By George Christopher Thomas, Travel Writer
PALM SPRINGS, CA — If you leave early enough, just a few hours out of Los Angeles is Palm Springs. A beautiful desert community, and heaven for the avid golfer. Some advanced prepraration will save you a significant amount of money. If the purpose of your visit to the desert is to play golf, then you are in for a treat. My girlfriend and I got the “Deal of a Lifetime” at Tahquitz Creek in Palm Springs. If you play after 12:30pm you get a reduced rate because of Twlight.
We ended up paying about $30 each for 18 holes, a cart, and an all you can eat BBQ lunch. Not bad considering the same caliber course a mile or two down the road would have been about $100 each, not including lunch. Tahquitz Creek has two 18 holes courses, which fulfill a golfers dream. The resort course, designed by Ted Robinson features beautiful water features, an island fairway and lush landscaping.
The legends course is equally challenging with holes running through housing tracts and a wash. A great experience at a great price. We stayed at an ExtendedStay Hotel with kitchen facilities. This is a great way to save a lot of money, and since Palm springs is so close to LA, you can even pack a cooler. For more information visit www.extendedstayhotels.com/ (Below: Golfer Joanne Lewis) There are a variety of things to do in and around Palm Springs.
The aeriel tramway to the top of Mount San Jacinto is a great way to see the Coachella Valley. From the official website for the aeriel tramway http://www.pstramway.com/, “the tram started as a dream for a young electrical engineer named Francis F. Crocker. He wanted to go to the top of Mt. San Jacinto “where it’s nice and cool”. Crocker’s dream began in 1935 while he was on a trip to Banning, California, with newspaper publisher Carl Barkow.
Mopping his brow in the heat of the day, Crocker gazed on longingly at the still snow-capped peak of Mt. San Jacinto 10,804 feet high. At that moment, “Crocker’s Folly,’’ as it was soon dubbed by one newspaper woman, was born – a tramway up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon.” “Francis Crocker’s dream was completed in 1963; the inaugural ride occurred on September 14th with scores of local and state dignitaries and celebrities on hand. Francis Crocker died in 1992. More than 12 million people have been safely transported by the Tramway into the majestic mountains overlooking the Coachella Valley since the attraction opened in September 1963.”
There is also the Indio Date Festival, as well as a music festival sponsored by 106.7 FM KROQ. As will all travel, investing time in internet research will save you a considerable amount of money. Check all available discounts like AAA and the Diners Club. With our AAA discount, we saved at least $25 a night, so that is an extra $50 bucks over the weekend. A little extra dough for greens fees or dinner. Another way we saved money was by going to the market and cooking in with the built in kitchen. The Extended Stay Hotels come equiped with a full refigator and microwave, as well as a stove, pots, pans, silverware and other cooking necessities. Now is the time to go to Palm Springs, and get these deals. Get down there now, before it gets HOT!