Know before you go
Warning — There’s a heat shield surrounding Palm Springs. It was put there to prevent jerks from getting in. It gets turned on in May and gets shut off in late September. This is the best time to visit. You will only be able to get through the shield during that period of the year if you're cool. Otherwise, you’ll have to come during peak season and you know why.
Palm Springs is nothing like the Hulu movie Palm Springs except that we’re all stuck in an infinite time loop and you will be too. If this movie is what brings you to Palm Springs, you probably won’t be able to get past the heat shield. Come for some other reason.
There’s some sort of magic in Palm Springs. It seeps into the atmosphere from deep under the desert sand. It was put there thousands of years ago by the indigenous people known as the Agua Caliente band. My plumber told me that whenever he has to dig up an old pipe on indigenous land, a tribe member will stand watch and inspect every shovel full of sand for magical artifacts.
The magic makes it’s way into the natural hot springs where we soak and submerge ourselves in it. The magic waters will remove the worst bad ju-ju and restore good vibes into the most twisted amongst us.
Palm Springs is protected by a beautiful mountain god known as Mt. San Jacinto. He’s massive, stands 10,000 feet in the air and surrounds us from the west to the south. They say that when they finally decide to nuke Los Angeles, because of Mt. San Jacinto we in Palm Springs will be the only ones left in Southern California who survived the blast 💥.
There’s no other place in Palm Springs where you can feel the magic or worship the beauty of our mountain god as you can at the Indian Canyons. However, be on the lookout for the ghost shaman known as Tahquitz who resides in the infamous canyon named after him. Tahquitz was the shaman of shamans, the dark lord of ancient Palm Springs. As time went by, he grew too powerful and cringy for the band, so they banished and exiled him into the canyon. One day many years later, the tribe started to miss him. They then regretted their decision and sent a care package full of snacks up to him as a reconciliation gift. When those bearing the food did not return, the chief went up to investigate. “I ate em! ”, said Tahquitz when the chief came walking up. “The snacks?”, asked the chief. “No, your people”, he replied. Then an epic battle was waged between the two. In the end Tahquitz was blown to bits, but in the aftermath his spirit somehow managed to escape. These days his ghost occasionally wanders out from the canyon and eats a tourist.
Palm Springs is a sweet honeypot. If you come here, don’t expect to leave. Almost everyone who resides in Palm Springs came here on vacation. The longer you stay the more difficult it is to leave. At a certain point you just get stuck in the sweet sticky quick sand. It’s then that you begin to refer to yourself as a desert rat and buy a home. Then the years go by. On occasion someone may convince you to take a day trip to San Diego for a change of scenery. You go but you can’t wait to get back. Then the years go by. Someone else, convinces you to move to Seattle. You go but find it difficult to adjust. Where’s the sunshine, where’s the tumbleweeds rolling down the street, where’s the roadrunner who eats the prickly pears off my neighbor’s cactus? You realize that you can take yourself–the rat, out of the desert, but you can’t take the desert out of the rat. You spent way to much time there, in that warm magic breeze. The desert incantation is too deep inside your core being. It calls to you in your sleep, all your dreams take place on Racquet Club around Steve McQueen’s bungalow. You have to go back. You go back. You’re delighted to be back.
You may come to Palm Springs this weekend, you may get through the shield. You may find the right reason to come. You might not get eaten by an ancient spirit shaman. You may stand in line at one of two bars that fit your lifestyle (there’s at least two for everyone). You might get carded before you go in. No, you will get carded before you go in. You might make it all the way to the Murray canyon waterfall. You may discover the best carne asada fries in the world!
Or, you just may get wasted by the pool on Saturday and sleep all day Sunday in your hotel room hungover. Then late that same night, sneak back to L.A. just in time for the dropping of the bomb. But that’s okay too. We won’t judge you for it.
You may do all that, or none of that, but at the very least keep your weekend feelers out for:
- The magic from the sand
- The good vibrations
- The cool desert breeze at midnight
- The non native geckos climbing on the walls
- The perfect pool temperature
- The perfectly legal golf carts cruising down the main strip
- The flat smooth streets for boozy beach cruiser bar hopping
- The soothing sweet coos of hummingbirds
- The Ace swim club or pool at the ARRIVE
- The endless sunshine and the bright full moon nights
- The April showers that bring those purple desert sand verbena flowers
- The Piña Coladas made with blended pineapples and those who drink them
- The Jacuzzi jets
- The elusive roadrunner
- That one abandoned house with a drained pool to skate in
- The mid-century modern time warp glass block shower
- The Dona Diablo sauce
- The Ocotillo in full bloom
- The sweet greetings from revered elders and other Q-tips
- The sweet smell of orange blossoms
- The botanical garden cactus room
- And of course… All those playboy bunnies hiding amongst the blue Agaves.