Chuckwalla Trail promises excellent views alongside a great workout.
PHOTO COURTESY VISIT GREATER PALM SPRINGS
A moderate, 2.1-mile loop trail winds through the foothills surrounding The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage and the Villas of Mirada, an exclusive residential community. Parking is available in the upper lot at City Hall off Frank Sinatra Drive. Roadrunner Trail, an unmarked but easy-to-spot route, will lead you to the Chuckwalla trailhead. Leashed dogs and cats are OK on all city trails.
Desert Island Country Club
Established as a members-only golf club in 1971, Desert Island Country Club opened to the public in 2022, revealing a renovated clubhouse, a swanky dining scene, and a golf course in excellent condition. New owner Miguel Nelson, a conceptual artist, collaborated with fellow creatives to realize his whimsical dream, celebrating indulgence and a life less ordinary.
The Penney Restaurant.
PHOTO COURTESY DESERT ISLAND COUNTRY CLUB
The island haven emerged when Thunderbird Country Club member L.L. “Red” Oakes drilled a well that created the oasis and paved the way for Desmond Muirhead, one of golf’s best-known architects, to design a championship course and populate the property with hundreds of palm trees. The well continuously replenishes Desert Island’s lake, creating its own ecosystem.
Renowned chef Jon Butler (formerly of République in Los Angeles) helms the kitchen at The Penney restaurant, presenting an ingredient-driven, seasonal menu, as well as a library of rare spirits. The Parlour, Desert Island’s quirky and vibrant piano lounge and game room, offers entertainment and a calendar of regular events. Both spaces are located in the clubhouse, which also houses a contemporary art gallery with rotating exhibitions.
Golf course at Desert Island Country Club.
PHOTO BY JOHN HENEBRY, COURTESY DESERT ISLAND COUNTRY CLUB
The River at Rancho Mirage
Water features wind through this outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment hub, where you can go from a craft beer flight at the Yard House to late-night lounging at Dringk Eatery + Bar. A handful of boutiques offer retail therapy, and Cinemark Century at The River XD delivers a state-of-the-art movie experience. The River also hosts live music and performances in the open-air plaza. Down for a challenge? Visit Escape Games and solve a puzzle before time runs out.
Hailed for fine furnishings and fun vintage finds, this spacious, single-story design center features a variety of shops and restaurants. For Bakelite jewelry, retro brooches, and all things Tiki, head to Dazzles. Su Casa Mexican Imports features south-of-the-border furniture and décor, while Victoria’s Attic Antiques throws it back to treasures from last century.
Rancho Mirage Community Park
Mountain vistas and palm trees set a scenic backdrop for picnics, playtime, and events at this pet-friendly park in the heart of town. Facilities include four lighted tennis courts, two basket- ball courts, two handball courts, and a playground. The park is also home to the city amphitheater.
The bar area at Desert Island's The Penney restaurant.
PHOTO COURTESY DESERT ISLAND COUNTRY CLUB
The Rancho Mirage Observatory.
PHOTO BY DANIELLA STALLINGER
Rancho Mirage Observatory
What does the constellation Orion look like? Does Mars really appear red? Find out at the Rancho Mirage Observatory, attached to the city’s public library. Free to the public, the observatory features a research-grade CDK 700 telescope capable of penetrating into deep space and distant galaxies, a rotating dome that opens to the night skies, and an outdoor observation deck where visitors can set up their own telescopes. Sign up for a stargazing party or book a tour.
Sunnylands Center & Gardens
Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg preserved their 200-acre estate in Rancho Mirage as a sanctuary for high-level conferences on issues facing the nation and the world. Completed in 1966, the estate has welcomed U.S. presidents, British royalty, and Hollywood legends. Today, the public is invited to learn about its history at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, where more than a mile of walking paths intertwine with 9 acres of desert gardens. Admission to the gardens is free. Tickets to tour the Annenberg home or the estate grounds are available for purchase online. Be sure to reserve your tickets early, as tours often sell out well in advance.
Sunnylands Center & Gardens.
PHOTO COURTESY SUNNYLANDS CENTER AND GARDENS