Find Your Oasis

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With its endless blue skies, lush palm groves and mountains you can almost reach out and touch, sun-kissed Greater Palm Springs is an ideal place to escape the spring thaw.

Each of the nine distinct cities that make up Greater Palm Springs—Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella—has a unique feel and its own blend of experiences. Visitors can explore the beautiful landscape by bike or on foot, visit more than a dozen fascinating museums, sample innovative farm-to-table cuisine and sink into the area’s natural hot mineral springs.

Whether you’re into arts and culture, the great outdoors or health and wellness, discover this Southern California resort oasis and start planning your perfect getaway.

For the arts and culture connoisseur

From innovative, farm-to-table restaurants to masterfully curated museums and unforgettable public art, Greater Palm Springs is a haven for creativity.

What to see

Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert. Greater Palm Springs

Visitors could spend days exploring the many museums and art galleries throughout the destination, but there are a few that shouldn’t be missed. History buffs can learn about American military aircraft at the Palm Springs Air Museum or step into the area’s past at the Coachella Valley History Museum, which includes several gardens to explore. Art lovers will find inspiration at the world-class Palm Springs Art Museum, featuring exhibitions in painting, photography, sculpture and new media.

Where to play

Old Town Artisan Studios in La Quinta. There are 60 public art installations in the city of Palm Springs alone.

Known for its striking midcentury modern architecture and arresting public art, Greater Palm Springs is an oasis of creativity—there are 60 public art installations in the city of Palm Springs alone. Channel some of that inspiration at the Old Town Artisan Studios in La Quinta. This inviting studio space offers classes and workshops in pottery, painting, glass, textiles and more for both adults and children.

One of a Kind

Photo courtesy of Gail Jewelers.

For a little retail inspiration, visit the El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert, home to memorable businesses like Gail Jewelers. Known for its extensive diamond collection and beautiful bespoke pieces, Gail Jewelers will help you find the perfect timeless accessory.

What to eat

4 Saints at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs.

With curated cocktails, globally inspired small plates that highlight seasonal ingredients and a 270-degree view of the valley, 4 Saints at The Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs has elevated the rooftop dining experience. Sip the tequila-based La Palomita cocktail and share the firecracker tuna, seasoned with black garlic and chili oil. Sample more of what the area has to offer during Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week, held each June, when more than 100 local restaurants offer special menus, discounts and deals.

Where to stay

Sands Hotel & Spa.

The sleek Hotel Paseo, now open in the vibrant centre of the El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert, has shopping, restaurants, galleries and more right at its doorstep. Meanwhile, the Sands Hotel & Spa in Indian Wells channels a distinct Moroccan-inspired, midcentury vibe. The Sands’ Pink Cabana restaurant serves elevated cocktails in a colourful room that pays homage to the racquet clubs of the 1950s and ‘60s.

Welcome Home

It’s easy to fall in love with Greater Palm Springs, and visitors interested in making the destination their permanent address should look no further than Toscana Country Club. Located in the city of Indian Wells, this private residential community inspired by Old World Italian architecture includes two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, tennis and pickleball courts, multiple pools, an on-site spa and more.

For the outdoor enthusiast

With an average daily springtime high of 28°C, Greater Palm Springs is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Visitors can perfect their game at more than 100 golf courses, discover first-rate sports facilities, explore intriguing wildlife attractions and much more.

What to see

LPGA ANA Inspiration.

In March, witness the best professional tennis has to offer during the BNP Paribas Open held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. In April, golf fans can watch the top female players in the world compete during the LPGA ANA Inspiration tournament at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. For something completely different, book a tour with Palm Springs Windmill Tours, which takes you inside a windmill farm for an up-close and educational trip.

Where to play

BMW Performance Center.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to race around a track in a BMW, don’t miss the BMW Performance Center. With a variety of experience packages, from off-roading to cruising with a pro in the driver’s seat to a guided loop around the track in a MINI, the Performance Center will satisfy any gearhead. Many experiences also include lunch.

More to Explore

City of La Quinta.

There’s a reason the city of La Quinta is known as the “gem of the desert”—it’s an outdoor playground with multiple opportunities to hike, bike and golf. Hikers can download the City of La Quinta app for an interactive guide to the surrounding trails—many of which are dog-friendly. Cyclists can tackle the mountain biking trails just outside of town and golfers can hit the links on one of the city’s many impressive public golf courses.

What to eat

Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewery.

At Jackalope Ranch, located in the city of Indio, the 6.5 acres, multiple outdoor spaces and water features are as big a draw as the handcrafted tacos and chargrilled burgers. In Rancho Mirage, beer lovers can sample award-winning microbrews crafted on-site—alongside house-smoked barbecue—at Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewery. For visitors in La Quinta, the La Quinta Cliffhouse Grill & Bar features a striking cliffside patio, an elegant dining room and an upscale, classic American menu.

Where to stay

Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa.

Enjoy oversized, midcentury modern guest rooms with stunning desert views at Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells, which also features a 36-hole golf course, luxurious spa and majestic pool. If privacy is more your style, La Quinta Resort & Club offers art deco-inspired haciendas and casitas with secluded patios and private pools and hot tubs, along with five first-class golf courses, world-renowned tennis courts and an award-winning spa.

Meet the Locals

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens.

For a family-friendly excursion, visit the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, a unique zoo and botanical garden that highlights the deserts of the world. It features more than 1,600 plants and hundreds of animals such as giraffes, iguanas, cheetahs and mountain lions. With a variety of guided, interactive tours, such as giraffe feeding, visitors can get up close and personal with the animals.

For the wellness-focused

Greater Palm Springs has drawn wellness-seekers since the early 1900s, thanks to its soothing landscapes and naturally occurring hot mineral springs. Today, the area’s vibrant wellness scene features world-class spas, cutting-edge treatments and an innovative health industry.

What to see

Hiking trails at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

There’s something calming about being in nature, and the area’s immediate access to the outdoors makes it easy to unplug. Start by catching a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a revolving tram car that takes passengers past the cliffs of Chino Canyon and up to the Mountain Station, where restaurants, a museum and hiking trails await. Next, venture into the Indian Canyons, the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, which features natural palm tree oases and seasonal waterfalls. Or practice your tennis swing at La Quinta Resort & Club—voted one of the top tennis resorts in the world. The tennis club complex features 23 first-rate courts (including a sunken tournament-style stadium court), a stocked pro shop, a spacious pool and a state-of-the-art fitness centre.

Where to play

Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa, Rancho Mirage.

Treat yourself to a wellness package at the luxurious, 10,500-square-foot Sunstone Spa at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage. Try the Sunstone Gem Trio, which includes a gemstone massage, salt scrub and rose quartz facial. Or relax in the healing natural mineral waters at Miracle Springs Resort & Spa in Desert Hot Springs, which offers both hot and cold mineral spring aquifers. End your day with a rousing game of footgolf at Desert Willow Golf Resort. In this hybrid of soccer and golf, players use a soccer ball on a traditional golf course.

Did You Know

Eisenhower Medical Center.

Visitors in search of wellness options beyond rest and relaxation can have their health needs met with exceptional care at the Eisenhower Medical Center, the area’s leading nonprofit hospital located in Rancho Mirage. The medical team at Eisenhower specializes in cancer, cardiovascular health, neuroscience, orthopedics and more and offers simplified pricing and services for international patients.

What to eat

AC3 Restaurant + Bar.

For some of the best farm-to-table cuisine in Greater Palm Springs, make a reservation at Daniel’s Table in Cathedral City. Chef Daniel Villanueva works closely with local farmers to create seasonal dishes packed with organic, sustainable ingredients. If you’re in Palm Desert, visit Kitchen 86 + Bar for craft cocktails and eclectic small plates, as well as AC3 Restaurant + Bar at Hotel Paseo, which offers a sleek modern interior and innovative American cuisine.

Where to stay

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage.

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage is a modern retreat nestled in the Santa Rosa Mountains that features two pools, a luxury spa, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a restaurant with stunning views of the valley. Visitors interested in fully immersing themselves in the hot springs experience can book a room at Two Bunch Palms. This refuge, built around a 600-year-old natural mineral spring, offers stylish rooms with a focus on sustainability.

Settle In

Andalusia Country Club.

If you’re ready to make your Greater Palm Springs retreat permanent, consider Andalusia Country Club. Surrounded by the Santa Rosa Mountains, this upscale, private resort community in the city of La Quinta underwent a significant renovation in 2019, including new lush landscaping and modern lifestyle upgrades to its many community facilities.

This story appears in the March 2020 edition of WestJet Magazine. It was produced by RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions on behalf of the advertiser.