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USATourist News Magazine by Elizabeth Blair
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USATourist News Magazine

January 2008

In this issue:

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is one of the nine cities in the Coachella Valley of Southern California. Palm Springs is often confused with a Florida city with a similar name, Palm Beach. You won't find any beaches in Palm Springs, but you will be surrounded by beautiful mountains, lush, well-manicured landscape, plenty of swimming pools, and activities for everyone. People travel to Palm Springs from around the world to play tennis, golf (there are over 125 golf courses), go horseback riding, or just relax by the pool.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs Panorama

The Palm Springs area was originally inhabited by several small groups of the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla (pronounced Kaw-we-ah) Indians. The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is a wonderful place to learn the history and culture of the Cahuilla Indians. Hours are 11 AM to 8 PM and admission is free. The Morongo tribe is one of the still active bands and is a huge asset to the local economy. The Morongo tribe recently opened one of the largest tribal gaming facilities in the USA, the $250 million Morongo Casino, Resort, and Spa, located in Cabazon, California off Interstate-10, only a few miles from downtown Palm Springs and just west of 4,000 gigantic wind turbines. The resort has 310 deluxe rooms and suites; several dining options including the Potrero Canyon Buffet; a full service spa, called Sage; and the newly opened Canyon Lanes with 24 bowling lanes. The casino has 2,000 slot machines, 100 table games, and a private poker room.

In 1999 the Morongo band purchased and now operates the local Hadley Orchard Store. The date and banana date milk shakes are worth the stop. As you roam the shop keep an eye out for the variety of free samples. Just west of Hadley's you will find the Desert Hills Premium Outlets (130 stores). Regular scheduled shuttles take shoppers between the Morongo and the shops.

Fall, winter, and spring are nice in Palm Springs but the temperatures do soar during the summer months. The 2007 high was 116.5 degrees Fahrenheit (46.94 Celsius). The good news is summer is a terrific time to get bargains. Resorts slash their rates, there are great deals on tee-time fees, and crowds are non-existent.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The rotating Palm Springs Aerial Tramway runs year-round taking passengers on a ten minute ride through four life zones before delivering visitors to the Mountain Station sitting at 8,516 feet above sea level. Bikers, hikers, and campers can get away from the sound of traffic and enjoy Mother Nature during the summer months while during the winter sports lovers can go snow-shoeing and sledding. If you're not much of a nature type there are dining options at the top and areas to just enjoy the stunning views. Don't forget to dress warmly, as there is a 40 degree temperature change from the base to the top.

Palm Springs Follies Show Girl

Palm Springs Follies Show Girl

Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Canyon Drive is one Palm Springs' main roads, lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Every Thursday evening Palm Canyon Drive is host of the VillageFest Street Fair. As you walk along the sidewalks of Palm Canyon Drive, Tahquitz Canyon Way, and Museum Drive you may notice the Golden Palm Stars embedded in the cement this is called the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Each star holds the name of a special person being honored for their contribution to making Palm Springs what it is today. As of this writing there are 293 stars, including Bob Hope, Sonny Bono, and Frank Sinatra.

Did you know there are showgirls flaunting their gorgeous legs well into their retirement years in Palm Springs? In fact, Dorothy Kloss, age 84, is still performing in the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies at the historic Plaza Theatre on Palm Canyon Drive. The Follies is a Broadway-caliber show reminiscent of the entertainment from 30's and 40's; the most amazing aspect is the cast's average age is 70! There are nine weekly shows performed every year October thru May. Be prepared to be dazzled.

PS Modern Tours

Since the 1920's Palm Springs has been a getaway for Hollywood stars and business elite. The town's sophistication is apparent in its posh restaurants, boutique hotels, and architecture.

Speaking of architecture, for those who have an interest, and even those who don't, Robert Imber's PS Modern Tours is not to be missed. Robert offers several tours with each providing an intriguing inside-look at Palm Springs' famous architecture, particularly Mid-Century design. You will learn much about the homes' history and their famous owners. You will leave with a true appreciation for Palm Springs' glorious architecture. (Tel: 760-318-6118 or email: psmoderntours@aol.com)

Upcoming event: The main event of the Palm Springs Food & Wine Festival will be held at the Spa Resort Casino in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, California on Saturday, April 12, 2008 between 2:00-8:00 p.m. Be sure to make your hotel reservations now.

Palm Springs and the surrounding area have numerous accommodations options including typical chain hotels, boutique hotels, historic inns, golf and tennis resorts. (There are also a variety of world famous gay and lesbian hotels and clothing-optional nudist resorts.)

Wind Turbine Farm near Palm Springs

Wind Turbine Farm near Palm Springs

What else is in the area?

You can easily spend several weeks in California. A couple of the attractions less than hour from Palm Springs include the four seasons resort community of Big Bear Lake is only 23 miles (38 km) from Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park (29 miles/46 km).

California Travel Deals

News Magazine Poll

Be sure to stop by the USATourist News Magazine Forum to answer this month's question: What season are you most likely to travel in the United States?

The poll questions from past months are still up on the Forum. There's still time to answer all of the questions and see your fellow travelers answers.

News Magazine Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Terry Donlan of Saco, Maine! Terry has won the random drawing of our November USATourist News Magazine contest. USATourist.com will be sending Terry 4 two day Visiticket Passes to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.

Visiticket is a great way to experience one of America's exciting destination cities. With one low price, you gain entry to dozens of the top tourist attractions in New York City, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Las Vegas or Honolulu.

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest.

Happy Travels! See you next month.

Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair

All photos by Elizabeth Blair ©USATourist.com


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