Hotel at a Glance: Marquis Villas Resort
When naturalist John Muir climbed San Jacinto Peak, he called the view "the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth." Nowadays, it's much easier to reach the summit and take in the panorama Muir raved about. Every day, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway ferries tourists up the steep escarpment. You can also reach the peak via a series of scenic trails. Located less than 10 minutes from the tramway, Marquis Villas Resort has dramatic mountain views of its own and puts you within easy reach of the area's natural attractions.
- Arid mountain surroundings: Native palm trees encircle the outdoor pool and jacuzzi, and the "San Jac" Peak—as it's known to locals—makes a breathtaking backdrop.
- One-bedroom condos feature a terra-cotta exterior that harks back to the old Southwest. Inside each one you’ll find a full kitchen, a dining room, and a fireplace.
- Explore Palm Springs: The resort is a short drive from the city's celebrity homes, family-friendly museums, and international restaurants.
Palm Springs, California: SoCal Resort Town with Midcentury Charm
A little more than 100 miles east of Los Angeles lies Palm Springs, an oasis of outdoor recreation and old Hollywood glamour. The desert town was once the stomping ground of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Rat Pack and still attracts A-list vacationers. A stroll through the Movie Colony—which had its heyday between the 1930s and 1960s—will take you past the former homes of Dean Martin, Bob Hope, and Marilyn Monroe.
Palm Springs is also the birthplace of desert modernism, a Bauhaus-influenced architecture movement. You can explore the area's famed midcentury-modern landmarks on a self-guided tour; grab a map at the Palm Springs Official Visitors Center, itself housed within an iconic building—the retro-futuristic Tramway Gas Station designed by Albert Frey. Furniture and clothing boutiques along Palm Canyon Drive, the main drag, embrace Palm Springs' trademark aesthetic—what you might call Mad Men West. Nearby, the small but impressively curated Palm Springs Art Museum features works by Pablo Picasso and Robert Rauschenberg along with significant contemporary and Native American collections.
The sun shines on more than 300 days a year in Palm Springs, which means you can play a round of golf or hike in the nearby Agua Caliente Indian Canyons no matter the season. It’s worth it to take a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, whose tramcars rotate 360 degrees as they carry passengers to Mount San Jacinto’s Mountain Station, located 8,516 feet above sea level. About 40 miles northeast is the nearly 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park, which encompasses parts of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts. Take a stroll on 1 of the 12 nature trails for a chance to see native animals, such as desert bighorn sheep, snakes, and black-tailed jackrabbits.