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Laura Hunt Little proudly notes her part of the world will likely offer golfers fair weather when they’re on fairways.
Hunt Little, with Visit Great Palm Springs, says the inland southern California destination offers golfers a welcome combination of sunny weather and a huge number of courses.
“It’s a golfer’s paradise here,” she says. “With over 100 renowned golf courses and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Greater Palm Springs earns its reputation as a top destination for golf. Courses offer play at all challenge levels, whether you’re looking for a casual round or demanding greens. Designs by legendary architects like Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman are a major draw, as are the gorgeous mountain backdrops against lushly manicured courses. Even the PGA and LPGA Tours stop in this golf oasis for annual tournaments. Many courses are open to visitors. Our largest resorts have courses on or adjacent to the hotel property. There are gorgeous municipal courses ,that are better than many private courses around the country and some of the country clubs offer golf to the public as well.”
But Hunt Little goes on to add that non-golfers will easily appreciate her part of the world as well.
“For starters, we are an event destination, with annual sports tournaments and festivals drawing tens of thousands to signature events every year,” she says. “These include the Coachella (pop/rock/EDM music) and Stagecoach (country music) festivals; Palm Springs International Film Festival; Modernism Week (architecture and design); Greater Palm Springs Pride (LGBTQ+ celebration); BNP Paribas Open (tennis); The American Express (PGA golf); Legends of the LPGA; and dozens of equestrian events.
“Greater Palm Springs is a mecca for outdoor activities. With 300-plus days of sunshine annually, residents and visitors make frequent use of hundreds of miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. If something with a motor is more your speed, take a Jeep tour off road into the San Andreas Fault. For an adrenaline rush, sign up for a drive at the BMW Performance Center and, under the direction of a professional race driver, put a new BMW to the test on a closed race course.
“Many visitors come from cold, wet climates to simply chill by the pool. Our pools are substantial. Most resorts have multiple pools and several have waterparks with looping slides and lazy rivers. Later this year, Desert Surf park will open, designed by professional surfers and featuring a state-of-the art wave pool that can create pro level waves. We’ll be celebrating National Surf Day in the desert this year! Speaking of water, a plentiful aquifer runs underground providing mineral-rich waters to area spas. Spas are plentiful and range in size from boutique to extensive facilities – all with the purpose of achieving a state of well-being.”
Attractions also include The Living Desert Zoo, one of the top 10 zoos in the US; The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, North America’s largest rotating tram car; the Palm Springs Air Museum, featuring an extensive collection of working WWII airplanes and hands-on exhibits; the Palm Springs Art Museum with permanent and traveling exhibits. The museum has an extension campus – the Architecture and Design Center – celebrating mid-century architecture. Palm Springs also has the largest concentration of mid-century modern architecture in the world, which can be seen on different tours. The aesthetic spills over into interior design, fashion and shopping. As well, the El Paseo Shopping district in Palm Desert is Greater Palm Springs’ version of Rodeo Drive with luxury brands, art galleries and dining. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs is known for amazing vintage shopping, restaurants, and souvenir shops and every Thursday night hosts the Villagefest street fair.
Greater Palm Springs has long attracted the rich and the famous, with Hunt Little saying its location was a prime factor for doing so. In the 1950s, celebrities had contracts with movie studios that stipulated that they couldn’t be more than a two-hours’ drive from the studio in case they were needed for a re-shoot. As well, paparazzi back then didn’t make money on their articles, but rather on mileage expenses, which were not allowed to exceed 100 miles.
“Palm Springs, at 120 miles away, was a perfect destination for celebrities to get away,” Hunt Little says. “The star-sightings continue today, with many of Hollywood’s elite spotted leaving their vacation homes to dine at hot spots in Palm Springs. We have amazing dining, too.”
Los Angeles is a two-hour drive from Palm Springs, while San Diego is 2.5-hours away. “Usually we are asked this question so people can determine how long the drive is from the airport,” Hunt Little says. “But, I’m hoping I’ll surprise you when I tell you that Palm Springs International airport (PSP) has direct flights to Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. The growth of air routes into PSP has grown dramatically over the last few years. Getting to Palm Springs has never been easier.”
She says those staying in the inland destination can visit the ocean on day trips but adds “you don’t need to. Avoid the LA traffic — it’s infamously awful — and stay here to experience all there is to do in the desert. If you run out of things to do — you won’t — the desert region around Greater Palm Springs include gorgeous landscapes and hidden treasures in small towns.”
Hunt Little adds that visitors are virtually certain to find attractive weather, with Greater Palm Springs generally hot and sunny. A desert climate means there’s very low humidity, which in turn leads to a big swing in temperatures from day to night.
Hunt Little notes that in one morning in early April she awoke up and it was 12° C and by afternoon it was “a very lovely 26° C. Summer temperatures peak in the 40’s ° C, but then it cools off as soon as the sun sets. Summer nights are my favourite to float in the pool and look at the stars. It rarely goes below freezing, maybe a few overnights in December.”
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