Palm Springs, California

Stop 1:

Palm Springs, California

While in town, be sure to visit the historically chic and exclusive Vista Las Palmas and Movie Colony neighborhoods, and experience mid-century homes that drew Hollywood’s elite to the desert between the 1930s and 1950s. Of course, nowadays the Coachella Valley is also home to more than 80 golf courses set against some breathtaking backdrops.

But perhaps the best way to start out your stay is a visit to the spa, and in Palm Springs that means the Palm Mountain Resort. The Spa at Palm Mountain Resort uses all-natural, cruelty-free products to provide the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. Treatments range from traditional skincare and body therapies to specialty services like their Golfer’s Massage and Sunburn Rescue & Repair.

Once you’re fully relaxed and refreshed, it’s time to do a little shopping. The shops on El Paseo offer a distinctively delicious shopping experience, including The Gardens on El Paseo, an open-air mall where you can find some of the finest high-end and most recognizable retailers and brands in fashion.

While nothing at this next location is within anyone’s price range (since nothing you see is for sale), if you can find the time, you really ought to pay a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum. It features a sophisticated collection of art, all loaned or donated by the area’s affluent residents.

Within the collection, you’ll see works from Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Robert Rauschenberg, Antony Gormley, and Ansel Adams. Spread out over 150,000 square feet, the museum also boasts major collections of modern and contemporary art, glass, photography, architecture and design, and Native American and Western art.

While not necessarily part of a luxurious, treat-yourself getaway, you should probably also make time for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. While the 10-minute ride to the top of Mount San Jacinto is certainly scenic and entertaining, the real enjoyment (beyond the views) comes from the hikes at the top as you spend a lazy hour or two walking around Mount San Jacinto State Park. The tall trees, cool mountain air, and small patches of snow that hang around as late as April and May all make for a cool, comfortable day at the top of the mountain, 10,000 feet above the rest of Palm Springs.

Fine dining can be had at many locations in Palm Springs, but the one spot that seems to make everyone’s best-of list is Miro’s. Their home-style soups and pastries and their carefully crafted recipes from the Mediterranean and Central Europe draw attention from locals and tourists alike – they were voted #1 by readers of the local Desert Sun newspaper in 2007, as well as #2 out of 265 restaurants on TripAdvisor.com.

More views from Stop 1

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