I didn’t want to do it at first… riding around the desert in a jeep and looking at the stars. After several long days of hiking and biking, I wasn’t in any kind of physical mood to go. The 3-hour tour sounded like an eternity on this last evening in town. But after five minutes in the jeep my opinion changed 180 degrees.
Our provider was Desert Adventures*, known by their signature, open-top red jeeps. We boarded our 4×4 in the parking lot of a local shopping plaza and were quickly whisked away to an almost alien landscape, leaving the comfort and safety of civilization behind us.
And that’s just one of the reasons why this hotel was so great. But there are many others.
1. Entry into The Magic Castle
Clearly, the top reason why I love the Magic Castle Hotel is because you can gain entry into it’s namesake club. If you’re not a member, or know a member, there’s no other way to gain entry, period! You’ll still need to pay a cover and dine in the restaurant, but you’re in! You can learn more about The Magic Castle Club by reading about my prior visit.
Aside from an ongoing taste test of McDonald’s overseas (where I eat things like the Mega Mac), I generally avoid eating at American Chain Restaurants. And if you’re like me, you’ll be pleased at not only the abundance of unique, eateries in Palm Springs, but at their price and quality.
Stop number one is the unassuming Thai Smile Palm Springs. Towards the end of the main downtown strip rests this small, award-winning restaurant. With one of the best Thai meals I’ve ever had, it’s no surprise that every table was full at 10 P.M. at night!
I could wander around the streets of Palm Springs all day… admiring the mid-century modern architectural style. But a trip on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway provides both a fresh perspective on the city, great hiking trails and an excellent way to escape the insanely hot, desert heat (temperatures are significantly cooler at the top)!* It’s a must-do on any Palm Springs Itinerary.
The journey begins by taking a long road up towards the mountainous landscape. From the bottom of the valley, you’ll travel over a mile up the mountain, gliding above rocky, barren, terrain, on a cable that’s less than 2 inches thick – making it one of the largest in the world!