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We can all agree that this winter just won't relent and, with the decision of this years Groundhog Day in question, we have no indication on when it may end.
If you're tired of hauling out the snowblower and lacing up snow boots, leave it all at home and head to a destination that's already waved good-bye to the adverse weather of winter.
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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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The majority of the US is gearing up to dive head first into fall as the temps start drop, dew blankets the morning grass, and turtlenecks and scarves come out of drawers. While some of us might be looking forward to pumpkin-spice flavored anything and the certain grand feast of Thanksgiving, there are destinations that don't even shudder at the turning of the calendar from September to October...and November and December.
If you just can't let go off your flip-flop tan-lines, here are some hot-spots that bask in the sun and heat all year round:
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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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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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"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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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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Mood lighting? Check. Flight attendants with apple-red lips? Check. Complimentary round of champagne for all onboard? Check! Waitwhat?!
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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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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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 herewill 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."
It's March 13 and, therefore, officially one month out from the start of the Coachella music festival in Indio, outside of Palm Springs, California.
At this point, if you haven't booked airfare/hotel/rideshare/campsite/etc, it's not going to be easy or cheap to figure out your weekend...or weekends. You see, this will be the first year that Coachella splits into two consecutive weekends, offering the same experience at both but allowing for double the attendance in total.
While regular festival passes are long SOLD OUT, it does look as though there's one work-around to score tickets to the first weekend of fun. Buy the Lake Eldorado camping package, and it comes with General Admission to Coachella. But then ya gotta camp, and the only option left is a 4-person tent (and 4 festival passes) for $2,975.
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Without a doubt, the one huge travel story today is the scramble to plan for Coachella 2012, the music festival in the desert outside Palm Springs, CA. For the first time, the massive 3-day party will be split in twotwo weekends, that is. If you can't make it April 13-15, there's now the option of catching the same acts, on the same stages, with a different crowd around you, on April 20-22.
Headliners of the fest are: The Black Keys, Radiohead and, most anticipated by far, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg who will close each weekend with a Sunday performance. Other acts due to hit the many stages include Bon Iver, Cat Power, The Arctic Monkeys, Feist, La Roux, Girl Talk, Santigold and really so many others we don't feel like typing them out. (But here's a Spotify playlist to get you in the mood).