A Palm Springs Weekend in January

Jan 23rd, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,694
A Palm Springs Weekend in January

I had a great long weekend with two friends Jan 14-17. Here's a recap:

Friday, Indian Canyons

Coming from KC, with no direct flights, I had to fly out on Friday or I would barely have had time with the other two, who were coming from San Diego and Seattle, arriving in the morning of the 15th. That meant that two other friends who have a place in La Quinta drove over and picked me up at the airport and took me off to the Indian Canyons for a short walk/hike.


I need to go back when can spend more time! I heard about the canyons, but seeing them in person, well, they are just beautiful. They drove me to Palm Canyon first where you can look down into the canyon, which then spreads back for 15 miles. Apparently it is the largest oasis of California Fan Palms in the world.

We didn't have a lot of time as they close at 5, so they then took me down to Andreas Canyon where we took a short 1 mile loop walk going up along a stream bed, lots of palms, and then looping back well above the stream, looking out over the desert. Really beautiful and if you are in the Palm Springs area, be sure to add a visit to the canyons to your list.

Casa Cody

We stayed at Casa Cody, perfect for our weekend when we just wanted to hang out and catch up. A one-bedroom suite was $229 a night. The room was set up with two twin beds in the bedroom, and a sofabed in the living room. Much better when we were sitting around talking at night to have a living room rather than lounging around on hotel room beds!

We also liked having a kitchenette. We stocked the fridge with a case of water, and a six pack of beer, and were able to bring back leftovers from meals.

it was also nice that Friday night to come back after the Indian Canyons and share a bottle of wine, cheese, crackers and fruit outside on the veranda.

Case Cody was built in the 30s I think, and is lovely. Lemon, Orange, and Grapefruit trees throughout, bougainvillea, fairy lights at night. The complex meanders, so we generally felt as we were alone in our back yard. Breakfast is served outdoors around the small swimming pool by the office. Breakfast is okay, not great, but is included in the rate.

There is another lap pool, and a hot tub, which we took advantage of in the evenings.


We just walked two blocks over to South Palm Canyon Drive and stopped at Caracas for dinner the first evening. My Chili Colorado was good, too much for one sitting, their enchiladas were as they stated "okay."

Las Casuelas Terraza

We ate both a lunch and a dinner here at the location on South Palm Canyon Drive www.lascasuelas.com. If you go, be sure to get the Fiesta Guacamole, it's fabulous. The Chicken Tortilla Soup, enchiladas, and chili rellenos were all given the thumbs up. We took home leftovers from the dinner meal and had for lunch along with my Caracas dinner leftovers.

We went back for dinner on Saturday night because I had heard there was live music. Turns out you have to have reservations for the bar area where the live music is, so we ate in the restaurant. So, noted should we return, reservations!

Kaiser Grille

Dinner here on Sunday night was okay, not great. In fact, I can't remember what we had, so can't say I would recommend it.

The Museum Trail

I had read about a trail that started out at the NW corner of the museum parking lot. The Museum was two blocks from us, so we decided to do this Sunday morning before it got hot. I interpreted "1 mile trail" as 1/2 mile up and 1/2 mile back. I was incorrect!

This is a pretty steep trail, and it is 1 mile up to the picnic tables in the description. We met a number of people who did not make it to the top. If you do take this trail, no matter what, take water with you. We were surprised by the number of people who did not have water with them. As I said, it's steep, requiring handholds at times going up, and definitely coming back down. You are going to need water.

The views from the trail are spectacular. You see all of Palm Springs spread out below you. So I recommend it, just be prepared

Other than that, the weekend was spent walking, and talking, and lounging, and doing a little shopping (browsing mostly), people watching etc.
Toucan2 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,477
Thanks for posting your report

We are visiting Palm Springs for the first time in a couple of weeks. I was rather surprised that there were so few posts and information about Palm Springs on the forums here. Looking forward to a break from the cold and snow.
LindainOhio is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 03:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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I know, the first time I went I didn't find much here either, so I resolved to post when I do. Have a fabulous time. I really enjoy it there. Once you go, it seems you start returning on a regular basis!

Where are you staying?
Toucan2 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,626
Nice report.

I would recommend a different trail instead of the museum trail. Bump & Grind..lots easier to find and you don't need hand holds..but still a good workout. Look for the start behind the Target in Palm Desert

Another nice place to visit in winter is the Living Desert, which has some trails on site.


We get a fair amount of questions but not many people bother to return with a trip report, so thanks!
mlgb is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 04:57 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Thanks for the info on the Bump & Grind trail. Another idea to file away for the next trip. The living desert too. We were without a car this time round, and will likely venture further afield on future trips.

I hope Linda gives us a a report later
Toucan2 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 02:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 353
Great post. Here are some thoughts and comments.

Indian Canyons: Couldn't agree more. Murray and Andreas Canyons are also very nice, with running water in the Spring. The Maynard's Mine hike starting in Murray is a good, longer, moderately strenuous hike that ascends dramatically in elevation. Although it's guided, the Tahquitz Canyon hike is very interesting and steeped in legend and lore about the malevolent Cahuilla shaman Tahquitz who lives there and "eats souls" of the unwary that stumble into his clutches. There is a tasteful visitor center at the base of the canyon.

Casa Cody: I love the historic inns and have stayed in several even though I live here. Other favorites are Korakia, Villa Royale, and The Willows. They're all very charming and different than the more packaged corporate hotel chain experience. A much more authentic "Old Palm Springs" venue.

La Casuelases: The ambiance at these places tends to be really fun and active. Over the years I've never had much luck on the food and service side, so it is good to hear you were pleased. Maybe time for a visit to see how things are. Maybe it has changed.

Kaiser: I get it. It's a shame.

The Museum Trail: I can't emphasize enough how much people should be prepared for these hikes (and how many people aren't). Every year a handful of casual hikers usually end up lost, sometimes with tragic results---dehydration, injuries, hospitalization, even death. I hike the San Jacintos and Santa Rosas a bit, and never go out without assuming that I could end up stuck overnight and take extra food, clothing, water, and a first aid kit. In spite of the fact that I also carry a map, compass and GPS. Water is especially key. The Bump and Grind is a good suggestion, though I don't go there anymore. It's pretty popular and overrun, so if your hope is a more pristine nature experience, it might not meet your expectations. It is more of a workout and fitness experience for most of the people that do it. Good alternatives are the Art Smith trail in Palm Desert or the Boo Hoff trail in La Quinta. Lots of others too.

Other possible restaurants:
Fine Dining: Johannes (continental)
Steak House: The Falls, LG's
Mexican: El Mirasol
Thai: Peppers
Burgers: Tylers, Ruby's
Breakfast: Koffi, Elmer's
Vegetarian (non-veg's like it too): Native Foods

If you want a movie/dining experience, the Camelot Theater is an indie/art house place where there is a surprisingly good cafe. You can take food and drinks (including wine, beer etc) into the show.
PSLocal is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 03:50 PM
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Is the Willows right behind the art museum? We peeked through the gates and it looked gorgeous. Thanks for all the additional suggestions. There will be return trips
Toucan2 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,342
Thanks for reporting back!! I did a tour of the O'Donnell house, right at the museum trail. The tour also included the Willows - wonderful!!
MichelleY is online now  

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