On Sunday, April 12, the NYT Travel Section lauded Palm Springs as a destination for laid-back cool and as a place finding balance between the past and the present. Called 36 Hours in Palm Springs, the full page article by Erica Cerulo goes on to propose some of our restaurants such as Johannes, our hotels such as the newly refurbished Riviera Resort and Spa, and the new Ace Hotel, along with various places for fun cocktails. She suggests taking Modernism tours with Robert Imber to see our fabulous mid-century architecture and also mentions that you can shop for period decorative items and furnishings on Palm Canyon. She encourages you to explore our biking and hiking trails. There’s a paragraph called Get Close with Cactus about hiking in the Tahquitz Canyon on one of the nature trails through Indian lands, where you will discover a sixty foot waterfall, desert cacti and many other indigenous plants.
I would also encourage visitors and locals alike to explore The Living Desert, “where the desert sands and the mountains meet and is like a zoo but only better”. The Living Desert is in Palm Desert/Indian Wells, about twenty-five minutes from downtown Palm Springs. It’s a 360 acre reserve and zoo offering natural gardens with plant life from all of the great deserts of the world, a butterfly House where you can hold these fragile creatures on your finger (the kids are good at this), an African Section and a North American Section where about 450 rare and exotic creatures live, and much more. They have daily animal shows in the amphitheatre which absolutely must be attended! These shows vary as to which animals participate on a given day but are always great. We learn again that these animals are very intelligent (some with an IQ of a two to three year old) and are talented performers but also wild, and they can be somewhat unpredictable. Some of the animals that perform include the beautiful cerval, “Ruka”- one of the great cats family, “Linus” – an amusing African porcupine, various hawks, and others.
Our family has particular interest in the tiny African Desert Fennic Fox weighing scarcely 3 pounds, whom we “adopt” each year, helping to provide more funds for animal care. If he is brought out in the show, he sometimes has a hard time even opening his eyes, as he’s nocturnal. Not included in the show, but always popular are the family of Meerkats. There is an opportunity daily to feed a giraffe, up close and personal – you stand on an overlook platform where he meets you and you put the food on his tongue. He takes over from there.
More on restaurants – in addition to the restaurants featured in the article, I would add Le Vallauris on Tahquitz Canyon for upscale dining and elegant service, and Davey’s Hideaway on Palm Canyon for supper club vibes and live music nightly (they also make great drinks and pour them to the rim – I mean it). On Indian Canyon you will find Shanghai Red’s, where the fish tacos and fresh pasta dishes are made right before you. You can also sit in the courtyard where there is live music on weekends. In addition to Johannes and his Austrian schnitzel already mentioned in the article, try the restaurant Pomme Frite on Palm Canyon with Belgian/French fare such as moules/frites or steak/frites. They have a reasonably priced wine list and Belgian beers. We frequent all of these Palm Springs spots, where we enjoy the personalities of the staffs as well as the food.
We love our desert home and are proud each time Palm Springs makes an appearance in the Times and elsewhere. See link above to read the full Times article.