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Images courtesy of Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism and the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitor's Bureau..
If you think the nine cities encompassing the Palm Springs area would be a great retirement destination, well, you’d be right…and you’d also be wrong.
The year-round sunshine, relatively slower-paced lifestyle and brutally hot summers (luckily it’s a dry heat!) does make the area – collectively known as the Coachella Valley – an attractive destination for retiring snowbirds. But since there’s no shortage of misters, pools and air conditioning, don’t let the heat keep you from a weekend getaway. Now through May, when the weather is spectacular, is the perfect time of year to indulge in some of the fabulous things to see and do – at a fraction of the high-season rates.
BNP Paribas Open
There are 112 golf courses, countless hiking trails and excellent resorts, spas and restaurants at your fingertips. One not-to-miss event for tennis lovers is the BNP Paribas Open – held every March in Indian Wells and known in tennis circles as “the fifth major,” as it gathers the world’s top professional players. The Tennis Garden at Indian Wells boasts the second largest tennis stadium in the world and is surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds. In March 2012, attendance topped 370,000 for the two-week combined ATP and WTP event. Tickets are on sale now for the 2013 tournament, to be held March 4-17.
If tennis isn’t your thing, music may be. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held every April, is the go-to music festival. It’s like an annual Woodstock for the millennial generation, but less muddy!
Miramonte Resort & Spa
If your escape to the valley is about indulgence, then you’ll have no trouble finding a spa to suit your needs. After a day on the links or hardcore shopping in the El Paseo Shopping District, try the Aqua Well massage at the Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, where you float weightlessly in a pool heated to your body temperature while your muscles are rhythmically massaged; the unique treatment leaves you relaxed and almost spiritually calm.
Another fantastic venue is La Quinta Resort & Club, also in La Quinta. This Waldorf Astoria property, originally built in 1926, covers 45 lushly manicured acres at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Golf, tennis, dining and a world-renowned spa combine for one of the most luxurious experiences available. The spa’s acclaimed HydraFacial is a new skin rejuvenation system that attracts both movie stars and locals to experience skin care on a whole new level.
Even though Le Parker Méridien’s spa, PSYC (Palm Springs Yacht Club) has no body of water in which to dock your yacht, PSYC believes in the country club experience, which – according to their Web site – includes mixed doubles, a long steam and a stiff cocktail. Difficult to argue otherwise!
The bar at Tinto
Most resorts offer several dining options, but one not to miss is Tinto at The Saguaro Palm Springs, a wine bar and restaurant from Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring a modern take on tapas from Spain’s Basque region. Fun, vibrant and delicious!
The entire valley offers so many opportunities that you have to go and experience it for yourself. Oh, and if you visit in the winter, don’t forget to pack your skis…seriously!