural backdrops make Palm Springs a stellar pick for an outdoor summer destination. The Stars had it right in the early booming days of Hollywood. Summer is the best time to lounge poolside on a sun-soaked day with a book and beverage of your choice. The sun and outdoors are the essence of Palm Springs. After a day or two of forgetting your worries at the pool, indulging at a spa, and maybe doing a little shopping at the boutiques and notable thrift and vintage shops, pack a picnic and plenty of water and head to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Palm Springs is also home to some of the most unique hiking experiences. The tramcar delivers an 8,500 foot breathtaking journey through Chino Canyon where there are miles of alpine hiking trails. The ancient Chino Canyon as well as the other extraordinary Palm, Tahquitz, and Indian Canyons are rich with the history of the Aqua Caliente Cahuilla Indians who settled in these areas long ago because of the abundance of water, plants and animals. Through these Canyons you can explore trails, rock art, house pits, reservoirs, streams and waterfalls. Don’t forget to treat yourself to the hot mineral waters at “Taking of the Waters” at the Spa at Spa Resort Casino and visit the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum downtown to learn about the early settlers of the Palm Springs area.
Enjoy a morning round of golf? Beat the heat at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort or Indian Canyons Golf Resort. Both courses offer challenging terrain for every level of golfer and stunning desert scenery. Perhaps after hitting the tee for a few hours, you’ll be ready to enjoy some of the arts and culture of this desert gem of a city.
At the Palm Springs Art Museum you can escape the 3-digit temperature and view traditional arts of the Americas and major collections of modern and contemporary art, glass, photography, architecture and design. The Museum has two outdoor sculpture gardens, an American and Continental café and a gift store to buy ‘artsy’ gifts. Bonus tip: free admission every Thursday from 4-8 p.m. and every second Sunday of each month.
Located within the Museum and for the performance art enthusiasts is the Annenberg Theatre. The state-of-the-art theater offers traditional as well as avant-garde performances. This year's headliner for the Tenth Annual Opening Night was two-time Tony® award winning actress and singer Sutton Foster. The theater's Cabaret 88 series will return this season with five performances by David Burnham, Jason Graae, Tami Tappin Damiano, Susan Egan and Vicki Lewis. Check out the calendar for the 2012-2013 theater season. There is also a free "Summer Film Series" at the Annenberg, which is definitely worth checking out. As if this wasn’t enough to fill the summer performance arts calendar- from June 18-24, 2013, the 19th Anniversary Palm Springs International ShortFest is taking place. ShortFest 2013 will premiere more than 300 short films from over 50 countries and include a series of seminars, special presentations and receptions.
If you’re around during the week, every Thursday you’ll find a street festival downtown on the famous Palm Canyon drive called VillageFest, which runs from 7-10 p.m., June through September. Local artists and vendors set up shop, entertainers take to the streets, and you can stroll around the farmer’s market and pick out fresh and local summer fruit. Another exciting summer happening is the Palm Spring Desert Resorts Restaurant Week. From May 31st to June 16th 100 restaurants, hotels & attractions over the Coachella Valley from Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs to Indio are showcased. Diners don’t need passes or tickets but may simply visit their favorite participating restaurants throughout the 10 days to relish in the special prix fixe dinner menus. It is, however, recommended that participants make reservations.
In addition to all the arts, culture and dining buzz, there are other fun family specific activities to consider during the summer. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and Knott’s Soak City Water Park are both enjoyable family outings. Maybe the family or your friends want to experience the aerial view of the valley on a hot air balloon ride at sunset? Whatever the case may be, Palm Springs is a remarkable summer getaway with an eclectic mix of city life, outdoor adventure and pristine desert solitude.
Yes, Palm Springs is great in the Summer!
Photos courtesy of Adam Dubich Photography.