And the cold and rain came…
Are you missing that regular golf game of yours? Need a little trip down South? As everyone knows Palm Springs has a population of 40,000 and almost as many golf courses (maybe not quite). But the point is that throughout the Coachella Valley which includes Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City there are over 200 golf courses or approximately one for every 2000 people. So there are lots of options, lots of space and green fee rates have never been lower.
While we do not always play golf while on vacation (it is a vacation from our job you know) we do love the desert. We are not planning to head there this winter but have spent at least week in Palm Desert two out of the last four years and more times previous. If you have the time it is actually a very easy drive down I5. You can be there in two long, or three short days. Our favorite first night stop is Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon about a 9 hour drive from downtown Vancouver. The Resort has surprisingly nice guest rooms, an indoor pool, hot tubs and sauna, 24 hour dining (not all buffets), a sports bar, a lounge and the River Rock Spa. It is worth a two night stay to relax and unwind if you have the time. If you do not have the time to drive Westjet (our favorite) flies direct from Vancouver once a day and also has several flights daily that connect through Calgary.
What to do (when not golfing)
- You first need to stick your condo/hotel room with a trip to Trader Joe’s. It is hard not to go crazy with all of the ‘ultra cheap’ prices on food and booze but remember you can’t take it all home. You have to try Trader Joe’s brand popcorn ($1 for a big salty bag) and a bottle of ‘Two Buck Chuck’. We don’t think it is great but it is surprisingly good for a $2 bottle of wine. Watch the ‘snowbirds’ carrying out by the case.
- Then you need to go for lunch at Maracas Mexican in Palm Springs. It is right on S Palm Canyon Drive (the main drag) and parking on the street is pretty easy to find. The food is awesome, the prices good and the patio is a great place to watch the downtown happenings.
- If you are staying in or near Palm Desert the Desert Willow Golf Course does a terrific Sunday Brunch and has a great walking path (we always intend to play golf there but have not actually done it yet). Across the street is the JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort, another one of our favorites for the stunning lobby lounge and the multiple dining options. There are also 36 holes of golf (which we have yet to try).
- If you can rent a bike. Neither Palm Springs nor Palm Desert was built for walking much outside of the downtown core. Every block is extremely large as most contain an entire golf course within the block. A bike is the best way to see things outside of downtown without driving everywhere.
- If you can extend your trip the drive to Vegas right through the desert is absolutely worth the trip. It is 4 hours of tumble weed, snakes and bikers and one so called town (a gas station and a diner). Awesome! Our directions were written on a restaurant napkin by someone at our hotel. If you want them just ask.
Since we can’t really recommend golf courses in the area we ask all of your to post your favorite Palm Spring/ Palm Desert Area golf course and why and we thank you in advance for all of your good advice.