Palm Springs - hiking, eating, drinking
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Dec 4, 2012 12:22 PM Last Post By: foodie67
Dec 2, 2012 9:40 PM
Palm Springs - hiking, eating, drinkingMy fiance and I (mid twenties) are joining their parents for 2.5 weeks over Christmas/New Years this year... his dad likes golfing and his mother likes shopping - so they are both set but we have different interests. We are going to have a car the whole time and will be staying at a condo in Palm Desert.
I understand that everything can be found online, but first hand advice is always best. If you were coming to my city I would hook you up with all the details on my favourite spots :)
What are some of the best hikes in the area? We are both fairly active (climbing mountains in Jasper? No problem!) We are hoping for hikes that are a bit challenging, and offer some amazing and unique scenery. I am specifically looking for which routes might be best.... (Ie; sulfer skyline in jasper is a must do, while viri,dorothy, christine lakes are nothing special and can be skipped)
what are some sweet and local restaurants that are worth checking out? We are looking for places with good food, cheap/reasonable prices, and a cool atmosphere. I understand that there are probably hundreds of restaurants, but is there anything special or unique? I'm from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (yep, its a place!) and while our city has a lot of different restaurants we are limited and have been to all the good ones. We are hoping for some new culinary delights! We like everything from locally inspired, to ethnic, to veggie, and so on.
what are some good local pubs to have a few drinks, especially in the palm desert area? are there any sweet local watering holes that are worth a pint or two, or dressing up to catch some music (live bands or djs)
any other cool attractions that we should check out? a lot of our trip will be just hanging out and escaping the stresses of work and university but we are hoping for a fun adventure none the less!
All info is appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Dec 3, 2012 6:40 AM
Dec 3, 2012 7:42 AM
2Joshua Tree National Park has a number of trails, ranging from gentle nature walks to strenuous hikes up mountains. I haven't hiked there, so can't recommend a specific one, but I can tell you to expect it to be cold at night and as you gain elevation. Good for birding as there are a number of species that spend the winter there.
Anza Borrego State Park is farther away. Try the Borrego Palm Canyon trail
Speaking of palms, one thing you might want to do is drive to Indio, just south of Palm Springs and check out the date gardens--something you definitely won't find in Canada. Even if you think you don't like dates, it's worth going. There are all sorts of varieties of dates that don't ship well, so are rarely found outside the area. I'd didn't like dates myself until I tried some of the rarer ones. The one must-do is to have a date milkshake.
Shields is the best known. It's set up for tourists, including a film on the sex life of the date. They have an outdoor cafe. There are others--Palm Springs should be full of brochures about them.
While trying to find date gardens, I tuned up this web site. Hiking in Palm Springs. It also has other activities and the favorite restaurants of the site owners.
Dec 3, 2012 10:09 AM
3The area farmers' markets will be open. They're another source of dates if you don't want to head out to the gardens. You might also find unfamiliar varieties of citrus and avocados. Check Canadian rules on bringing in agricultural products to see if you can bring back any edible souvenirs.
I wasn't blown away by any of the restaurants I went to in Palm Springs, but many of them have open-air outdoor seating with (usually hidden) heaters. So you could get to eat outdoors in relative comfort, FWIW.
The ranger-led hikes in Indian Canyons or Tahquitz Canyon tend towards the easier side, but you could take longer and possibly more challenging hikes on your own in the canyons. If you go with a ranger, they are American Indians working for an American Indian organization, so don't expect the natural history/cultural history experience you'd get from a national park (some things are off-limits for discussion, or just not of interest to the rangers).
Dec 3, 2012 5:34 PM
Dec 4, 2012 12:22 PM
5Because you said your husband golfs & you both love great food, I would suggest Arnold Palmer's Restaurant in La Quinta. Just a 15 minute drive from Palm Desert.
The place is a virtual museum with Arnold Palmer memorabilia, plus it has its own putting green! It has a nice "clubby" feel and a patio with views of the mountains.
They have REALLY good food (try the lobster bisque) & a happy hour 4-6 w/ great food & drink specials.
I wish I could talk hiking, but my sport is eating....
Have a fun trip!
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