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27 Solid Reasons Why Palm Springs is the Bomb Diggity

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

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]

3. Coachella only happens for two weekends each year.

Then the hipster hula-hoopers go home. [Photo]

4. A scooter totally trumps a rental car.

Scoot PS offers two types of mopeds for either half-day or 24-hour rentals. We did a 24-hour for around $100 and, boy, was it ever worth it. [Contact Scoot]

5. Dang, scenery.

Palm Springs sits in a valley, so there's stunning views from every angle. [Photo taken en route to the Air Museum]

6. Popping a bottle at 9am is a-okay.

Champagne in a plastic cup poolside? Even better. [Photo taken at The Parker Palm Springs]

7. Waffles are taken seriously.

This is the "Waz-Za?," it costs $20, and it takes two to finish off. [Photo taken at Norma's]

8. Plane spotting happens amongst historic planes.

From the WWII Air Museum, you can watch departures and arrivals to Palm Springs International from nearly on the tarmac. We filmed this video from the cockpit of a Vultee BT-13 Valiant. [Photo taken at the Air Museum]

9. Cheap bottomless champagne is cheap.

If we are to be proper, it's called sparkling wine. At $3.95 for all-you-can-drink, you better also call in drunk. [Photo taken at Pinocchio's in the Desert]

10. Motels look like this.

What was once a Holiday Inn is now an awesome property unafraid of color. [Photo taken at The Saguaro]

11. Guys, this could be you.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bongo drums) [Photo]

12. Ladies, this could be you.

Okay so it's Joan Collins, but still. [Photo]

13. Don Draper gets it.

In AMC's Mad Men, a business trip takes Don to LA, but he detours to Palm Springs for a crazy weekend. [Photo]

14. Your funkiest sunglasses are never funky enough

Dust off those retro shades you otherwise don't have the gall to wear outside of Halloween. [Photo]

15. This bunny.

He lives in Palm Springs, despite it being a desert oasis. [Photo taken at The Parker Palm Springs]

16. Strong, unpretentious cocktails come from unpretentious lounges

There's some dive bars and old-school lounges to be had yet. [Photo taken at Melvyn's at the Ingleside Inn]

17. Two words: AERIAL TRAMWAY.

Departing from a building that is itself an iconic piece of modernist architecture, the Aerial Tram then climbs 8,500' to deposit you on a mountaintop. [Photo]

18. Date shakes exist.

As in made of dates, from date palms. So good. [Photo taken at PS Fudge & Chocolate]

19. There once was a fly-in motel called the Desert Air.

Marriott bought the land and shut down the party in the 1970s, but flying a plane up to a pool remains the epitome of cool. [Photo]

20. The sky at night is, like, WHOAH STARS.

Do yourself a favor and download the "Night Sky" app to name the constellations and planets. [Photo taken at The Saguaro Hotel]

21. This is downtown.

Driving down N Palm Canyon Drive, to be specific. [Photo taken nearby Hamburger Mary's]

22. Marilyn wuz here.

The vacation homes of classic Hollywood's royalty litter Palm Springs and the Visitor Centre gives out a free map to them. Scoot past Marilyn Monroe's old abode. [Photo taken at 1326 Rose Avenue]

23. The night ends around a fire pit.

A must to keep the nippiness of the desert night at bay, but the party going. [Photo taken at The Parker Palm Springs]

24. Frank Sinatra Drive intersects with Bob Hope Drive

You're more likely to drive a road named for a celebrity than a politician. [Photo taken in Rancho Mirage]

25. It's the only place to get SHAG.

By SHAG, we mean the artist who creates paintings and prints inspired by Palm Springs, the midcentury modern lifestyle and tiki culture. We bought a print at this, his only store. [Photo taken at SHAG the store]

26. Winter goes something like this.

So what if it's like 114 degrees in the summer? There's no humidity! [iPhone screenshot]

27. A quick drive will have you looking down on it all.

Regain perspective by driving the Pines to Palms Highway to the Coachella Valley Vista Point. [Photo taken at the Vista Point]

We traveled to Palm Springs last week as guest of Virgin America on their inaugural nonstop from JFK, but many of these photos are from our own previous trips.

[Photos & video: All by Cynthia Drescher unless linked otherwise]

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