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By C. Marie Cradle

Palm Springs is much more than golf, spa and sand

A resplendent desert landscape of sprawling golf courses and palatial pampering spas – this is Palm Springs, California. But there is much more to the town's majesty. Visitors to the balmy wonderland can be treated to impeccable variety. Included on the itinerary here: scenic hiking and house tours, fun arts & entertainment events, plus unique fashion and foodie stops.

Hike on rugged, breathtaking canyon trails

Outdoor enthusiasts in Palm Springs, the hot spot of the Coachella Valley, need great tolerance for torrid temperatures to hike. Ultimately, the payoff from high heat and dripping sweat is an effective workout in desert splendor, with the visual bonus of distinct indigenous desert flora and fauna.

Trails such as Palm Canyon, Tahquitz Canyon and Skyline are popular to trek for the physical challenge and scenery. A number of professionally organized hiking tours are available, from traditional on-foot adventures to newly designed Hummer and caravan riding tours.

Appreciate the marvelous architecture

Noted as one of an exclusive dozen "distinctive destinations" by the National Trust of Historic Preservation (NTHP), Palm Springs has an aesthetic all its own- as seen in its architecture marvel. World renowned architects, namely, Donald Wexler and William Krisel, have contributed significantly to the town's edifice edge.

Desert modernism is the celebrated minimalist movement represented on numerous buildings, from Tramway Gas Station (the official PS Visitor Center) to the main post office terminal. Tours of private architectural homes such as Elvis' Honeymoon Hideaway (officially The Robert Alexander house).

Shop unique Palm Springs fashion

Sophisticated, casual, loungy, clean, bright – all describe Palm Springs fashion to a tee. Apparel options are plentiful in both high end and affordable boutiques. Calling this desert haute town home is contemporary fashion designer, Trina Turk, who has a Palm Canyon Drive flagship store featuring her signature resort collections. Each Spring, Fashion Week sets up its catwalks and takes over the downtown scene, much to the delight of fashion industry movers and shakers, as well as novice fashionistas.

Eat and drink Palm Springs

Despite being relatively small in size, Palm Springs is one of the premier U.S. dining meccas, serving as host to dozens of top-notch restaurants. Neo-retro Lulu's California Bistro and Copley's on Palm Canyon are two standouts where dinner reservations are highly recommended.

Generally, Palm Springs restaurants are noted not just for well-crafted menu choices – but for consideration given to sharp architecture, décor and historical character. Besides a fancy meal, a delicious must-try Palm Springs indulgence is the date shake, an iconic milkshake often served in coffeehouses and fast food stops.

Catch a variety of entertainment

After sunset, Palm Springs cools down and lets loose. In the heart of town are venues providing tantalizing live entertainment on a nightly basis, from chic and quaint Copa Nightclub to the mega-lounge Hard Rock Hotel.

Nightlife-goers have their pick of live entertainment, often multi-genre music events, dance events, live theater and comic stand-up performances. An epicenter for the LGBTQ community, Palm Springs hosts several Pride-related celebrations throughout the calendar year, including the White Party.

Article sources
National Trust for Historic Preservation

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