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Greater Palm Springs: Where Every Day Is a SUN Day

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday November 5, 2020

Greater Palm Springs: Where Every Day Is a SUN Day
  (Source:visitgreaterpalmsprings.com)

Cold weather is descending upon much of the country. And come November 1 and the end of Daylight Saving Time, darkness will, too. Fortunately, Greater Palm Springs averages 300-plus days of sunshine per year, ensuring that a visit to this SoCal oasis will be a bright spot in your travel plans.

The nine cities and surrounding natural wonders that encompass Greater Palm Springs have long been a hot spot for LGBTQ travelers. A fall or winter getaway here can offer much-needed relaxation and revitalization. EDGE takes a closer look at some of the best hotels, restaurants and activities in Greater Palm Springs, so you can start planning your vacation with ease.

STAY WITH PRIDE

STAY WITH PRIDE
Hotel Paseo  (Source: visitgreaterpalmsprings.com)

Greater Palm Springs is known for its LGBTQ-friendly hospitality with the presence of large ally brands like Kimpton and Marriott. The destination is also home to 14 gay resorts and hotels, many of which celebrate body positivity as clothing-optional properties. But there's much to see beyond the human form at these lush accommodations: Beautifully landscaped grounds and refreshing pools provide a relaxing backdrop for a celebration of mid-century modern architecture and other design details. There's a property for every style and budget, but here are some of our favorites:

Hotel Paseo — Part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, this design-forward boutique property is the first new luxury hotel to open in Palm Desert in more than 30 years. The serene neutral palette echoes the surrounding natural beauty, or opt for a retro stay in a 1950 Airstream. Nearby attractions include The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and premiere luxury shopping at The Shops on El Paseo.

La Dolce Vita Resort & Spa, Palm Springs — Tuscany is closer than you think at this Italian-inspired hotel located at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. With only 18 guest rooms, the intimate property is ideal for relaxing, socializing, or making new lifelong friends. And with downtown Palm Springs only five minutes away, it's easy to dash off for an alfresco meal or cocktail.

The Getaway, Desert Hot Springs> — If "home away from home" is your style, look no further than these mid-century modern apartments, each with a large patio and views of the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Travel with friends and take over the entire boutique property for a weeklong stretch of secluded sunshine and poolside chill.

CCBC Resort, Cathedral City — Nestled on 3.5 acres, the largest clothing-optional resort in Southern California is a picturesque getaway with plenty of space to spread out and catch some rays. The 12 rooms and suites are furnished in a soothing, neutral color palette and offer easy access to the grounds and sparkling pool. Keep an eye out for the CCBC Vacation Club, a four-story vacation property slated to open in 2021.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

THE GREAT OUTDOORS
(Source: visitgreaterpalmsprings.com)

Outdoor adventure in Greater Palm Springs means different things to different people. If you're ready to push your physical endurance, miles of running, hiking and biking trails will take you to the next level. Prefer to stargaze instead? The desert skies (some of the darkest in the country) sparkle once the sun sets.

Greater Palm Springs also offers unique outdoor activities. Have you ever heard of footgolf? Get your kicks with this fun mash-up of football and golf (no tackling!). Or how about pickleball, which combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis?

If you prefer to let a motor do all the work, book an off-road ATV experience. And to fully earn those Instagram posts, give rock climbing a try (with a trained instructor) at the 1,250-square-mile, boulder-strewn Joshua Tree National Park.

COOL BREEZES AND CULINARY CREATIONS

COOL BREEZES AND CULINARY CREATIONS
Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey  (Source: visitgreaterpalmsprings.com)

Fall and winter are perfect times to experience the best restaurants in Greater Palm Springs. With mild temperatures and breathtaking mountain views, alfresco dining has always been a calling card of the region and has become a go-to in 2020. Your list of options is practically endless, but it's best to pick your potion and make a reservation. Here are five to try:

Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey — Chef Engin Onural brings his impeccable creations to Palm Springs, including a nine-course tasting menu (including the delectable Spanish octopus with edamame hummus and tsukadani sauce).

Birba — Wood-fired pizzas and a welcoming outdoor patio create the ideal combination for a night out. Craft cocktails add the final touch, including Hello Nancy, a refreshing blend of vodka, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit, lemon and a splash of soda.

RD RNNR Libations Pints & Plates — Recently opened in the heart of Old Town La Quinta, this casual eatery serves up comfort food with a farm-to-table twist, such as ahi tuna nachos, "dirty fries" topped with gouda gravy and crispy artichoke hearts with caper aioli.

Runway Bar & Restaurant — Cathedral City is emerging as one of the next hot spots in Greater Palm Springs, thanks, in part, to lively venues like Runway (located at the CCBC Resort), where you'll find casual fare like famous "Oh! Rings" and half-pound burgers.

Coachella Valley Brewing Company — In recent years, craft beer has made its mark on the drink scene in Greater Palm Springs. Sample easy-going brews like the Coachella Blonde Ale, Belgian-style suds such as the Sunda Saison made with mangosteen fruit or specialty beers like the Oat-A-Lay Way oatmeal milk stout.

TIPS FOR TRAVEL

TIPS FOR TRAVEL
(Source: visitgreaterpalmsprings.com)

Safer Together, Greater Together Pledge — The well-being of visitors and residents is a top priority in Greater Palm Springs. With that in mind, more than 440 local businesses have taken a pledge to keep Greater Palm Springs safer. This includes implementing cleaning protocols and staff training, control measures and screenings, physical distancing guidelines and more.

Reimagining Pride — Greater Palm Springs Pride, scheduled for November 6-8, 2020, will be primarily online this year, as large gatherings are currently prohibited in California. Even so, there are plenty of ways to experience the festivities from afar. And if you happen to be in town, several responsibly-planned live events will still take place, including a drive-in movie night on November 6 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center and the Front Runners Pride 5K Run and Walk.

Special Offers — Plenty of offers can be found throughout Greater Palm Springs, from free hotel nights and flexible bookings to restaurant, spa and attraction discounts. With hundreds of deals for the taking, it's never been a more affordable time to visit Greater Palm Springs.

Work Remotely — With most employers permitting their staff to work remotely, consider an extended stay in Greater Palm Springs. Many LGBTQ-friendly properties feature rooms and suites with kitchenettes, and there's hardly a better view for your to-do list than swaying palms and mountaintops. A little planning can go a long way to turn the rest of 2020 from mundane to marvelous.

Ready to start planning? Visit www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com.

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Senior Editor of Travel, Lifestyle, Health & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at www.wexlerwrites.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.

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