Palm Springs Trip Report

May 15th, 2011, 08:39 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2
Palm Springs Trip Report

It had been years since we had been to Palm Springs and then only for the weekend. We had always enjoyed it but I wasn’t sure that there was going to be enough to fill up a week. Boy was I wrong! Between swimming, hiking, pool side lounging, shopping and a couple day trips to Joshua Tree National Park and the top of Mt San Jacinto via the aerial tramway, we could have filled up two weeks.

We were super happy when we arrived at our beautifully restored mid-century house in the Vista Las Palmas area. All I can say is WOW! The photos on the website did not do this justice. It had every modern convenience but was still stylishly and comfortably furnished. The mountain views from the house and the yard were amazing, and we spent most of our time in the pool and the spa, lounging on the floating lounges or pool side chaises, or in the comfy hammock and savoring those fantastic views. We actually cooked a lot of lunches there on the BBQ because we didn’t want to leave. Here is a link in case you want to see it:

http://www.vrbo.com/289202

The temps were in the 90’s most of the time, which was actually really comfortable, especially because the mornings and evenings really cool down. There was a couple of bikes at the house, so we really enjoyed biking around the Villa Las Palmas area, which is full of beautiful homes, but only a 5 minute bike ride from downtown, where we did most of our dining and shopping. You can also rent bikes from a start call BIKE right on Palm Cyn. There was also a hiking trail nearby which was covered in some sort of little yellow flowering bushes and had great views.

On one of the hotter days we took the aerial tramway up to Mt San Jacinto. It is billed as the largest rotating tram in the world. The trip up with really beautiful and there are lots of hiking trails, or you can just sit and enjoy the views, or have lunch or dinner at the restaurant. Be sure to bring a light jacket, as it is about 30 degrees cooler up there!

On another day we drove out to Joshua Tree national park. I wish we had left earlier as it is about a 90 minute drive and we didn’t really have enough time to do any hiking, but we got out an looked around at a few view points and will make a point to come back. We learned that the park actually covered the transition between high desert and low desert, and that the famed Joshua Trees are located primarily in the upper. We also saw something called Jumping Cactus, which doesn’t really jump, but you don’t want to brush against it.

Our other little day trip was to the outlet mall in Cabazon, about 15 minutes away. Again, we could have spent an entire day there, but after 4 hours we had only seen half of it. We scored some great deals and will definitely return on our next trip.

One of our favorite hikes back in town was to a waterfall at the top of Taquitz Cyn, which is on Inidan Land. It is an easy loop that took us about 30 minutes each way, if you don’t count stopping to take photos. It’s along a stream and was very picturesque with lots of little yellow flowers blooms. We saw lots of humming birds, and lizards and a few furry little bunnies. The water fall at the end was a great reward and was cooler because of the mist. I suggest you go earlier as it is cooler, and there as a small crowd at the waterfall, so that way you can perhaps be along up there.

Since there is a lot of Indian land in the area, we noticed that there were a lot of casinos. We don’t really gamble, but if that is your thing, it seems like there is a lot to choose from.

As for eating, we kind of did a mix of low end and high end, when we didn’t cook at the house. Our favorites for breakfast and lunch were: Cheeky’s for creative salads and sandwhiches and great breakfast and Tyler’s for burgers. For fine dining our favorite food was at Johannes, but outdoor dining is right on the sidewalk so it can be noisy. For good food and nice ambiance we also liked Copeley’s and Spencers. Most of these were a 15 minute walk from the house, or a 2 minute drive. A really cool find was the club house at Escena. They had without a doubt the best views from the outdoor patio and the food at dinner was really good. We wanted to go back for lunch one day but never made it.

Anyway, the tan is starting to fade but writing about it made the memories fresh for a few minutes. We are already planning a return trip there for the fall.
Sam_A is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 02:37 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,694
Thank you for the report. After a trip there for a conference a few years back, this has now become one of my favorite places to visit. I discover something new each time.
Toucan2 is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 02:44 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 139
We spent a long weekend in Palm Springs with friends last year and to be honest I was not expecting much. However, like you I was really impressed. We did the Aerial Tramway and visited a date farm.

Your post makes me want to go back and take some time just to relax. The house you stayed in looks wonderful. We prefer to use vrbo but unfortunately we stayed with our friends in a run down vacation club that they got conned into buying (it was free for us, so I should not complain).
jgwagner4 is offline  
May 18th, 2011, 01:35 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 353
Sam,

Great report. Yeah, watch out for the cholla cactus---nice to look at it, but nasty to encounter up close. Tyler's and Johannes are two of my favorites. Years ago Tylers was an A&W drive up.

The Tahquitz Canyon hike has been guided only in the past. Is that still the case?

I am guessing that the flowering yellow plant might have been encilia, a native species that is very showy in spring if there has been decent winter rains.
PSLocal is offline  
May 27th, 2011, 10:35 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: May 2011
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PSLocal,

Yes, I Googled encilia and that's exactly what it was, all over the hills near the house in Vista Las Palmas, as well as on the Taquitz hike. Very pretty when were were there.

jgwagner4,

Do you your self a favor and rent this house if you have a chance to get back. I did a lot of comparison, and for the price, the location and amenities can't be beat, the interiors and yard are really nice and the views are incredible. There's plenty of room, so next time we are getting another couple to come with us to share the cost. Probably this fall. Can't wait!
Sam_A is offline  

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