Written by CJ Marino


 

Palm Springs California- Like no place else. After visiting Palm Springs one cannot make a more true statement. Nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, Palm Springs is a jewel among desert cities.

My trip began with a hop to Islip Airport, a skip at Midway in Chicago, and jump to Ontario International Airport. I rented a car as to explore as much as I could while in Palm Springs. After a scenic hour and thirty minutes' drive, I arrived at my home away from home for the next couple of days- CENTURY PALM SPRINGS. The resort was built in the 1950's as a modern apartment house. In the 1970's it became a resort and was extensively renovated in 2004 to become a boutique resort. The décor is 1950's contemporary with unobstructed views of the San Jacinto Mountains. On the grounds are a heated pool and spa along with a common room where an extensive continental breakfast is served. The staff is super friendly, helpful, and was always suggesting awesome places around town to enjoy a fabulous meal.

In the immediate area surrounding CENTURY PALM SPRINGS are many other gay resorts. During my visit, I took tours of both INNdulge and the DESERT Paradise Resort Hotel. INNdulge was also built in the 1950's and has recently undergone renovations to its rooms and garden suites. DESERT Paradise Resort Hotel's chandelier over their gardens can be seen from the street and added intrigue to what was behind their walls. Behind the walls is a large heated pool which is surrounded by lush gardens, palm trees, a sundeck, fire pit and Jacuzzi. They offer four types of rooms, some with living rooms. All three resorts have so much to offer, I could not pick one over the other.

The same sentiment went for dinner choices. Palm Springs has so much to offer in the way of culinary delight. It was difficult only eating three times a day and not having the opportunity to revisit some of my favorites. Cheeky's Restaurant, which is only open for breakfast and lunch, with a weekly changing menu, offers awesome Eggs Benedict. These are not your ordinary Eggs Benedict. Cheeky's are made with real bacon, sautéed arugula on a cheesy scone….Out of this world flavor! Ricky's Desert Grill is Palm Springs version of a diner with awesome breakfast and lunch choices. Lunch and dinner venues were even more difficult to choose. LULU- California Bistro is chic. Las Casuelas Terraza offers both inside and outside dining along with live music. TRIO- "Where Palm Springs eats" serves some of the best tasting ribs I have ever had! If it is Wiener schnitzel that you are in the mood for, then Johannes is the place to go. They also serve inventive Euro-Austrian Cuisine. Most of the restaurants that I ate in have been featured in such publications as The New York Times, Zagat, and Wine Spectator, to mention a few. I could definitely taste why!

The Villagefest takes place every Thursday night along Palm Springs main road (Palm Canyon Drive).This is a very diverse array of artists, entertainers and purveyors of all kinds of sweets, fruit and snacks that make this one of California's most popular and longest running weekly events. Palm Springs is also the home to an art museum, an aerial tramway, a spa resort casino and Indian Canyons. The Red Jeep Tour of the Indian Canyons is a must do while in Palm Springs. On this tour you explore ancient Indian Canyons that were settled in centuries ago. There are species of plants that are only found in these canyons. The tour was very informative, explaining how the Indians of this area lived and the values which they lived their lives by.

Palm Springs has always been a favorite for Hollywood Celebrities. This began because of the proximity to Hollywood for stars in movies. Celebrities were always "on call" while in a movie contract. Palm Springs offered the stars a remote getaway while being able to get back to Hollywood for any retakes. The tour, which lasted 3 hours, was very interesting and enjoyable. I could not even begin to list the stars that had or have homes in Palm Springs; but of course, two that I do have to mention are Lucille Ball and Gavin MacLeod. I am a big Lucy fan and have met Gavin on a number of occasions.