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Spring for hot Palm Springs

 Escape winter. One popular Palm Springs, Calif., hotel option, The Ace Hotel & Swim Club, boasts two pools and mountain views.
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 1/13/2013



More sophisticated than Vegas, more laid back than Los Angeles--and in winter, more reliably sunny and warm than either--Palm Springs looks awfully good to an awful lot of people at this time of year.

Not that the weather is its only calling card. This vintage resort town has been sashaying its way back into the spotlight of late.

Here's why to go now.


From a multi-day adventure on the terrific and challenging Cactus to Clouds trail, to the relative walk-in-the-park vibe at Palm Canyons Preserve, Palm Springs is an outdoor enthusiast's dream during cooler months.

Cheats can ride the famed Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which ascends two and a half miles up Mount San Jacinto, stopping at 8,516 feet above sea level to let visitors see the sometimes heavy snows that cover the peak at this time of year (pstramway.com). A short drive away, Joshua Tree National Park offers other scenic hiking, although many visitors are content to explore by car.


Smart breakfasts at Cheeky's, classic cocktails at the very butch Workshop Kitchen & Bar, pizza and people watching on the patio at Birba's, the sweet little Alcazar boutique hotel located next door--Palm Springs' once-moribund Uptown neighborhood is giving visitors piles of great reasons to stick around.

The neighborhood, officially known as Uptown Design District, contains design and vintage shops in atmospheric courtyard shopping complexes; Raymond Lawrence is a fashionable new concept store (palmspringsup towndesigndistrict.com). One of my favorites is Just Modern (justmoderndecor.com), one of dozens along North Palm Canyon Drive catering to midcentury.


Palm Springs and Mid-Century Modernism fit together like a glove--a fitted, very fashionable vintage glove, purchased from a high-end consignment shop.

Each February (this year, it's the 14th through the 24th), the city celebrates its style with Palm Springs Modernism Week, which means house tours, walking tours, parties, exhibits, lectures--did we mention parties? Check out modernismweek.com. If you're not visiting then, take a fascinating tour of the city's midcentury treasures with PSModernTours (psmodern tours.com). A 150-minute exploration is $75 per person and for many is a trip highlight. Reserve well in advance. Palm Springs Historical Society offers weekly walking tours (pshistoricalsoci ety.com) of downtown.


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