Palm Springs is home to just 45,000 residents but the population of visitors routinely swells to many more, and for good reason! The upscale resort city picturesquely situated at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains is an oasis in all senses of the word. It's mild in the winter, fully air-conditioned in the summer and watered to an emerald landscape of green parks, lush lawns and rolling golf courses year-round. Its area of 83 square miles boasts many tourist attractions and a lively downtown strip.
For outdoor activities, try horseback riding at Smoke Tree Ranch and Stables in south Palm Springs. If you like hiking, a great site for desert hiking is the nearby Indian Canyons. Another interesting destination is Desert Hot Springs, set atop a natural hot mineral water aquifer where water bubbles up out of the earth.
If urban exploration is on your itinerary, take a tour through some of Palm Springs' well-established neighborhoods, like Little Tuscany, which charms visitors with grandiose homes of Italian architecture, or Las Palmas, which is prized by the affluent set. The South Ridge enclave maintains its iconic appeal, perched behind a locked gate.
No visit to Palm Springs is complete without a ride up the Aerial Tramway. This is the world's largest rotating tramway, giving you a 360 degree view of the mountains and the valley below. The trip to the top and Mountain Station takes only 10 minutes but ascends nearly 6,000 feet. When you arrive you'll find the weather a good deal cooler. You'll also find Peaks Restaurant, where you can enjoy fine food and drinks and a spectacular view, and miles of trails to explore.
Dining and Nightlife
Downtown Palm Springs is where the action is, with bars and restaurants that routinely fill to overflowing. This is a trendy strip that sizzles with nightlife starting around happy hour--and also features a wide array of shopping for those in a retail mood during the day. If you're looking for entertainment in a slightly higher age bracket, check out the venerable Plaza Theater, which plays host to the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, "a celebration of the music, dance and comedy of the '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s with a cast old enough to have lived it!"
Golf in Palm Springs is plentiful but not cheap. Among the world-famous golf sites are Indian Wells, known for the Indian Wells Country Club, the Miramonte Resort and the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort. Within the area are exclusive residential communities as well. La Quinta is home to a number of private courses, including the PGA West Arnold Palmer Course, which is host to the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.