Your Desert Experience Hot Picks

The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden

Bert Buxbaum

Desert Dwellers
The Coachella Valley teems with flora and fauna, especially at The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden — 1,200 acres rich with wildlife and information about the local environment. Discover the wonder of wildflowers or the finer points of cacti. Explore the world of desert creatures, such as jaguars, giraffes, zebras, camels, cheetahs, hyenas, Mexican wolves, meerkats, and more. 1-760-346-5694;

An Elevated Adventure
For a truly exciting day, take a turn on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. You’ll marvel at the sheer ingenuity as you board cars at the Valley Station that slowly rotate while you zip up the jagged canyon from palms to pines in a matter of minutes. In the winter, snow usually makes it a true adventure from bikinis to parkas without skipping a beat. Once on top, enjoy 54 miles of hiking trails, including a 5.5-mile trek to the 10,834-foot peak of Mt. San Jacinto. The tramway is closed for annual maintenance Sept. 13-25.  1-888-515-8726;

Wearing It Well
The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies features lavish production numbers, performed by a cast in their 50s to 80s who prove that age is nothing more than a state of mind. This season’s guest stars are John Davidson (Nov. 1-Dec. 31), Maureen McGovern (Jan. 5-Mar. 10), and The Diamonds (Mar. 13-May 20). 1-760-327-0225;

Served And Preserved
Palm Springs Air Museum houses one of the nation’s largest collection of World War II flying aircraft. The planes have been restored and maintained in all their glory, and flight demonstrations are part of commemorative programs on Saturdays. Also on display are murals/paintings, photographs, memorabilia, and models of military ships. The Buddy Rogers Theater shows documentaries about military aviation history. 1-760-778-6262;

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