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24 Hours to Cool Down in Palm Springs, California with Don

Guest Post by Don Santiago

A visit to Palm Springs with only twenty-four hours to spare during the sizzling hot

summer does not mean isolating yourself in one of the many hotel resorts, spending the

afternoon in the spa after a morning of golfing, playing tennis or wading in the pool.

On an overnight trip to the California desert, I found five enjoyable things to do while escaping the

searing heat.

Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs Air Museum

My first stop was the Palm Springs Air Museum and was a welcome relief after the long drive from Phoenix, to see the two military aircraft displayed outside the main building not just to escape the heat, but to also stretch my legs.

My visit also was not just personal as a descendent of World War II veterans, but also as an aviation lover and a love of military history.

Photo Credit: Don Santiago

The air-conditioned three-hangar museum has a total of 70,000 square space for aircraft

and various displays with even more aircraft outside, offers a cool way to learn about military

aviation and did not disappoint for there are numerous displays to walk around and take pictures.

There are also interactive simulators, a play and educational area for children of all ages,

an extensive library collection along with friendly volunteers to make it a great place to spend

the morning. My visit took most of the morning and carried over into the early afternoon reading,

learning and interacting with some of the numerous displays.

Aerial Tramway

Noticing the beautiful mountains in the background of the museum, I decided my next stop would be the Aerial Tramway to Mount San Jacinto State Park.

After a strenuous walk from

the parking lot to the main entrance, I said a prayer of thanks to the inventor of air-conditioning

as I entered the building.

The ten-minute cable car ride up two and half miles to an elevation of 8,516 feet, took me

and several other passengers through the cliffs of Chino Park and ending at the main building

and entrance to Mount San Jacinto State Park. As we made the journey up, quiet conversations

were made, and numerous clicks of camera shutters were heard as I and other passengers took in

the breathtaking scenery.

Exiting into the main building, one can head directly out to the park and can spend the

entire day or even days in the park, for there are numerous hiking trails and places to camp.

Staying inside the building, there is a grab and go cafeteria or, have lunch or dinner in the full-

service restaurant, but I decided to stay about an hour walking about before sitting at a table on

the observation deck, eating my snack, cooling down, fascinated by the tram going up and down

and, relaxing while enjoying the numerous scenic views. From where I was seated, I could also

see where one could sit and meditate or, hike and enjoy nature.

Windmill Farms

As I made my way back to my hotel, I could not help noticing another destination Palm

Springs is known for, which is its wind farms. Though tours are available beyond the fence on an

air-conditioned bus with a charge, I decided to pull off to side of the road and sit in the comfort

of my air-conditioned car.

Watching the 4,000-wind turbine farm sitting on the Gorgonio Mountain Pass in the San

Bernadino Mountains, it offered a sense of serenity and wonderment on the development of

mankind's technology harnessing the power of nature.

360° panorama from the site of the San Gorgonio Pass wind farm

Photo by Kai Gradert on Unsplash


After about fifteen minutes, I continued on passing by the El Paseo shopping district.

Shopping here is the Palm Springs equivalent of Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive and even if I just

wanted to window shop, and though it was close to the end of the day, I figured it would be best

with a cold beverage in my hand.

Stores I noticed were Apple, Gucci, Brooks Brothers and Louis Vuitton, to fine art galleries, and jewelry stores. It is no doubt luxurious shopping for those who want to spend or like myself, just dream.


My stomach grumbling, I decided it was time for dinner. I did some research before my

trip and found in recent years, the dining scene has risen to be equivalent of those to be in major

cities like Los Angeles, and whatever your taste buds or even just to enjoy a beverage,

Palm Springs has much to offer.

There were numerous restaurants I saw where I could sit on the patio and watch the sunset or just enjoy the scenic views and still say cool with many of the establishments offering misters.

But since I had left Phoenix quite early, I decided to have my dinner at my hotel where

my burger and drink was quite delicious, and the staff was also quite friendly.

Afterwards, I sat near the pool enjoying the soothing sounds of water flowing.