Getting Oriented in Palm Springs and the Desert Resorts

  • Palm Springs. A mid-century modern vibe and many restaurants, bars, and galleries line the avenues of Palm Springs. Hiking trails and an aerial tramway lead from the desert floor up to the San Jacinto mountain peaks.
  • Rancho Mirage. An elegant, upscale residential community, Rancho Mirage has resorts, golf courses and gated estates. A main draw here is Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, a grand garden estate open to the public for tours.
  • Palm Desert. The mile-long El Paseo shopping and restaurant district is the heart of Palm Desert, a peaceful community also known for its challenging golf courses and the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.
  • Indian Wells. Exclusive Indian Wells hosts national tennis and pickleball championships at posh resorts, where spas and upscale restaurants pamper players and spectators alike.
  • La Quinta. Coachella Valley’s first golf course opened at La Quinta in 1920 and morphed into a quaint town alongside a sprawling resort and club with multiple courses.
  • Indio. The date capital of the nation, Indio lures visitors with date shakes and date palm fields.
  • Borrego Springs. Superb wildflower viewing and numerous nature trails are among the draws at Borrego Springs within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
  • Salton Sea. Nature lovers retreat to the shores of the Salton Sea, a haven for birdwatching and lakefront activities.
  • Desert Hot Springs. To the north of Palm Springs, a concentrated network of hot springs flows through this community, where visitors come to soak in soothing mineral waters and rejuvenate mind and body.
  • Yucca Valley. A laid-back roadside city, Yucca Valley is a convenient stop on the way north to Joshua Tree National Park. In nearby Pioneertown, Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace serves classic Western food and big-name musical entertainment.

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