By Jeremy Zachary
Why You Must Go: A great way to roll back the decades and visit the Palm Springs of the ‘60s. A quaint boutique stay, this cozy hotel is a brief five-minute walk from the city’s cultural mainline, Palm Canyon Drive and its extensive outlay of shops, restaurants, pubs and galleries. Old Ranch Inn is located centrally in the Tennis Club District, a revival area chock full of boutique hotels and throwbacks to Palm Springs’ architectural heyday. The Inn has eight spacious rooms with separate living and sleeping areas, some with fireplaces, and all facing the centerpiece of the courtyard; the pool. If you’re lucky enough, you can catch the occasional wine tasting and special eventa at the poolside bar.
Where To Eat: Considering the plethora of dining options all around, there is no shortage of great places to spend your restaurant dollars on. There are, however, a few that stand out from the crowd. Maracas Restaurant serves up traditional Mexican with possibly the best salsa yet to be savored. Something about their fire-roasted chili flavor screams authentic and fresh. Another must-experience gem is Spencer’s; this local hideaway is nestled at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains on Baristo Road. Modernistic design and an outdoor patio set the mood of all moods, while the live pianist completes the package.
What Else To Check Out: A short walk away is the Palm Springs Art Museum—check out its current “Modern Moments” exhibition of post-Word War II American photography—a definite must to get on your culture radar. And you can’t go wrong with the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This uplifting (literally) destination is a great way to view the desert floor below by climbing nearly 6,000 vertical feet. Keep in mind, there’s typically a 30 degree difference between the valley floor and the top of the tramway so you might want to bring that sweater.
Old Ranch Inn, 220 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs, (760) 778-8900, www.oldranchinn.com; Rates start at $119-$189 through May 31.