A couple times when we told people we were going to Palm Springs. they thought we meant Palm Beach. After all—one is 200 miles away and the other is 2000. We found out Palm Springs is a stunning nirvana with a vibrant dining scene and incredible climate.
Discovering Palm Springs
It was one of those occasions where we flew in at night and couldn’t wait for dawn to break so we could actually see our surroundings at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa.
We weren’t disappointed!
Majestic mountains. Deep blue sky. Hot, but not humid. And I don’t ever recall playing tennis in a more picturesque atmosphere.
The Omni tennis department is run by Cliff Drysdale Tennis, so you know it has to be good. Cliff was a Hall of Fame tennis player and now top-shelf commentator. His company runs tennis programs at dozens of high-end resorts around the world—including the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne and the Omni on Amelia Island in Florida. I hit tennis balls each morning with Head Pro Conor Nicholson of Wales. He was talented, energetic and knew how to put the customer first.
All that tennis was a great precursor to a massage in the spacious Spa Las Palmas. The spacious facility features it’s own pool, jacuzzi, steam room and dozens of individual treatment rooms. My therapist was personable and talented. Spas can really make or break a resort—and this one was spot-on. A variety of therapies, facials and seasonal specials were available.
The Omni is in the “suburbs” of Palm Springs, twenty minutes southeast of downtown. The resort is directly across from “The River,” an upscale shopping mall that features a wide range of restaurants, stores and services. It was nice to be able to walk across the street to so many options.
We were happy to find the “Yard House” for our first off-campus meal in Palm Springs. It’s a high-end sports bar chain with a huge menu of New American fare and extensive list of draft beers. We visited during the football season, so we went for an early lunch at 10am to watch the games kick-off. (Don’t get me started on the time-zone change! I woke up at 4am each day!)
One of the attractions we were told we couldn’t miss in Palm Springs was a tram ride up to the mountains. The brochure for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway says it is “the only one of it’s type in the western hemisphere.”
After taking an Uber ride up to the “Valley Station,” we got on a tram that carried 80 of us 8,500 feet up to the “Mountain Station” that is situated in the Mount San Jacinto State Park. We hiked on well-marked trails and took pictures from well-advertised “look-out” points.
The Mountain Station offered a variety of dining and refreshments. From a lounge, to a cafe, to a restaurant. We sat down and had a leisurely lunch at the Peaks Restaurant. Great food and a great view!
Palm Springs reminded us a bit of Sarasota, albeit a bit larger. It has great weather, a positive energy, many newcomers starting new lives and looking to be happy and a lot to do pending your tastes.