Palm Springs, Please

Glam + Desert + Vacation = Rental Potential

In Season 2 of Mad Men, a hot, leggy babe who calls herself “Joy” asks Don Draper: “Why would you deny yourself something you want?” So he does the only  irrationally sensible thing he can do: he flees his business convention in Los Angeles and drives with her to Palm Springs where he spends two days pretending that nothing in the world matters more than sipping cocktails poolside.

We don’t blame him.

Mountain views, desert skies, palm trees galore, and an abundance of elegant mid-century modern design and architecture? Well, yeah! Say the words Palm Springs, and we’d duck out, too.

Less than two hours from downtown LA, Palm Springs has long been a weekend getaway for the glam set of Hollywood and a popular vacation destination for the rest of us. That’s because   the town and surrounding areas have a bit of everything:

— Local Palm Springs writer and USA Today 10Best columnist Marissa Willman swears by the dessert case at Jake’s and the tequila bar at the newly opened Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, which carries over 75 different tequilas. (“You can choose any three tequilas to make your own flight, plus their well tequila is a pepper-infused Casa Nobles,” Willman tells us.)
— The Shops on El Paseo features a one-mile stretch of boutiques, high-end retailers, art, and jewelry (in case you need to drop by Tiffany to pick up a little something).
Coachella, yes, but also the White Party (think gay + dancing + glam = wild); Modernism Week (home tours, vintage fashion shows, a “pre-fab showcase,” and live music); and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Nearby natural hot springs? Check. Joshua Tree National Park? Check. Hiking in the Coachella Valley Preserve? Yep, that, too.

In a nutshell, Palm Springs has all you ever wanted in a vacation spot – which also makes it a prime locale for a real estate investment.

In a nutshell, Palm Springs has all you ever wanted in a vacation spot – which also makes it a prime locale for a real estate investment.

And if you’re as berserk for mid-century modern design and architecture as we are, then you’ll be happy to know that Palm Springs has the highest concentration of mid-century modern homes in the United States and they’re available in a range of price points: “$400,000 to the multi-millions,” according to Heidi O’Neal of  the Haverkate Group, a company that specializes in Mid-century modern real estate in the area as well as internationally:

A quick search for Palm Springs rentals on vacation rental sites, such as and, pulls up some beauties boasting the features and elements associated with mid-century modern design and architecture: integration with nature, large windows, outdoor rooms, flat planes, soft light, and elegant, tidy simplicity. A classy three-bedroom, two-bathroom rental brings in $300 a night.

Approximately 45,000 people live permanently in Palm Springs, and another 35,000 seasonal residents come for the winter months.  The Coachella Valley brings in 2.5 to 3 million tourists annually, and about a third of those tourists stay in Palm Springs.

We probably don’t need to say it out loud, but that’s beaucoup possibilities for vacation renters, people.

As if all that weren’t enough, can we please talk about the fact that this past May, Wonder Woman landed the 369th star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars? Yes, we know the star itself honors Lynda Carter, the actress who played WW on the boob tube in the 1970s, but to us, she will always be Diana, the Amazon Princess.

 So, yeah, Palm Springs is one place we want to be.

And in the spirit of Don Draper, we ask, why would we deny ourselves something we want?

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Elizabeth Salaam
Along with her work as Senior Contributing Writer for Girl's Guide, Elizabeth Salaam writes for the San Diego Reader. Her work has also been published in Elle Magazine. | Most inspired by: Contradictions. | Favorite room in my home: The Master suite. The windows have views for days! | Best design idea I may never do: Adorn my enclosed toilet room with library book wallpaper and a chandelier. | Will never: Bungee jump. | Have always been: Rebellious. | Dying to: Live in a Paris flat with herringbone wood floors.
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