Palm Desert: My Favorite Local Getaway

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Every August from somewhere around 1984 to 1992 my parents packed my sister and I up and took us to the local desert for a weekend getaway. When we were kids they piggybacked our excursions on a conference my dad had to attend. They’d conference it up during the week and then we would join them on the weekend.

Nice hotels for cheap: that’s the best four words you’ve heard today, right? 

In the summer at least, the area around Palm Springs, Palm Desert and surrounding Coachella Valley communities offer stays for much less than they do during the rest of the year. With summer temperatures ranging from the high 90s to the hundreds-plus-high-teens the desert in the summer isn’t for everyone.

But if you can figure out ways to beat the heat, I think it is one of the best local getaways in Southern California.

Several years ago Chad and I started returning to the desert in the summers. We’ve stayed in different hotels ranging from The Embassy Suites (cheap, lots of kids but a killer free “happy hour”), to the JW Marriot and the Hyatt Grand Champion in Indian Wells (think nice-nice-nice).

But more recently we began renting houses through VRBO with some friends for a week-long summer family vacation. In essence, we can afford a much nicer place in the summer than we would in the fall, winter or spring. And it the cost is split between couples or families, it makes it even better.

And when we get there, we make Rum Runners for poolside amusement. This summer, this was our drink of choice. There are a lot of ways to make this fruity, summery drink, but this is my favorite.

PD Rum Runners

1 part white rum
1 part dark rum
1 part coconut rum (Malibu)
1 part amaretto
4 parts pineapple juice

Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain over more ice in a glass. Drizzle grenadine over the top just enough to let the red sink to the bottom and enjoy.

If the pool doesn’t float your boat in the desert, there are many other things to explore: Golf is huge here {not my thing, but hey}, the Palm Springs Air Museum {make sure you talk with the vets who hang out there --- oh the stories!!}, the Living Desert Zoo {Zoo + desert = go in the morning so you don’t die of the heat} or the Palm Springs Arial Tram {takes you __ feet into the mountains to experience weather about 25 degrees cooler than on the floor of the desert}.

I hope you have a great getaway in one of my favorite spots!

Details: The Palm Springs and Palm Desert area is located about 2 hours east of Los Angeles off of the 10 freeway. Visit VRBO for every type of rental imaginable (condos to mansions) or visit this website which seems to have something for everyone regarding hotels.

Local Tip: Book your travel, whether it’s a house or a hotel room, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Check rates because some places still offer reduced prices through September. If you do go in the summer, check business times because things slow down a bit in the hotter months. Every Thursday night in Palm Springs is the Downtown VillageFest. It is a fun outdoor street fair featuring food, craft and artisan vendors located at Palm Canyon Drive and E Taqhuitz Canyon Drive. 

1 comment:

  1. This is super helpful bc my boss just asked me to find him a lot of fun things to do in Palm Desert for his anniversary. Thank you!


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