Holidays to Palm Springs
The glamorous Coachella Valley is enjoying resurgence to its former glory. The golden age of the 1950s and ‘60s saw Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra partying hard at their fancy houses in Palm Springs, and these days the town’s mix of retro-chic and modernism attracts all kinds of people. Palm Springs is an oasis in the Californian desert, and the dramatic desert scenery is the ideal backdrop to the glitz of the town.
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One of the best things to see on your Palm Springs holiday is the outstanding modernist architecture. There are various tours of the town which make sure you don’t miss out on the highlights. Palm Springs boasts work by the visionary architects of the 20th century such as William Cody, Donald Wexler and Michael Black.
The Palm Springs Art Museum is also architecturally fascinating, designed by E Stewart Williams in 1974. This outstanding gallery houses a collection of pieces by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Henry Moore and Andy Warhol.
Just outside Palm Springs is a rotating cable car which is a must-do on any Palm Springs holiday. It takes you over 2,000 metres high, from the desert floor into the San Jacinto mountains. After just a 15-minute ride, you are in the wilderness and there is a large network of hiking trails to explore.
Eating and drinking
The only surviving supper club from Sinatra’s era is The Purple Room, which has authentic, sumptuous décor and an exuberant atmosphere. You can still get a show-stopping martini there, and the people-watching is some of the best in the world. For great value food in an intriguing modernist space, head for a meal at Trio.
The nightlife in Palm Springs doesn’t disappoint, with many raucous bars offering live entertainment into the small hours. Melvyn’s is another former haunt of Sinatra and the Rat Pack, with stiff martinis and live jazz all afternoon and all night.
The retro and vintage shops in Palm Springs are legendary, with whole streets of shops dedicated to old-school style. Angel View is a well-established thrift store that stocks high-quality vintage clothes and draws the town’s hipsters in crowds. For a more conventional shopping experience, the Desert Hills Premium Outlets and El Paseo malls have more shops than you could ever visit in a day.
In April every year, the Coachella arts and music festival comes to the valley near Palm Springs. This world-famous festival is frequented by the rich and famous, and the fashion is as much of a spectacle as the music on stage. The festival is now so popular that it actually runs on two separate weekends, with identical line-ups at both.