Cool Things to do in Palm Desert (and Surrounding Area) — Part Two

We have not run out of things to explore in the Palm Desert area — quite the opposite! Our week began by us celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with a home-made turkey dinner (cooked by friends). Throughout the week, we again managed to keep ourselves quite busy — without really trying. We browsed the Farmers’ Market, ate some amazing food, relaxed around the pool and hung out with friends some more! I continued daily aerobics and yoga classes (with Sundays off). Below are some of our activity highlights.

The Art Smith Trail

Highway 74. Across from the Santa Rosa San Jacinto National Monument Visitor Center, Palm Desert.
Art Smith Trail - Palm Desert

Up until the day of his death, Art Smith possessed a steadfast devotion to the betterment of trails in the Palm Springs area. The Art Smith Trail is 12.2 miles out and back. The beginning elevation is 1000′ with a gain of 1,300′. This trail boasts multiple palm oases.

This past Wednesday, a few of us decided to give this trail a try. We hiked for 75 minutes out and 60 minutes back, only reaching the first oasis. Big Horn Sheep and other wildlife are frequently cited as appearing in this area, but none made their presence known to us during our visit. There was a noticeable ascent at the beginning and no shade throughout. Dogs are not allowed, and the trail is closed at certain times of the year. Hiking in the early morning is ideal. Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and extra water are essential.

The scenery, panoramic views, and great workout made this hike extremely worthwhile. Although it is rated as ‘difficult’ (likely due to its length), I would rate the section that we completed as ‘moderate.’ I would definitely do this hike again (hopefully for even longer next time)!

Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert

Sculpture Garden at Palm Desert Art Museum

72-567 Highway 111, Palm Desert.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm. The Sculpture Garden is always open.

Due to the generosity of local philanthropist, Helene Galene, admission to Palm Springs Art Gallery in Palm Desert is currently free.

This facility is relatively small. The staff are extremely personal and friendly. These features combine to enhance the sense of community and intimacy. Currently, the gallery features early 20th century photographs of the desert area by Stephen Willard and others. The outside sculpture garden boasts 15 sculptures and over 56 types of plants. It is a peaceful place to stroll, admire and wonder.

The small size of this gallery also allows those with limited time to enjoy a visit without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Don’t Forget the Free Concerts!

The Coachella Valley offers a wide variety of shows and entertainment to fit all different tastes and budgets. This week, we took in two free concerts that were both phenomenal. On Thursday, we went back to Civic Center Park) (again with Kathy and Thom) and watched The Dreamboats, a Canadian band (from Mississauga). Chan Romero, the original songwriter of ‘Hippy Hippy Shake,’ joined the band for the performance of his song. If you will be in, or anywhere near, Palm Springs this October, The Dreamboats are performing at The Draughtsman, each Sunday from 8 – 11 pm. Unbelievably, admission is free!

On Saturday, we went to The Rockyard at Fantasy Springs to watch Queen Nation and the warm-up group, World Tour Band. Five hours of quality live music, with no admission fee and no cover charge — you just can’t beat that!

Here is a clip from The Dream Boats. I encourage you to have a listen.

 

Day Trip to Los Angeles – The Dream Center and San Pedro Beach

Friends of ours regularly volunteer at The Dream Center in Los Angeles, a faith-based charitable organization led by Pastor Matthew Barnett. Our friends offered to take us on a tour of both the Center and its affiliated church, Angelus Temple. Both Angelus Temple and The Dream Center are like no other church or community support program that I’ve seen before. What began (in 1994) as serving homeless on the sidewalks of Echo Park, has become a remarkable community resource that reaches more than 50,000 people each week. When we attended, Danny Gokey, church member, singer, and American Idol finalist, sang and shared his story. Regardless of your beliefs, what Matthew Barnett has achieved is truly remarkable. I encourage you to read more.

That experience alone was well worth the drive to Los Angeles. On our return trip home we stopped for not one but two seafood platters at San Pedro Beach. As there is no way to adequately describe this meal, I will leave you with a photo of just one of the platters. We also had another platter with baked chicken on top…and a side order of ribs (shared by six of us). Seven hours later, I am still full. Very, VERY full!

As it is currently early morning on October 15, 2018, I am about to officially begin my first day as a sixty-year-old. I’ll keep you posted on how this goes!

94 Replies to “Cool Things to do in Palm Desert (and Surrounding Area) — Part Two”

  1. Happy Birthday! We usually spend New Years in the area, but just yesterday decided to push our trip out so that we can attend Modernism Week in February. Thanks for posting other suggestions for things to do!

    Like

  2. A big happy birthday to you Donna! Your hike sounds great and one I’d love to do. It’s wonderful when people, such as Art Smith give so much to keeping trails going in order for others to enjoy them. Have a great day 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks, Sam – It is often easy to forget who made specific trails possible for the rest of us to enjoy. I’m glad this trail was named after Art Smith….which significantly helped with my research! Thank you for your kind wishes.

      Like

  3. Aw…happy birthday, Donna! I hope you have a great day and a fantastic upcoming year. No doubt it will be full of more fun and exciting times. The Art Smith Trail looks like a great place to hike. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    Like

  4. A really interesting assortment Donna – lots to see and eat and experience. Also happy birthday my friend – you make 60 look absolutely amazing! I hope you have a fabulous birthday and a great year ahead xx

    Like

    1. Hi, Leanne – Based on the 32 hours that I’ve officially been 60, I can honestly say that it is amazing so far. As I mentioned to Jill above, I wore my ‘I’m 60’ tiara to a concert last night. One of the other attendees looked at me and said “if that’s 60….I’m in!” It was a fantastic start to this new decade!

      Like

      1. Donna I look at you and Sue and some of the other 60 year olds and I’m so relieved to see that the next decade looks so good! You’ve taken the worry out of what lies ahead. MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

        Like

    1. HI, Fran – Thank you so much for stopping by. There are so many different places that Richard and I wish to travel to, and such little time to visit them all (even if we both live, and are able to travel, until we are 100), So we are always torn as to weather we should do return, long stay visits like this one. Two weeks in, we are already reaping multiple benefits of this stay. I’ll keep you posted on our further adventures here.

      Like

  5. Good morning Donna and Happy birthday! I have done that trail to the second Oasis and back! Yes it does get warm….have you tried the painted ladder hike? Now that I think about it you did it last year…one of my favourite! If you have the chance take a day and drive up and do the park Joshua Tree…take a picnic, do some of the hikes…the rock formations are amazing. Hope we can connect when we arrive.

    Like

    1. HI, Georgia – I am so happy that you’re comment came through! I have done a bunch of hikes in this area, but not the Painted Ladder Hike (the ladder part would really freak me out). Thank you for the recommendation about Joshua Tree — it is definitely on our list. Fingers crossed that we can connect when you are here.

      Like

    1. Hi, Aimer – I’m greatly looking forward to seeing Bohemian Rhapsody as well.
      BTW – There was one small difference that I did notice yesterday. When I went to put on my fine chain necklace, I suddenly was all thumbs and simply could not fasten it. That’s strange because I wear that necklace often. Hope that this is not a sign of increased incoordination to come! 🙂

      Like

  6. Happy, happy birthday Donna! And good for you for finding fun things to do while you are here in the desert. And don’t tell Thom you were at the Queen concert because I KNOW he would have liked to have gone if we hadn’t been busy already. Looking forward to talking to you soon and celebrating your birthday! ~Kathy

    Like

      1. I’m drawn to reading or listening about new places, Donna, and you’re doing a fabulous story-telling job! #mlstl
        P.S. Thanks for persevering to leave a comment on my blog the 2nd time. I didn’t get your first one. I hope that was just a one-time incident.

        Like

      2. Thanks for your kind words, Natalie. I am trying to shake things up (at least a tiny bit) for next week. I’m positive if I entitled that post “Cool Things to do in Palm Desert Part Three” most readers would slam their heads against their computers!
        I’m not sure where my first comment went for your site. I’m glad that the second one went through without problems.

        Like

  7. Wow, Hippy Hippy Shake! That takes me back. Also, one of my musical regrets is not seeing (the actual) Queen before Freddie Mercury died. John saw them in the early days when he was a student and they still played small venues.

    And a very happy birthday! I rather like being in my 60s, I hope you do too.

    Like

  8. One always thinks of Coachella now as the place where big acts like the Rolling Stones and Neil Young play, but I’m glad to know lesser-known artists play there also. Happy Birthday!

    Like

    1. HI, Marty – Two years ago, we attended Desert Trip (which included The Rolling Stones and Neil Young) at Coachalla. For me, that platform will always be synonymous with big name acts. As the surrounding area has a zillion performance venues–at least at last count 🙂 — we are truly spoiled for choice in concerts to see out here. Thank you for your kind wishes — they are greatly appreciated!

      Like

  9. Happy birthday, Donna! It’s official – you are one of ‘us’ now. Hahaha! Looks like a great variety of activities and food (I’m all about the food!) I just looked up the ministry and found it interesting. I had to drill to see what the faith foundation was and it is a Pentecostal church. Looks like they are doing great things. Your hike looked quite warm and you did well to prepare for that heat. I’d like to have some of that heat here in Maine! We are on the bumpy ride to winter with variable temperatures. You never know whether to wear winter or summer clothes! Loved the clips from the concerts. What fun!

    Like

    1. Hi, Molly – Thank you for reading and commenting so thoroughly. I love when this happens. ‘Makes it feel like an IRL conversation! Interesting that you needed to dig to find the faith foundation of The Dream Center — I had missed that part when visiting their site. I agree that they have accomplished incredible things in the last 25 years. I was very impressed by what I saw.
      Interesting to hear about your weather. I believe that what you have described is what I have left behind at home — that plus a massive pile of rain!!

      Like

    1. HI, Joanne – Wohoo! I am so glad that your comment has come through! Trying to sort out my commenting errors has been a major drag — with many hoops to jump through and minimal insights gained! Fingers crossed that your (and others’) comments continue to come through.
      Thank you for your kind words — they are greatly appreciated.

      Like

      1. Well – it’s still mostly bad news. I still have to log in with every comment and I’ve just noticed that I’m not getting responses back from you. Sigh.
        I’ll just have to remember to come back and look for it 😏

        Like

      2. Hi, Joanne – I am so sorry to hear that you are still having commenting problems. I have just written you off-line about this.
        The good news is that the three regular readers who had been consistently abolished to my Spam or Moderation folders now seem to have been set free. Hopefully, I am now on a roll! 🙂

        Like

  10. Happy Birthday! 60 is a milestone, but not nearly as scary as it was for our parents generation. We are more active and have learned from their bad habits. I would love to experience hiking in the desert, very cool.

    Like

    1. Hi, Karen – I never thought of this before. I believe that you are absolutely correct. When I was an adolescent, and my grandparents were 60, I thought that they were very old. How I’d love to go back and change my thinking!
      BTW – I think that you would love hiking out here. I loved your pun on it being ‘cool’!

      Like

  11. Sounds like an amazing place to greet the new year, Donna! Happy Birthday! and looking at the above comment – we are enjoying lovely weather these days on the island!! Cool and crisp but the sun shines brightly! I’ll try to keep it around until after you return!

    Like

  12. Fall is such a wonderful time of year in the desert! A friend of mine who lives near Victorville actually windsurfed on Lake Mohave yesterday. Say hi to Kathy and Thom for us! I’m bogged down with grading papers and prepping classes, but it’s all good! Saw some photos in my dropbox of all of us from last year–miss you guys! Enjoy your hikes and sightseeing, Donna.

    Like

    1. Hi, Patrick – Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words. Palm Desert is a very interesting place. I have been here six different times (total of 15 weeks so far) and I feel that I’ve barely scratched the surface. There is so much to explore here.

      Like

  13. Belated Happy Birthday, Donna. I visited Palm Springs many years ago, so it’s probably changed a lot since then. When we went, it was early October and very, very quiet. We seemed to have the whole hotel (and it’s pool) to ourselves. However, one weekend was a holiday weekend and the place was packed.

    Like

    1. Hi, Hugh – Great to hear from you. Sadly, your comment ended up in my Spam Folder again. I have tried everything that I can think of to change this, written WP/Jetpack/BlueHost/Askimet….so far to no avail.
      Glad you enjoyed your visit to Palm Springs when you were here. October is definitely quieter than November – February, although I am sure that it has grown.
      Thank you for the birthday wishes. they are greatly appreciated.

      Like

      1. Hi Donna, I’ll feed back to Askimet that my comments are still ending up in your spam folder. Perhaps you can let me know if this reply also ends up in there, or if it’s only the original comment that goes there?
        I hope birthday celebrations are still in full swing. 🥂

        Like

      2. Arrrrhhhhh!!!! That didn’t work either. You still ended up in my moderation folder!
        I have been impressed with Askimet’s follow-up though — so that part has been worth the effort.
        I have just been given the suggestion to try a “White List” Plugin and add you to that.
        I am off to try that now!

        Like

  14. I am enjoying your posts on things to do in this area Donna! Should I ever find myself out there I’ll know exactly what to do and where to go. It’s ceryainly an action packed place and your hike sounds like a great walk, but maybe early in the day as you suggest. Happy birthday again! #mlstl

    Like

  15. Happy Birthday and welcome to the glorious 60s! Wow Palm Desert and surrounds looks a really interesting place to visit. I love the look of the art museum 🙂 #MLSTL and Shared on SM.

    Like

  16. The Dream Centresounds awesome. Glad to hear you guys are keeping active. How is 60 treating you? Two birthday celebration, good for you

    Like

  17. Hi Donna! How is “Tram 6” treating you, as we call it in Belgium? Congratulations again with your special birthday. Are the celebrations still going on? 🙂

    You seem to be quite busy in Palm Desert. I can’t believe those free concerts are still going on in the fall. Usually, they are called summer festivals in other parts of the US. 🙂 So nice that it’s always summer in the desert. I’m sure missing the climate over there and it would have been nice to join you both and Kathy and Thom to one of these concerts.

    The statue you took a photo of at the art gallery is impressive as well. As well as doing that complete 12.2 mile hike one day. Your church experience reminds me of ours at the Rock Church in San Diego last year. Very similar! (https://www.roamingabout.com/does-the-rock-church-rock/)

    Like

    1. Hi, Liesbet – Thanks so much for dropping by. My 60th birthday celebrations have now officially ended!
      Janis and Paul, Kathy and Thom, Richard and I all got together in Palm Desert this past weekend. You and Mark (and Terri and Hans) were greatly missed!
      I remember your Rock Church post. I agree that both Churches seem similar.
      I look forward to following your continued adventures.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s