Desert meets mountain vistas, year round sunshine, swanky bars and celebrity appeal help make Palm Springs an inviting destination at any time of year – not just during Coachella – writes Kaye Holland
Located 110 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is where Ol’ Blue Eyes and his cool cronies escaped to when they needed a break from the pressures of Hollywood. However, it wasn’t solely Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin who flocked to this decadent desert oasis. Old school Hollywood actors and entertainers including Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Liberace all had ex-travagant homes here.
And no trip to Palm Springs is complete without seeing the homes of the afore-mentioned, in addition to the street where Bob Hope and Bing Crosby both lived, the house where Elvis and Priscilla honeymooned, plus the properties featured in both Ocean’s Eleven and Miami Vice. TNT can vouch for the Best of the Best’s 90 minute ‘Rich And Famous’ tour: expect to see the estates of the celebrities who helped put Palm Springs on the map.
It’s got architecture
Architecture is another of Palm Springs’ attraction. Not only was Palm Springs a mecca for Hollywood stars but star architects – step forward E. Stewart Williams, John Lautner and Donald Weller – who created some spectacular buildings. As such, the desert town boasts the largest concentration of mid-century modern architecture in America. Keep your iPhone close as you’ll see one storey homes with curved roofs, rectangular pavilions and floor to ceiling glass walls.
To learn a little more about the area’s buildings, visit the Palm Springs Architecture and Design Centre.
Good retail therapy
Palm Springs is also certain to satisfy shopaholics. For funky vintage stores and second hand furniture shops, the Uptown Design district is where it’s at. Even if shopping doesn’t interest you, don’t miss Dazzles (760-327-1446) whose garden is choc full of kitsch 1960s phone cabinets, plastic flamingos and 1950s sun loungers making for retro sensory overload.
Elsewhere label lovers will want to head to the Desert Hills Premium Outlets to pick up Prada, Burberry and Armani Exchange threads for a snip of the recom-mended retail price.
The number one reason people flock to Palm Springs is to drink designer cock-tails and dance to fresh DJ spun tunes, around kidney shaped pools until the wee small hours. (Forget New York, Palm Springs is the real US city that never sleeps). The pool party over at Ace – a hip, happening and celebrity ridden hotel – is a great place to drink over sized margaritas. Another hot spot to gather post midnight is the rainbow hued Saguaro Palm Springs – pronounced Suh-whar-oh – where the pool is surrounded by beds of bright desert flowers.