Take In The Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert

Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

It Does Rain In Southern California

We enjoyed a few days in San Diego on our 3 week trip to California. Now it was time to head to find the panoramic views above Palm Desert.

But of course the day we headed to the desert, it rained steadily for the whole day. We drove through the pounding rain wondering why there was a song that said it never rains in Southern California!

Rain in Southern California.jpg

But the rain had largely stopped by the time we arrived in Palm Desert. The forecast for the 3 days we were there looked much better. We were happy when Julie from FunInFairfax provided a long list of things to do in the Palm Springs area.

A Stark Contrast In Hotels

The U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego was the ultimate in classic luxury style. When we arrived at Hotel Paseo, we found such a stark contrast. This hotel was part of the Autograph Collection in the Marriott Rewards program. The resort property was trendy and artistic. An upgrade got us a spa room. But the tub was in the middle of the room. And under two tiny frosted windows that looked out over the back parking lot. We wished we kept our mountain view room.

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert.jpg

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert.jpg

Sunrise - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

As monochromatic as our room was, the hotel was drenched in colour. Work from local artists was displayed around the hotel. The lobby area was large and bright. And in the evening they even had someone playing the guitar. Once the large wedding crowd left the hotel, we enjoyed the great common areas.

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert Art Displays.jpg

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert Art Displays.jpg

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert Art Displays.jpg

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert Art Displays.jpg

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert Lobby Guitar Player - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Behind the hotel we found a large pool and hot tub. Although the temperatures never reached warm enough for me to pull out my swimsuit. There were lots of lounging areas. And a bag toss game. At night the large fire pit was lit.

Hotel Paseo Palm DesertPool - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert Fire Pit - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

But the most fascinating thing we saw was the airstream in the back. You could actually book this as your accommodations for the night. How fun is that!!

Hotel Paseo Palm Desert Airstream.jpg

We used the Hotel Paseo as a good base to find the panoramic views above Palm Desert.

Exploring In Palm Desert

Across from our hotel was the outdoor Gardens Mall. At home, so many of the malls are fully covered from the elements. It was great to see large green spaces and sitting areas in the mall. And when we looked closely we saw artistic elements everywhere.

Palm Desert Town Gardens Mall.jpg

Palm Desert Town Gardens Mall.jpg

Palm Desert Town Gardens Mall Goat Art..jpg

Palm Desert Town Gardens Mall Goat Art..jpg

Wilma and Frieda’s in the mall was the perfect spot for a large breakfast. Or for coffee and a snack. Although we did not get to try their famous homemade pop tarts.

Palm Desert Food Wilma Frieda Fudge..jpg

Palm Desert Food Wilma Frieda Pop Tarts..jpg

Our hotel was a short walk from the shopping street in Palm Desert. We walked out to see what shops and restaurants were close by. But the art in the street drew our attention.

Palm Desert Town Art.jpg

Palm Desert Town Art..jpg

Palm Desert Town Art.jpg

The AC3 Restaurant in the hotel was good when we did not want to walk far. Once the weekend passed, we found the place largely empty.

Palm Desert Food AC3 Restaurant Beet Salad.jpg

Palm Desert Food AC3 Restaurant French Toast.jpg

Palm Desert Food AC3 Restaurant.jpg

A short walk through town we discovered the Keedy’s Fountain and Grill. The inside looked like an old fashioned soda fountain joint. And it was a blast from the past! Although we did manage to leave without buying a milkshake!

Palm Desert Food Keedys Pastrami Onion Rings.jpg

When we were not out exploring the panoramic views above Palm Desert, we enjoyed walking in the small town of Palm Desert.

A Crazy Mountain Drive To Coachella Valley Vista

The rain passed and we woke to a sunny morning. It was the perfect day to head high for panoramic views above Palm Desert. The route into the mountains was a twisting road that was so much fun to drive. It reminded us of the cliff-hugging roads we travelled on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and on our visits to the Greek Islands. We wanted to see the view but there was nowhere to stop.

Finally we found the turnout for the Coachella Valley Vista. The viewpoint looked out over a vast panorama of desert scenery. Looking straight down, we saw the winding road we just climbed.

Vista Coachella Valley - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Vista Coachella Valley - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Vista Coachella Valley - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

The stop at Coachella Valley Vista gave us our first taste of the panoramic views above Palm Desert.

Cactus Views At Cahuilla Tewanet Vista

When we got back in the car, we decided to keep climbing higher. We passed the 3,000 foot elevation sign. And we saw mist on the hills. When we found the turnoff for Cahuilla Tewarnet Vista, we stopped for a walk.

Vista Point Drive Map - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Stops along the pathway provided views out over the vista and the cactus plants. The plaques provided more information about the people native to this area.

Vista Cahuilla Tewanet - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Vista Cahuilla Tewanet - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Vista Cahuilla Tewanet - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

At the final viewpoint platform, we got another of the panoramic views above Palm Desert. From here there were paths down into the valleys. We certainly picked a great day to drive up to see the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.

Vista Cahuilla Tewanet - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Vista Cahuilla Tewanet - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

If we had kept going, we would have hit Temecula. But that was a trip for another day. So we headed back down the twisty route. The trip back down was even more fun than the ride up.

Vista Cahuilla Tewanet - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Heading To The Palm Springs Aerial Tram

We were not yet done our exploration of the panoramic views above Palm Desert. We headed toward Palm Springs to go up the San Jacinto Peak. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway goes up over 8,500 feet (2,595 m). It is the steepest aerial tram in the U.S. and second steepest in the world.

Palm Springs Drive.jpg

We saw many people walking up the long road to the tram area. We wondered if they were trying to avoid the $8 parking fee. But we later figured they were either just exercising. Or stopped at views along the road. There were a number of parking lots. And a shuttle that picked you up to take you to the tram station.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

When we parked, we were told there was a one hour wait at that point. But it was a busy Sunday. It actually took closer to two hours from the time we entered the gate to when we got on the aerial tram.

While we waited for our slot, we wandered around the base station. We watched as the two aerial tram cars alternated up and down.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram Base Station.jpg

Palm Springs Aerial Tram Base Station - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Palm Springs Aerial Tram Base Station - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

It was a longer wait than we expected to head up for our next panoramic views above Palm Desert. If you have an option, don’t visit on the busier weekends. But it was the best weather day during our stay. And we did not want to miss the clear sky views.

Views Over Palm Springs From The San Jacinto Peak

It was finally our time to get on the aerial tram. People crowded for window seats. But the car did two full revolutions as it climbed to the top. So everyone got a view in all directions. It was fascinating to watch the mountain change from dry desert to snow capped.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram Ride - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Palm Springs Aerial Tram Ride - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

We exited and headed to the viewpoint over the valley. The walks were icy and many were closed. But we found our panoramic views above Palm Desert covered in snow.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram View From Top - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Palm Springs Aerial Tram View From Top - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Palm Springs Aerial Tram View From Top.jpg

Palm Springs Aerial Tram View From Top - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Palm Springs Aerial Tram View From Top - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

We went to the other side and walked carefully down the path. Families pulled kids and toboggans. Skiers walked back. And when we finally got to the bottom of the path, we saw where all the fun was happening.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram Snow Fun.jpg

Palm Springs Aerial Tram Snow Fun.jpg

As the sun fell below the mountain, we walked back to get in line for the return trip down the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. It had been a great day to see another perspective on the desert below. And we loved the panoramic views above Palm Desert as the sun set.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram View From Top - Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

It Was Great To Take In The Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert

We started our California trip with a stay by the water in San Diego. And then headed to Palm Desert next for a very different view of California. We found a colourful and artistic city. And several different places to get panoramic views above Palm Desert.

From the desert we headed next for wine tasting in Temecula. It would give us yet another view of the variety that you can find when you visit California.

Did you see the panoramic views above Palm Desert? Was there another viewpoint that we missed?

PIN To Pinterest:

Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

Panoramic Views Above Palm Desert.jpg

About TravelAtWill 494 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

22 Comments

  1. I could see you guys rocking Palm Desert. The Coachella Overlook is pretty cool. We took that pass to Palm Canyon and saw a girl playing her violin sitting on the edge of the overlook. It was during Coachella weekend so I don’t know if she was with the festival or not but it was really neat to see.

    • Jenn and Ed, I am sure it was quite amazing to find someone playing violin at the overlook. I bet the music just filled the air. We were so glad we made our first visit to Palm Desert on this trip. Linda

  2. I love the artistic vibe of this town. I did not realize that there was so much snow at altitude in the Palm Desert. The hotel you stayed at looks very stylish.

  3. The art all looks amazing, I love the glasses and nose piece. My fear of heights would probably slightly kick in on the aerial tram but it would be worth it for that view!

  4. Wow that’s a whole lotta rain to start off with. Glad it held up a wee bit for you. Even though I had a healthy fear of heights I reckon I’d be ok on the aerial tram

    • Jean, We were quite surprised by the rain in California. But all my California friends got the benefit with a great Super Bloom a little later in the spring. If you did not look down (or at the approaching cliff), I am sure you could handle the tram ride. Lots of spots back from the edge at the top. Linda

  5. LOL about avoiding the $8 parking fee. San Jacinto Peak is a popular hike and hikers celebrate reaching the summit since it’s so challenging. We’ve done the tram-free hike in our earlier years. Not sure my knees would like me too much if I did that hike again these days.

    • Jennifer, As we drove up, we realized why people would want to walk on the lower level. Great that you have hiked up from the bottom. Those days are gone for me too. But I am sure it was a lot of fun. Linda

  6. Wow! Okay California is MY DREAM!
    Hey the photos are so beautiful by the way, and omg I am waiting for the day I will do a USA tour, New York to San Francisco. This country is such beauty.

    • Eileen, I am so glad the photos inspired more California wanderlust. We love going back time after time to California. It was great to discover Palm Desert for the first time. Linda

  7. You had me at homemade pop-tarts! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast! The food looks to die for. The art pieces are amazing and so colorful! I love the paintings of the three monkeys, those are so fun and a great pop of color. I love the transition of the bleak desert to the snowy mountains. California is a magical place. Thanks for sharing!

    • Stevo, We too were amazed at the constantly changing landscape. With all the rain in California, the desert was far greener than I expected it to be. We checked in advance and knew we would find snow at altitude. But it was still very strange when we came down to hot temps. We loved the food and art in this funky town. Linda

    • Nicole, We were surprised with how much rain we got in Southern California. But then they got the great bloom as a reward. Sorry we missed that. We love when we find interesting art as we wander new towns. Linda

  8. So much diversity in your trip to Palm Desert – from the twisting roads leading to the Coachella Valley Viewpoint to the cactus on the way to Cahuilla Tewanet Vista, and finally the snow at The San Jacinto Peak. Also, Hotel Paseo seems like a great recommendation for a place to stay- I love how they have displayed art from the local artists!

    • Medha, We were excited to visit Palm Desert for the first time. And we too were amazed at the diversity we found. Hotel Paseo was a good base for us. We just wish we had enjoyed the hotel more. Linda

  9. Too bad you didn’t get to try those homemade pop tarts! I bet they were amazing!
    I love this part of California. There is such an emphasis on wellness at most of the hotels and as you experienced, there are some amazing views from above and at street level!

  10. What a lovely hotel! and so colorful. I especially like the colorful goats in the garden. Taking of rains , it reminds me of Phoenix. I was in Phoenix for 4 days and it rained for 2 days. It was considered freak for it to have rained at that time.

Leave a Reply