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WHERE TO SHOP
From Tiffany & Co. to Brooks Brothers to Oilily to L’Occitane, there’s something for each member of the family at the picturesque open-air The Gardens on El Paseo (760-862-1990; thegardensonelpaseo.com). After a long day of shopping, have a meal at Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar, then take in a live alfresco jazz performance. You can get dinner, a movie, a shopping spree and a night on the town all in one complex at The River at Rancho Mirage (760-341- 2711; theriveratranchomirage.com). The Century Theatres has 15 screens, and the unique entertainment amphitheater hosts live concerts and events. In the heart of the city, along Palm Canyon and Indian Canyon drives, the downtown Palm Springs shopping district is home to more than 500 boutiques, restaurants and galleries. The area is best known for its home stores, featuring a range of vintage-inspired goodies to create your own midcentury-modern oasis at home: Trina Turk Residential (760-416-2856; trinaturk.com) sells retro pillows under funky spherical lights, while the Pucci vases and white-ostrich vinyl club chairs lure shoppers to the buzzy Distinctive Home PS (760-864-1250; distinctivehomeps.com). Revenge Boutique (760-322-2180; psrevenge.com) is a female shopaholic’s dream. For everything else under the sun, head to the Palm Springs General Store (760-320-7613)—sunscreen, hats, key chains, it’s all here.
WHAT TO DO
Believe it or not, despite its desert setting, Palm Springs is a golfer’s paradise. Check in to the Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa (800-331- 3112; desertspringsresort.com), where the lush, Ted Robinson-designed fairways wind their way around a series of picturesque waterways.
If you can afford the membership (or are lucky enough to have the right kind of friends), hit the links at the Bighorn Golf Club (760-341-4653; bighorngolf.com). Members have free reign over a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse, a spa and salon, tennis courts, five restaurants and private-jet access. If you really take a liking to the property, you can even invest in a second home here: The Bighorn residences showcase distinctive architecture against stunning natural beauty. If fees aren’t your thing, a worthy public course is the 36-hole Indian Wells Golf Resort (760-346-4653; indianwellsgolfresort. com), home of Clive Clark’s Celebrity Course. The resort’s 53,000-square-foot IW Club is also a marvelous event venue—destination wedding, anyone?
The 2,200-acre The Club at PGA West (800- 742-9378; pgawest.com) has three private courses and three public courses, all of which are world class. Given Palm Springs’ prime golf real estate, it’s no wonder the area is host to the Bob Hope Classic (bhcc.com) each winter at local courses. Go see some of the best ladies in the sport when the Kraft Nabisco Championship (760-324-4546; kncgolf.com)—the first major LPGA Tour tournament of the year—takes place at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club March 29–April 4.
From April 9 to 11, sip great vino at the Coachella Wine Festival (760-799-7076; coachellawinefestival. com) at the Miramonte Resort & Spa. Attendees sample boutique wines from California and beyond as they nibble on bites from the valley’s renowned chefs.
Palm Springs is also an unexpected cultural haven. The annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (psfilmfest.org) brings such A-list stars as Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Sean Penn and Clint Eastwood to the desert at the beginning of each year, and coming up from April 16 to 18 is the renowned annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (coachella.com). This year’s lineup includes Jay-Z, Gorillaz, Pavement, Thom Yorke and Muse. And in May the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival (arthurlyonsfilmnoir.com) at the Camelot Theatre celebrates its 10th anniversary.
If you’re in the mood for some relaxation—albeit with a twist—schedule an appointment at Palm Springs Yacht Club (760-770-5000; palmspringsyachtclub. com) at the Parker Palm Springs. Fresh from a revamp last year, the PSYC bills itself as the spa that “takes itself less seriously.” Its manifesto declares, “We believe you are only young once… but you can be immature forever.” Words we can easily live by. For true decadence, take a session in the open-air yoga studio in a sumptuous maharajastyle tent, indulge in the Creature from the Blue Lagoon seaweed wrap, then finish your day with tea and sandwiches at the Deck outdoor café.
When the sun goes down, the nightlife keeps things plenty hot in Palm Springs. At Dink’s Restaurant & Ultra Lounge (760-327-7676; dinksrestaurant. com) the drinks are divine, the majestic mountain views are sublime and the private cabanas add a touch of romance. Costas Nightclub (760-341- 1795; costasnightclub.com) was named the area’s nightclub of the year, and it’s easy to see why given the sizzling dance music and long lines to get into the packed space. For an evening with that special someone, head back to the Viceroy Palm Springs to sink into the leather seats at the Citron Bar (760-320-4117; viceroypalmsprings.com). Sip a Chili Martini (vodka, Grand Marnier, white pepper, raspberry purée and pepper flakes) in the lemon-hued bar or step outside to relax by the fire pit