For travellers in search of a bit of adventure combined with staying in a cool urban chic city, Palm Springs may be just the ticket.
This desert oasis in California is becoming more popular with locals as well as visitors from out of state and overseas who want to enjoy a mix of adventure paired with some down time and the chance to relax a little.
Located a hundred miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs has become a desert playground for Californians, offering blue skies and year-round sunshine plus stunning natural beauty. The city of Palm Springs sits beneath California’s San Jacinto Mountains and is famous for its Native American heritage and collection of mid-century modern architecture. There are plenty of chic boutiques to shop at, award-winning restaurants to dine in and renowned galleries to go view. And the golfers amongst you will just love the pristine golf courses.
Exploring the region
So, what is there on offer for those of you who fancy doing a bit of exploring and have a sense of adventure? Well there’s no better way of seeing the Indian Canyons, San Andreas Fault and Joshua Tree National Park than by hopping in a 4×4 and doing a 4×4 Desert Jeep Tour with Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours. You’ll get to do some hiking and sight-seeing with expert guides offering a fascinating insight into the region and its history. You’ll learn about the tribal lands of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians at Indian Canyons and take a mile hike around their ancestral lands. You will also get to see some of the most amazing rock formations and 150 different plant species. And if you’re looking for something a little more romantic, then how about doing a San Andreas Stargazing tour.
For the adrenalin junkies amongst you Palm Springs has the world’s largest rotating aerial tramway where you can explore California’s stunningly beautiful San Jacinto Mountains. The tramcar will take you up to an elevation of some 8,516 feet in just 10 minutes, a journey well worth making, as you will be rewarded at the top by spectacular views of the desert floor and Palm Springs.
There is nothing quite like sleeping under the stars for a bit of romance, so how about enjoying more of the natural beauty of Palm Springs and its mountains by sleeping at one of six camp grounds in the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area.
Another way to explore the Palm Springs region is the traditional way, on horse-back. This is a far more leisurely approach to exploring the natural beauty of the surrounding area, with over 150 miles of riding trails. Smoke Tree Stables offer anything from one-hour rides to whole day excursions.
Where to stay in Palm Springs
There is no shortage of good hotels to choose from in Palm Springs, from a larger practical chain hotel to the smaller more romantic hotel, there is something to suit everyone whatever your budget.
There are also three exciting new hotel openings next year. With 169 rooms and 30 private residences, Dream Palm Springs is set to open late 2019 with a focus on the Californian dream and the cool. The design is based on modernism with wide use of glass to enhance guests’ interaction with the surrounding landscape. This will be a cool retreat in which to come back to and relax in after a day exploring.
Another new opening next year will be the Andaz Palm Springs, located in the heart of vibrant downtown Palm Springs, offering panoramic views of the San Jacinto Mountains and designed to immerse guests in the local culture. This 150-room, 13-suite hotel is to be built as a collection of small buildings and guestroom bungalows, featuring two outdoor pools and beautiful garden areas on an elevated patio terrace. There will be a full-service spa and signature restaurant and is sure to bring a new sophisticated urban experience to the city.
There is also talk of a new Virgin Hotel and an historical landmark turned into luxury bungalows by Auberge Resorts. So there are plenty of exciting things happening in this up and coming region of California.
For more information on the city of Palm Springs please visit: www.visitpalmsprings.com
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism