Palm Springs makes a great start to a road trip or the perfect add-on to a San Diego or LAX client departure.
Flying into Palm Springs is a treat. The tiny open-air concept of the airport is surreal. You walk out of the terminal across a bridge-like walkway and the view is spectacular. Towering palm trees and mountains that are so close. I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that I wanted to explore.
I did some planning before I left home for this one, as I was going by myself.
This turned out to be the best weather day at 75 degrees (I went in January) so I booked some spa treatments and spent the rest of the day around the pool.
I stayed at the Riviera and although I wasn’t sure if my taste ran to the 1960s decor prior to arriving, I soon changed my mind. This hotel had five-star new 1960s décor, and by far the best bed I’ve ever slept in. The pool area was amazing and the outdoor restaurant, complete with fire bowls nearby, was wonderful in the evening.
Off exploring to the Joshua Tree National Park. Surprisingly it wasn’t a long drive and after stopping for my Starbucks, I was there in no time.
I went in through the West Entrance and drove down to Keys View with many little stops along the way.
Keys View is a very windy overlook where you can see part of the San Andreas Fault and the Salton Sea. The altitude in the park and particularly at Keys View is approximately 5,200 feet above sea level, so although I threw a sweater in the SUV, shoes would have been preferable to flip flops.
This became increasingly clear as I entered the park office to get my permit and found myself surrounded by serious climbers and hikers with all their gear. My khaki skirt, tank top and sandals seemed to stand out a little. But I wasn’t deterred.
Even though I just got out and walked around instead of doing marked hikes, it was an amazing trip. So good actually that instead of turning around after I’d seen Keys View, I drove through the rest of the park and exited at the South Entrance.
After that I was lost for a bit (the GPS was a little confused), so after I passed a police takedown, guns and all, in the middle of an agricultural community, I asked for directions.
That took me to the Indian Canyons, right smack in the middle of Palm Springs. Look them up, you need pictures to describe them!
After a long day I felt like some Mexican food so I found a great place right on the main drag of Old Palm Springs.
Just a note – there are many suburbs of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, etc. I really liked the old town area, it reminded me of the 1960s with stately palm trees lining the roads. But the nicest hotels are outside of this area, as are the malls and Targets. The Desert Hills Premium Outlets just outside of Palm Springs (Cabazon) is amazing. It’s on your way if you’re heading down to San Diego, which, by the way, was one of the prettiest drives I’ve taken.
Golf is one of the main reasons women have no problem getting their husbands to retire here. The only worry a golfer might have is how windy the day will be because of sand blowing everywhere!
You’ve got to take a drive past the wind farms – I’ve never seen anything like it.
I spent three nights here before heading to San Diego en route to LAX where I was flying to Fiji on a fam trip.
Have fun and travel safe!