Palm Springs getaway

Our take on the perfect midwinter break, full of balmy weather and Rat Pack glamour

David Lansing

Think of Palm Springs as a cocktail: Mix one part Rat Pack glamour, a shot of desert beauty, fill to the top of the glass with balmy days, and stir up the perfect desert midwinter getaway. That it's only about 110 miles east of Hollywood has long been reason enough for Angelenos to claim it as their private hideaway, but in the last few years, as it has blossomed with boutique hotels and ― finally ― some decent eateries, snowbirds from Seattle to Salt Lake City have claimed it as their own as well. Read the full story...

GETTING THERE

Palm Springs is 112 miles east of Los Angeles. The airport is serviced by 14 airlines. Visit www.palm-springs.org or call 800/347-7746.

WHERE TO EAT

Copley's on Palm Canyon. Contemporary American cuisine in a Spanish-chic cottage once owned by Cary Grant. $$$$; 621 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/327-9555.

The Falls Prime Steakhouse and Martini Bar. Popular local watering hole with fresh-squeezed cocktails, eclectic small plates. $$$$; 155 S. Palm Canyon; 760/416-8664.

Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro. Thin-crust pizzas and cocktails. $$$; 155 S. Palm Canyon; 760/778-6000.

WHERE TO STAY

Del Marcos Hotel. Built in 1947 and designed by William F. Cody; decorated with pop art. 16 rooms from $139; www.delmarcoshotel.com or 800/676-1214.

The Horizon Hotel. Another Cody design from 1952; originally a hideaway for a Hollywood mogul and his friends, restored in '04 to its glamorous mid-century roots. 22 rooms from $210; www.thehorizonhotel.com or 800/377-7855.

Orbit In. Restored 1957 hotel, with 9 rooms filled with Eames and Noguchi furniture. From $219; www.orbitin.com or 877/996-7248.

Parker Palm Springs. Built in 1959; in 2004 designer Jonathan Adler turned it into a Moroccan retreat with a spectacular spa. 144 rooms from $245; www.theparkerpalmsprings.com or 760/770-5000.

WHAT TO DO

The Living Desert. Native plant-filled gardens and a zoo. 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert; www.livingdesert.org or 760/346-5694.

Modernism Week. Celebrating everything midcentury Feb 16-25, with a design sale, lectures, and rare tours of the Frey House (Feb 19; $50). www.psmodcom.com

Palm Canyon. A native palm-shaded oasis. $8; 38500 S. Palm Canyon; www.indian-canyons.com or 800/790-3398.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Glass-walled cars whisk you 6,000 feet to Mt. San Jacinto State Park. $22; at west end of Tramway Rd.; www.pstramway.com or 888/515-8726.

Palm Springs Modern Tours. Three-hour exterior tours of midcentury-modern buildings. $65; 760/318-6118.

WHERE TO SHOP

ModernWay. Eclectic mix of midcentury furnishings and accessories. Closed Tue-Wed; 2755 N. Palm Canyon; 760/320-5455.

Retrospect. Restored midcentury furnishings and new pieces from vintage designs. 666 N. Palm Canyon; 760/416-1766.

Studio One 11. High-end decor from the '40s to the '70s. Closed Tue; 2675 N. Palm Canyon; 760/323-5104.

Trina Turk. Classy feminine resortwear. 891 N. Palm Canyon; 760/416-2856.