Palm Springs Travel Guide

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Why April Happens to Be the Best Month for Partying in Palm Springs

January 24, 2014 at 11:59 AM | by | Comments (0)

If case you haven't noticed, we've made no bones about our love for Palm Springs. In fact, we've even shared our 27 reasons why we think it's the bomb dignity. Naturally we aren't the only ones enamored with this oasis of retro style in the Californian desert, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that Palm Springs is becoming the place for festivals both new and old, for people of all persuasions.

In fact, spring 2014 will be the hottest season for happenings in the city, and the Palm Springs Board of Tourism shares the six most sizzling events, all in April:

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Is There a Such Thing as a Perfect Airbnb Property?

July 29, 2013 at 10:31 AM | by | Comment (1)

We've found the perfect vacation rental. Not a hotel room and not a time-share, but an honest-to-goodness home let out on Airbnb.com. After numerous stays in everything from boat cabins to futons in high-rise studios, we finally hit the jackpot with a ranch house* in Palm Springs, CA.

Now, Palm Springs may not be your cup of tea, but our slice of heaven in an unassuming neighborhood serves as a blueprint for successful vacation rentals everywhere, and all because it has these six things going for it:

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Of Bonanzas and Blue Skies: What It's Like to Fly in a Four-Seater Airplane

July 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

Imagine having flown everywhere, but never actually anywhere. It's confusing, but it's the case for our editor, Cynthia, who recently headed out on her first private plane flight after years of commercial plane travel. Here's her story:

"It's just like driving a car," he said. "You won't ever look at flying the same way again."

Sid passed his hand down the wing, pausing here and there to look over and under, squinting with the sun's glare on what was a sparkling clear day in southern California. We were in a kind of parking lot, after all, except one that had us surrounded by private jets on the tarmac at Van Nuys Airport. And we were double-checking that all was well before setting off for a weekend trip, except that trip would be over mountains and cities in a teeny-tiny, seafoam green 1962 Beechcraft Bonanza V-Tail.

This would be my first flight in a private plane.

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Pan Am (Kinda) Flies Again at Palm Springs Modernism Week

February 19, 2013 at 5:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

"Air travel isn't like it used to be."

If you've ever uttered or even thought those words, then get your butt to Palm Springs this month to see what air travel used to be all about thanks to a large exhibition of archival pieces from Pan Am. This exclusive event is titled "Welcome Aboard: The Pan Am Experience" and will be on display through February 25 as part of Palm Springs' Modernism Week.

Collected by actor Phillip Keene, who worked as a Pan Am steward from 1987-1991, the bounty of vintage ephemera covers everything from Pan Am menus and uniforms to advertisements and luggage. It's really a chance to view the bits of iconic design that made up the legendary airline, and it doesn't matter if you've flown Pan Am in the past or not.

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How To Score Last Minute Tickets To The Palm Springs International Film Festival

January 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

The 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival kicks off tomorrow at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The 11 day fest and will include over 200 films from 60 countries.

On Saturday, Jan. 5, Richard Gere and Naomi Watts will among those honored at the annual black tie awards gala. Other highlights of the fest will include a screening of Les Misérables with director Tom Hooper, who will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, and a discussion with Alan Cumming about his latest movie, Any Day Now.

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27 Solid Reasons Why Palm Springs is the Bomb Diggity

December 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

1. This is the airport.

Yes, it's partly open-air. Yes, one concourse is named for Sonny Bono. [Photo taken at PSP]

2. Sometimes the clouds look like UFOs

If there are clouds at all. These peculiar puffs are known as "lenticular clouds." [Photo taken at The Ace Hotel & Swim Club]

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Onboard Virgin America Flight 55, the First Non-Stop from New York to Palm Springs

December 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Mood lighting? Check. Flight attendants with apple-red lips? Check. Complimentary round of champagne for all onboard? Check! Wait—what?!

Virgin America Flight 55 from New York-JFK to Palm Springs, CA on Saturday, December, 22 may have begun just like any other flight on the five-year-old airline, but that boozy toast meant there was something special. It was, in fact, the first ever commercial non-stop flight from the NYC area to Palm Springs, a route Virgin America will fly every Saturday through the winter to get all us city folk suffering from dark, slushy days into the sun and 70+ degrees of desert oasis paradise.

The non-stop flights begin at $145 one-way, so it was no surprise that VX 55 on the Saturday before Christmas was full up, even with a few pets along for the ride. And anywhere that touts $3.95 bottomless champagne with brunch, a Modernism Week, and the world's largest statue of Marilyn Monroe is definitely somewhere we too want to be.

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Travel Contest Alert: Pack Your Posse Off to Palm Springs on Virgin America's New Non-stop

December 19, 2012 at 10:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

This time of the year is simply the best time of the year. Why? Because of seasonal routes, that's why! Airlines take advantage of the dreary winter weather to open up some exotic, fun-in-the-sun destinations for a limited time. There's always the Caribbean or Mexico, but the last couple years we've been kinda in love with the idea of the heading into the US desert for that needed dose of Vitamin Sunshine.

And, for the second year, Virgin America will the answer the prayers of SFers and NYers by jetting directly into Palm Springs Airport (PSP). Well, actually they already started the flights from San Francisco back in October. The big news right now is that they'll be launching the first non-stop flight from the New York area to Palm Springs this Saturday.

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Modern Art Made of 'TSA Booty' Isn't What You Think It Is

June 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

Wikipedia tells us that the Palm Springs Air Museum is "a non-profit educational institution" whose mission "is to exhibit, educate and eternalize the role of the World War II combat aircraft and the role the pilots and American citizens had in winning the war."

This press release says that the Palm Springs Air Museum is now hosting a "new mixed-media installation" featuring modern art "created from items confiscated from carry-on bags at airports."

Those two things don't really seem to go together, and yet here we are. The exhibit on claimed "TSA booty"—homepage here, Facebook here, Twitter here—will run from October 17, 2012 thru May 31, 2013. The artist is Steve Maloney, who confesses that he's "fascinated by what possessions reveal about people." The exhibit's purpose is to "inspire conversation on how we travel today."

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Driving California's Steep and Scenic Pines to Palms Highway

December 21, 2011 at 5:34 PM | by | Comment (1)

Tis the season to head for sunnier, warmer climes. For many this means the Caribbean and Mexico while for others, they're keeping it closer to home in Palm Springs, CA. Since we know many who'll head to the desert on Virgin America's new route to Palm Springs, we're thinking it's time to let you in on a few of our own personal favorite PS secrets.

This story will be in the first-person because...I have a confession. Actually, two.

1: I watch too much of the BBC's Top Gear. Typically I just fast-forward through the interviews and in-studio car talk to get the meat of the program, where Jeremy, James and Richard are off driving exotic, winding roads and stopping to have mugs of tea at shady petrol stations.

2: I don't drive that much at all anymore. Living in NYC negates the need for a car, and though I'll occasionally Zipcar to help a friend move apartments, my behind-the-wheel dalliances are mostly limited to long weekends of rental car release.

For these two very important reasons, sometimes an excellent, leisurely drive figures at the front of my vacation. I have had two mindblowing drives this year. First, on the TT racecourse on the Isle of Man (read all about that here), and, second, on the Pines to Palms Highway from Orange Country to Palm Springs, California.

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Architecture is Reason Enough to Hit Palm Springs

December 20, 2011 at 4:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

Tis the season to head for sunnier, warmer climes. For many this means the Caribbean and Mexico while for others, they're keeping it closer to home in Palm Springs, CA. Since we know many who'll head to the desert on Virgin America's new route to Palm Springs, we're thinking it's time to let you in on a few of our own personal favorite PS secrets.

When you're not guzzling all-you-can-drink champagne in Palm Springs, the thing to do is take in the sights. Just be totally sober before hopping behind the wheel, of course. There's no shortage of vistas in this desert valley surrounded by mountains and blue skies, and we confess that our favorite thing to do in Palm Springs is actually just leisurely cruise around.

Driving here (any time other than Coachella) is a breeze. The streets are wide and well maintenanced, traffic is extremely rare, and oftentimes the buildings that line that road are as photo-worthy as the natural scenery. There's just something about that midcentury modern look, and luckily it's something in which Palm Springs specializes.

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Your First and Last Stop in Palm Springs Should Be Pinocchio's

Where: 134 E Tahquitz Canyon Way [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
December 19, 2011 at 5:29 PM | by | Comment (1)

Tis the season to head for sunnier, warmer climes. For many this means the Caribbean and Mexico while for others, they're keeping it closer to home in Palm Springs, CA. Since we know many who'll head to the desert on Virgin America's new route to Palm Springs, we're thinking it's time to let you in on a few of our own personal favorite PS secrets.

There's nothing quite like driving into Palm Springs, or flying in for that matter. From every which way, the scenery is beyond stunning. This is truly a desert paradise, and a playground all the same. It's not too difficult to understand the way we feel about the city, if you watch the bodacious Ann-Margret do her thing from 0:55-1:45 in this scene from The Who's Tommy.

"Today it rains champagne," indeed, and nowhere more so than at Pinocchio's, a restaurant in "downtown" PS that specializes in monster brunches washed down with $3.95 bottomless champagne.

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