rancho mirage observatory
1100 Highway 111
What does the constellation Orion look like? Does Mars really appear red? Find out at the new $4.2 million Rancho Mirage Observatory, located adjacent to the city’s award-winning 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 a book a tour; a full-time astronomer is on-site to answer any interstellar questions and share knowledge about our universe.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY RANCHO MIRAGE OBSERVATORY
westin mission hills golf resort & spa
71333 Dinah Shore Drive
Westin Mission Hills provides a scenic backdrop for a day on the links. The property features two championship courses. Enthusiasts will love the Pete Dye Resort Course, which plays to 6,706 yards at a par 70 with pot bunkers and forced carries over water and is best described as “potentially diabolical, yet indescribably playable,” and the par-72 Gary Player Signature Course, of which Golf magazine wrote “may be the best golf course in the Palm Springs area.”
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY WESTIN MISSION HILLS GOLF RESORT & SPA
Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa.
For the kid in all of us there is miniature golf or a bucket of balls at the driving range.
Equestrian Centers International and Hope Equestrian Center both provide private and group horseback riding lessons as well as equine boarding stables. eqcntrintl.com hopeequestriancenter.com
sunnylands center & gardens
37977 Bob Hope Drive
Sunnylands Center & Gardens is your entry point to the historic midcentury estate in Rancho Mirage where Walter and Leonore Annenberg once hosted U.S. presidents, royalty, and other world leaders, as well as Hollywood stars and business tycoons. It was here, in 1976, where Frank and Barbara Sinatra were married, and where President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy spent every New Year’s Eve during his presidency. The estate itself is a work of art, with a pink exterior wall and roof designed to reflect the color of the mountains at sunrise and sunset. Relax in the center’s 9-acre desert art garden, inspired by the Annenberg’s collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, take in the landscape at their free yoga classes on the Great Lawn, or learn more about the estate’s history by viewing one of their on-site exhibitions and art collections, such as Flight Plan: The Birds of Sunnylands.
PHOTOGRAPH BY @BEARLEADERCHRONICLE
children’s discovery museum of the desert
71701 Gerald Ford Drive
Play and learning collide at CDMOD, where more than 60 hands-on activities allow kids to explore the arts, crafts, cooking, and science in a compelling indoor-outdoor educational play area that comprises 6 acres. Play a tune on our new outdoor music instruments, whirl around the trike track, or try your hand at mixing and stirring ingredients to make mini pizzas.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY CHILDREN'S DISCOVERY MUSEUM OF THE DESERT
Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert.
For the littlest learners, the museum’s Young Scientists toddler program taps into younglings’ innate curiosity about the world and everything around us through interactive lessons.
Rancho Mirage Community Park is home to the city amphitheater, which hosts the springtime Music in the Park concert series (free to the public). There are pickleball, tennis, and basketball courts in addition to dedicated exercise stations, a shaded play area with swings, and a walking path.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SUNSTONE SPA
Sunstone Spa at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa.
Agua Caliente Casino
32250 Bob Hope Drive
Recipient of the prestigious Forbes Four-Star award, the luxurious 10,500-square-foot Sunstone Spa features a fitness center and well-appointed treatment rooms. A variety of exquisite services including traditional and seasonal massage and skincare packages, full-service hair and nail salons, a eucalyptus steam room and dry sauna, whirlpool, private outdoor swimming pool, and luxury spa cabanas let you unwind, reconnect, and renew.
Michael F. Wolfson Park may be small but is worth a visit to hear the recorded “welcome” message at the park entrance from Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra, who lived nearby.
• See related story: Best of the Best in La Quinta.