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Escape to the Desert Cities

The hot way to stay cool


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Now is the time to head to the desert cities for a getaway. The Coachella crowds have cleared, giving you ample room to explore Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and La Quinta. These jewels in the valley are closer to San Diego than you may think—only a couple of hours by car. In no time, you could be sitting in a poolside cabana with a craft cocktail, admiring midcentury Hollywood glamour or gazing at a sunset flooding the San Jacinto Mountains with color. What are you waiting for?


Stay Cool

The oasis in these desert cities is the glamorous pool scene. Whether you want a raucous poolside party with a live DJ or quiet time at a private pool, there are several ways to cool down.

The desert’s newest playground, the Las Hadas Pool, is opening at Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa on June 3. The water temperature at this “chill pool” is 10 degrees cooler than usual to help beat the heat, and you can book a poolside massage or play a game of beer pong. You can still bring the kids to the Las Brisas Pool, which has a new 75-foot waterslide. La Quinta Resort & Club has four different pool experiences all climate-controlled for the summer months, from the family-friendly main pool to the hip 21-and-over Plunge Pool, and the exclusive private pools at the luxury suites or calming lap pool. Life at the colorful Saguaro centers around hanging out poolside, where you can order meals, snacks, and cocktails by the pitcher. Many of the rooms have balconies facing the pool, so you’re always part of the action. Your cares will float away at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, a boutique hotel with a bohemian vibe that’s packed with art and cool design (and lots of great selfie opportunities!). For a rejuvenating dip, check out the pools at Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel, which are fed with mineral water from underground aquifers, or go all out and completely unplug at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, where an infinity pool is perched in the hills overlooking the Coachella Valley.


Get on the Green

The desert cities have golf courses with landscapes and views that rival coastal country clubs, so it’s no wonder several professional tournaments are held here. And with so many choices (Coachella Valley has the most golf courses in California), there are links for everyone from novices to seasoned golfers. Tee up against a backdrop of dramatic mountains at the Dunes Course or Mountain Course at La Quinta Resort & Club. Find the only Gary Player course in Palm Springs at Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, and test your skills at SilverRock Resort, a home course for the celebrity-studded CareerBuilder Challenge and one of the longest on the PGA Tour. Desert Dunes Golf Club is the first desert course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort has two courses with challenging terrain.


Out and About

There’s always something happening in the desert cities in the summer.

Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week
Indulge in the valley’s top restaurants with three-course prix-fixe meals June 3–12.

McCallum Theatre Institute’s Summer Session Festival
Soak up some culture at this annual celebration of dance, music, and theater.

Night Adventures in the Monument
Bring a black light and learn about the creatures that come out at night at this family-friendly adventure at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center. Get ready to see scorpions, tarantulas, lizards, owls, and more.

Celebrity Jazz Jam
Enjoy jazz performances by national and local artists at this monthly event at Desert Willow Golf Resort.
Get your tickets for May 16, June 5, and July 24.

Living Desert Zoo Camp
This summer camp gives kids ages 4 through 12 the chance to encounter exotic animals, learn about science, and experience the zoo behind the scenes.
June 20–July 29.

Fourth of July Celebration
Bring the whole family to Palm Desert’s Civic Center Park for a concert and fireworks show.

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