OK, this is one that I can definitely dispel (even though I hear it quite frequently)– there is actually ALOT to do in the Palm Springs/ Palm Desert/ La Quinta area. I grew up there, so I am constantly making “good things to do” lists and recommending hotels, so I thought I would put some of the good choices in one place so I could refer people back here. I would recommend avoiding the desert area between
- Here is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Palm Desert: the Sky-Watcher tour. This awesome company basically takes you out in the middle of the desert with telescopes and a tour guide. There is very little “city light” that can block out the stars, so you get a totally clear view of the sky.
- The Red Barn: Oh yeah, this place has been around the longest, and you can usually find one or more members of the “desert rock” scene hanging out here. Yes, the floor is sticky. Get past it. The drinks are cheap and the jukebox is awesome.
- Beer Hunter La Quinta: This is the biggest of the Beer Hunter franchises (which have also been around for a long long time), and it has the biggest TVs and the best food. Fun atmosphere, good happy hour, nice people (both patrons and servers)– this one gets my endorsement!
- Las Casuelas restaurants (any)– I super love the food at this restaurant, and I went to high school with the owners (it’s a multi-generational ownership). Get the guacamole and chips and wash them down with some margaritas!
- The Living Desert Reserve— this is a nature preserve and a super-interesting tour to take. It’s quiet and peaceful, and you’ll see some interesting animals (and flora and fauna).
- For hotels, I really like the Residence Inn on Cook Street, and I have also had alot of friends stay at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. They have a water park built in to their pool area, so kids love it.