⎹ By Courtney Paige, Editor-in-Chief⎹
What’s your opinion about the desert? Think for a moment before answering. Is your first reaction, “Meh, I have no desire to explore the desert.” If this is your reaction, I’m not surprised. Many have strong opinions about the desert.
It’s often viewed as flat and uninteresting. Moreover, people envision desert regions as barren, dry to the point of dehydrating, and smoldering hot. Not a welcoming place.
In the little town of Palm Springs, that’s exactly what they want you to think.
If you’ve never been, you may be surprised to know the Coachella Valley desert region is not barren or flat. Contrary to what the average populous may think, the foliage is lush. Each and every lawn is immaculately landscaped with velvet green front lawns, indigenous greenery, or vibrant red and pink bougainvillea bushes as large as a car and more palm trees than you can count. Individual homes and hotel properties are encapsulated by hedges reaching up to 30-feet high. Most with giant three-story palm tree pompoms peeping out from within.
And if all that eye-popping scenery isn’t enough, a 12,000-foot mountain dubbed San Jacinto looms over downtown Palm Springs as if guarding its citizens from the outside world.
Concerned the desert is too dry? Actually, warm dry weather isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, during vacation, dry heat is a Godsend if you’ve ever experienced hot humid heat. Especially when the temperature gets above 80 degrees. Dry weather is your best friend for vacation hair. Hair does exactly as it’s told. No frizz, no fuss. So what if you have to lather on a little more moisturizer and drink loads of water. Your body will thank you.
Craving a water-bound road trip? Desert sand may not boast a coast, but let’s be clear, Palm Springs hosts the most pools per capita in the state of California. Every hotel, spa, condo complex, and most homes lap in the luxury of a cement pond or even several.
Hate the heat? Don’t worry, when planned October through April you’re unlikely to get torched and caramelized by the heat like Creme Brulee. Let’s get real. Desert heat is smoldering hot only three months out of the year – June through August. Think about it. On average, North America enjoys good weather only three months per year. The California desert brags mild weather nine months a year.
If you think for a moment there isn’t much to do in the desert, think again. Here’s a brief pop culture summary. Palm Springs is known for its esoteric history with famous actors, musicians, and architects. Thus laying the ground for thousands of five-star restaurants, jiving music venues and museum hosted architectural tours. Did I mention the desert mountain hiking trails and an 8,000-foot climb up San Jacinto Mountain in a gondola for a breathtaking view of entire the Coachella Valley?
Like whip cream with dessert, the Coachella Valley hosts a sister event to Lollapalooza lasting six days over the course of two weekends, simply called Coachella. In 2019, Coachella featured 82 bands and 600,000 concert attendees. Sadly, 2020 has been canceled due to COVID, and the website has not posted a full lineup, understandably, for 2021.
After mixing up all those desert facts, Palm Springs still sizzles in first place for a COVID era road trip.
And since our brains are baked from living with the virus crisis, the Coachella Valley wins the cooking contest. It’s the perfect road trip from anywhere in California or any neighboring state. Let’s do desert! Bing, it’s done! Palm Springs is the sweet spot.
By Courtney Paige