Each winter flocks of snowbirds from Winnipeg and other parts of Canada fly south to get away from the cold. Although we’re used to embrace and hug the long frigid winter of our city there’s always that intense desire to look for a warmer destination to evade the stress of what’s sure to come once the season of autumn is over. Choosing that destination is just an integral part of becoming a snowbird, i.e., a person who migrates to areas with warmer temperature.
A sun-soaked oasis with hot but balmy desert climate where you can tee-off at one of the more than one hundred (100) golf courses, or where you can swing your tennis racquet at some eighty (80) outdoor tennis courts, or visit a museum featuring collection of art loaned or donated by the area’s affluent citizens, or see the thousand of windmills rising from the desert floor, or experience the world’s largest rotating tram car – these will be parts of your memorable experience that could happen only in Palm Springs.
Palm Springs is a resort city in the Sonoran desert of southern California, only 123 miles northeast of San Diego or 107 miles east of Los Angeles and only about 4 hours non-stop flight from Winnipeg. With a population of 44,552 and an area of 94 sq. miles, Palm Springs is both a popular retirement as well as a winter snowbird destination.
Stroll along the tall light-covered palm trees of Palm Canyon Drive, the very heart of the city where you`ll find all the vintage shops showcasing mid-century modern designs from furniture to clothing, boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants, and attractions that make Pam Canyon Drive a wonderful experience. Feel the vibe and enjoy shopping and dining.
Palm Springs is famous for its wind farms. The wind farms with thousand of windmills standing like giant metal army generate electricity to power the whole city and the entire hot but windy valley known as Coachella. We take an almost two-hour tour of the windmills in a state-of-the-art air conditioned bus to get up close to the windmills which are called Desert Highrises and learn the full history of the turbines since its inception in 1982. Windmills, built to harness the power of the wind, are officially known as wind turbines. Now we know that the wind turns 2 or 3 propeller-like blades connected to the centre core, the rotor, connected to the main shaft of the turbine which spins a generator to create electricity. Here in our province of Manitoba we also have wind farms along Interstate Highway #14.
Experience the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Opened in 1963 the tram way is the worlds largest rotating tram car travelling over two-and-one-half miles for approximately a ten-minute journey along the cliffs of Chino Canyon to transport riders to the wilderness of the Mt. Jacinto State Park. The tram cars rotate slowly so you can see the picturesque and spectacular view of the valley floor below! Once you reach the mountain station with an elevation of 8,516 feet spend some time at its natural history museum, or at its two documentary theatres, a gift shop, and enjoy the two restaurants. For avid hikers, there are miles of hiking trails on the top of San Jacinto Peak.
Located in downtown Palm Springs at 101 N Museum Drive is the Palm Springs Art Museum, founded in 1938. The museum features sophisticated collection of art by Picasso, Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, or Marc Chagall, that are loaned or donated by the affluent residents of the city.
Joining a celebrity tour of Palm Springs provides us not only with a slice of history but also a desire to experience and feel once more that Tinseltown allure. The tour brings us to the most divine neighbourhood in the Coachella Valley of Palm Springs to see the lavish houses of Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Dean Martin, Barry Manilow, or Goldie Hawn, Ann Miller, Loretta Young, and many more including the Reagans. Palm Springs now boasts it has the highest concentration of mid-century architecture on the planet.
Until next time, we keep on travelling. Happy New Year!