by Julie Raizes

Palm Desert is a perfect place to go solo—it’s so clean, so safe, and so fun!

Girls, let me begin with this advice: it doesn’t matter what age you are, or your marital status. It doesn’t matter if you are a girly-girl who loves spas and shopping, an athletic type, or a good-time girl who enjoys gambling and scoping out guys by the pool—Palm Desert and Palm Springs have something for everyone.

Both places are easy to get to on Alaska or American Airlines, which fly directly into Palm Springs International Airport. Palm Desert and Palm Springs are only a one-hour flight from San Francisco, and a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. The best time of year to visit is mid-November through January; for still very nice but possibly windy weather, visit February to May.

One of the nicest places to stay is the Desert Springs Marriott Resort and Spa, which boasts a 30,000-square-foot spa, two championship golf courses, and a little boat that floats in and out of the hotel lobby to take you to your favorite restaurants. The poolside lounge chairs are equipped with sprinklers, so you won’t get too hot. The nightlife at this hotel is great, with both a piano lounge and a dance club. You almost don’t need to leave the hotel! (For more information, contact t 760.341.2211.)

Now to personalize a little…

Palm Desert for the Girly Gal:

Let’s start with shopping! Head to El Paseo, a street full of shops, restaraunts, cafés, and people-watching. It’s so clean here you feel like you could eat right off the street.

On Saturday and Sunday you have to go to the (believe it or not) Flea Market, located at the Palm Deserts Community College (cross streets Monterey and Fred Warring.) Get there early—I would recommend seven a.m. The flea market lasts a good four to five hours, and you’ll find all new items, from clothes to art to jewelry—basically you name it, they got it. You will thank me for this one. It’s a fabulous place to do your Christmas shopping, too.

For a cozy evening out, go to The Rivers, off of Bob Hope Drive. The complex has creeks running through it, eight different restaurants, wonderful shops, a spa, a theater, a Ben and Jerry’s—and it’s a great place to people-watch.

Last but not least, make sure you get a massage, a facial, a manicure, and a salon treatment—whatever
you want done, any of the spas in Palm Desert is the place to do it, girls. In the end, you won’t want to leave! You will feel like you’re heaven. I promise—you’ll want to come back.

Palm Desert for the Athletic Gal:

I don’t know if two or three days will do it for you athletic types, so you may want to consider renting a condo at one of the country clubs. Try Palm Valley, The Lakes, or Indian Wells. Stay a week or a month, and rejuvenate!

Like to golf? These clubs have great golf, tennis, and gyms. I love running, and this is a great place to get up around six a.m. and start your day with a run. The pools are wonderful, too. (The shapely figures poolside are a great motivation!) There is a tram in Palm Springs that takes you up to the mountains if you enjoy hiking, and in the winter months you’ll see snow!

Palm Desert For the Good-Time Gal:

Girls, I myself have jumped on a plane in San Francisco, and in one hour I’m in Palm Desert and ready to go! I first hit The Spa, a casino only a taxi ride from the Palm Springs airport. Other times, I rent a car and head towards Palm Desert, where I hit The Agua Caliente, a great casino just like one you’d find in Vegas. The lounges at Agua Caliente and great for dancing, with great music and even great bands (depending on the night).

Palm Desert by Age Group:

Twenty-one and Older

Dancing: The Marriott, Palm Desert

Dining: The Yard, a brewery-style place at the Rivers.

Forty-five and Older

Dancing: The Nest

All Ages

The Marriott lobby in Palm Desert has nice music and great people watching—and it’s safe.

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Julie Raizes is a sassy, single mom raising two darling little girls. When she needs a break from her high-power recruiting assignments in Silicon Valley, she heads south for some R&R. You can reach her at

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