Palm Springs
December 30, 2004 3:12 PM   Subscribe

Things to do in Palm Springs when you are not dead. (MI).

My wife and I will be in Palm Springs for 4-5 days this February, visiting my Father and Step-mother. Having never been south of the Bay area in California, I am at a loss for things to do. The only thing for sure is may dad wants to take us to the Air Museum as they are having some sort of RCAF display (we are canucks). My wife is a chef, so any food-related must-sees would be great. We will have a rental car, so getting around the area will not be hard.

Also any recommendations for food, preferably Mexican. We will probably be cooking dinners, but any lunch ideas would be great. Thanks.
posted by Razzle Bathbone to Travel & Transportation around Michigan (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We're going to be in nearby Palm Desert in January (also visiting vacationing parents) and my wife came up with these two:
posted by billsaysthis at 3:51 PM on December 30, 2004

It's probably a bit obvious, but how about Joshua Tree National Park ?
posted by swordfishtrombones at 4:05 PM on December 30, 2004

You might consider the the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a 2.5-mile gondola ride up Mt. San Jacinto to over 8,500 feet above sea level. (Temperatures at the top are as much as 40° below those on the desert floor.)

There are a lot of on-line resources - for example,'s 72-hour vacation in Palm Springs, and "Complete Guide", both of which includes restaurant recommendations.
posted by WestCoaster at 4:14 PM on December 30, 2004

These are excellent recomendations so far. I'd add:
- Shopping at El Paseo. You have to drive past this area to get to the Living Desert, so you might as well stop in for a while.
- Dinner at El Gallito in Cathedral City. Get there early for the special cuz it'll go quickly. Cash-only.
- Dinner at the The Blue Coyote Grill is a must. They have great margaritas.
- Check out the stars in the sidewalk on Palm Canyon. It's like the Hollywood walk of fame, but specific to Palm Springs entertainment history.
- The Palm Springs Follies
posted by glyphlet at 4:18 PM on December 30, 2004

Get a date shake - there used to be roadside stands that sold them around Indio (it's been a few years since I've been there, though).
posted by rfs at 9:12 PM on December 30, 2004

I've been told there is a natural (undeveloped) hot spring near the lower aerial tram terminal that is used informally by locals.
posted by hortense at 9:55 PM on December 30, 2004

MO on the Tramway: aside from a great view, it's a quick way for two people to utterly blow $40-$50 bucks (to my memory, when we went about two years ago, it cost $20-$25 a ticket). You get to the top, the view is gorgeous, there's snow, and.... and.... well, yep, that's about it. And if your wife is a chef, she'll take particular issue with the cafeteria up top, so pack a lunch.

If you like Thai, Thai Smile on the edge of downtown is great. Not much for ambiance, but delicious food. There's an Italian place called Alberto's that's fantastic as well (in Rancho Mirage, next to Palm Springs) -- they cook their osso buco for something crazy like 16 hours. The crowd is strictly blue hairs; you'll feel like Frank Sinatra circa 1965 is going to come through the door and bust into song before they hand him a drink. El Mirasol has excellent margaritas and the best mole sauce you'll find -- it's a must every time we're in Palm Springs (and I've been to The Blue Cayote Grill - good, but El Mirasol remains the personal favorite). If you take only one recommendation, take this one; you won't regret it.
posted by mrkinla at 8:35 AM on December 31, 2004

In February the weather should be gorgeous for golf.

Also, if you like to hike, you will get to see some great examples of California native vegetation at Palm Canyon, which, incidently was one of the locations used in The Scorpion King (the area where they were caught splashing in the natural springs, and the rebel encampment).
posted by vignettist at 11:01 AM on December 31, 2004

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