Cap Your Holiday in Palm Springs

Take Refuge from Old Man Winter in the Coachella Valley

Pictured: PGA West TPC Stadium course in Palm Springs

For generations, Palm Springs has been accorded much-favored status for Colorado golfers looking to escape, even briefly, the spine-chilling clutches of Old Man Winter.

It’s for good reason, too. This perfect-weather haven—located in California’s verdant Coachella Valley and gorgeously framed by the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains—is celebrated for outdoor adventure, festivals, shopping, culture, gaming, dining and entertainment, all anchored by five-star resort properties and some of the finest golf on the planet.

Looking for a can’t-miss, self-indulgent start to a sensational 2016? Pack the clubs and channel your inner Horace Greeley by heading west—to Palm Springs. Here are five proven ways to make it so:

1. Headquarter your winter vacation at the La Quinta Resort & Club, the iconic 45-acre refuge that includes among its AAA Four Diamond enticements just-completed enhancements to its lüxe-level guest rooms and casitas, seven casual and fine-dining restaurants, full-service spa, fitness center, tennis, multiple pools, desert hiking, golf academy and privileged access to five superlative golf courses crafted by Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman. The Desert Links package includes overnight accommodations and unlimited golf for two starting at $359. Call 760-564-4111 for details.

Photo (c) Chris Duthie

2. To rock in the New Year Palm Springs style, go to the free-admission New Year’s Eve Block Party at Spa Resort Casino for fireworks, bar garden, food and multimedia entertainment including a big-screen countdown beamed in live from New York City’s Times Square. For a $35 upgrade, attendees can also enjoy a special live concert performance from Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. Thursday, Dec. 31, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

3. Cap your holiday celebration at Robolights, the whimsical, eye-popping world of Kenny Irwin Jr. who every year transforms his two-acre estate into a free-to-the-public display of lights—millions of them, actually—that celebrate Christmas and Irwin’s gargantuan collection of sculptures, robots and notions. Nightly through Jan. 3 at 1077 E. Granvia Valmonte in Palm Springs.

4. Known as the Rodeo Drive of the Desert, world-famous El Paseo Shopping District in nearby Palm Desert offers more than 300 pedestrian-friendly shops, boutiques, galleries, jewelers and restaurants. For even more enjoyment, coincide your El Paseo experience with a Saturday Concert Series in the Gardens. Jan. 9-Feb. 27.


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Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via