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Back of the Envelope Travel Guide: Palm Springs International Film Festival

Where: 1700 E Tahquitz Canyon Way [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
December 4, 2007 at 2:05 PM | by | ()

Palm Springs: So Retro...

As most of us struggle through frozen winter weather, a trip to the Palm Springs International Film Festival from January 3-14 sounds just lovely. High temperatures aside, though, the festival also offers 11 days of films from a variety of genres, made by filmmakers from around the globe.

And with the city's close proximity to Los Angeles, selections are more likely to not suck. To wit: Not only did the Palm Springs Film Society screen No Country For Old Men this November; they also brought along its star James Brolin to the premiere. Be prepared to pony up some cash, though, if you plan on staying in a hotel or going out to eat on a regular basis: this is, after all, Hollywood's playground.


Where to Stay:
A popular getaway for Hollywood types (and wannabes) and a tourist hot spot during the '50s and '60s, Palm Springs still retains that post-war cache. For a trip back in time, check in to the Ballantines Hotel. The 14 rooms are each styled differently, but all come decorated with '50s vintage furnishings. It's one of the most authentic boutique hotels in the area.

With furniture by Eames, Bertoia and Herman Miller, each room not only takes a trip back in time but does so with chairs and couches worth almost a year of college tuition. Despite its stylish living quarters, the Ballantines remains relatively inexpensive, with rooms ranging from $99 to $179 per night. And don't forget the free poolside breakfast!

Where to Eat:
Nothing says Palm Springs quite like a mountain of kosher corned beef piled atop rye bread. For a cheap lunch, head to Sherman's Deli, a Palm Springs fixture since 1953. The restaurant, still operated by a father-and-son team, serves more than 40 different sandwiches and has an outrageous breakfast menu. (Eight-egg omelet, anyone?)

For dinner, take advantage of California's seafood and head to Fisherman's Market, a DIY restaurant that lets you choose your order based on what's available that day. After feasting on Jewish deli fare, you might want to try Fisherman's Lifeboat Menu: Everything on it comes in at under 200 calories.

What To Do:
Snag a guide to the city's distinctive architecture, called Desert Modernism, at the Palm Springs Visitors Center, housed in Albert Frey's striking Tramway Gas Station. The sharp, angular lines and glass walls that define the style are on show all over town, so budget some time for a wandering drive.

To take full advantage of the California sun, take a two-hour trip to Laguna Beach. If you're like us, you'll go to see LC's hometown and hope to spot a former Laguna Beach cast member. If not, at least take in the shoreline and dip your feet in the water.

Related Links:
· Palm Springs International Film Festival [Official Site]
· Hidden Palms Gives An Old Resort Town a Makeover [Jaunted]
· Film Festivals coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism]

Archived Comments:

Can't wait for next years

Now I would have never thought of a film festival in Palm Springs! We just happened to be in town staying at our Vacation Rental Palm Springs when we heard that this was going on. We stopped by and boy were we glad that we did. There were some excellent shows that we were able to preview/see. For the 2010 Film Festival, I believe we are going to do it up and stay at a Palm Springs Luxury Hotel and get all fancy!!! Can't wait!!!