Re-Opening Begins in The Palm Springs Area!


After a 4-month hiatus, the Desert Lifestyle report returns. With cooler weather on the horizon, and some COVID-19 restrictions being eased for Riverside County, a visit to the Palm Springs area could be the perfect antidote for those who have been cooped up at home for the last few months. With a wide variety of outdoor activities available and a great selection of restaurants for outdoor dining, the desert is still a great place to escape the craziness of the big city or those cloudy, rainy days up north.


California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy”


The state of California has unveiled their “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” that puts each county into one of four categories - color-coded purple, red, orange, and yellow -- based on their the number of new COVD-19 cases per 1,000 population and positivity rate. Riverside County moved from purple to red on August 31 and with that, additional businesses have been allowed to open, although many are at reduced capacity. All of our pet lovers can now get back to the groomer, and fitness buffs can now return to the gym. And if your Sunday involves morning worship or an afternoon movie, you're set. The following businesses are now able to re-open.

  • Gyms & fitness centers (10% capacity)
  • Movie theaters (25% capacity)
  • Places of worship (25% capacity)
  • Indoor dining (25% capacity)
  • Shopping malls (50% capacity)
  • Museums (25% capacity)
  • Personal care, including nail salons
  • Pet groomers

Bars and breweries remain closed at this time. 


Click HERE for up-to-date COVID-19 news for Riverside County.




With COVID-19 like to be with us for a while, you’ll find that many of the popular events in the Palm Springs area will either be going virtual or proceeding without spectators. Two of the best events for October are now virtual, so whether you’re here, or not able to travel, you can still participate. 


Modernism Week Fall Preview, Oct 15


The Modernism Week Fall Preview event goes virtual this year, so everybody can attend while avoiding the usual crowds. This fall, the event’s online experience offers seven different programs priced from $5 to $35 per event. You’ll also enjoy two free films, and all events can be experienced on your mobile phone, laptop or smart TV.!


Click HERE for information on the event and to purchase tickets.


Palm Springs Comedy Festival, Oct 11-18


Comedians from around the world will have the chance to showcase their talent, from any country, in this year’s virtual Palm Springs International Comedy Film Festival. Featuring a talent pool from around the world, this year’s festival will have competitions in the following categories: Stand-up, Improv, Sketch, Feature Film, Short Film, TV Pilot, Web Series, Animation, and Music. 


Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.




If you’re able to make it to the desert this month, you’ll find a wide variety of activities to keep you busy. From drive-in movies (whoever thought those would come back?) to The Living Desert, you’re certain to find something of interest. 


Drive-In Movies


While movie theaters are now allowed to open, at 25% capacity, there are some good options for those if us who are not yet comfortable spending a couple of hours indoors to watch a movie. You’ve got three good options for drive-in movies this month.


The Drive-In at Springs Air Museum. Screening movies every Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun.


Click HERE for information on the screenings and to purchase tickets.


Mary Pickford Theater. Screening schedule TBD.


Click HERE for information on the screenings and to purchase tickets.


Carpool Cinema at The Westfield Mall. Screening movies every Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun until Nov 1.


Click HERE for information on the screenings and for ticket information


The Living Desert


The Living Desert has re-opened with summer hours and timed ticketing to limit the number of visitors on the premises at a given time. Some indoor spaces may be closed, but all outdoor attractions and hiking trails are open.


Click HERE for information and to purchase tickets.


Palm Springs Vintage Market


If you’re looking for some cool vintage furnishings for your home, the Palm Springs Vintage Market will be reopening this month.  Held on the 1st Sunday of every month. Capacity will be reduced, both for vendors and attendees, but it’s one of Palm Springs’ favorite places to find cool, unique items for the home, and it’s back!


Click HERE for information on the screenings and to purchase tickets.




If you’re itching to drop a few bills in the slot machine, our local casinos are all open. All local casinos are operating at 50% capacity and require that all guests wear face masks. Modifications have been made to enforce social distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures for high-touch surfaces have been implemented.


Agua Caliente Casino. With locations in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and opening in Cathedral City this fall.  Click HERE for information.


Fantasy Springs Casino. Located in Indio just off the 10 freeway. The bowling lanes are currently closed.  Click HERE for information.


Spotlight 29 Casino. Located in Indio.  Click HERE for information.


Augustine Casino. Located in Coachella, locals love this casino. no. It’s the only place in the valley with $3 Blackjack. Click HERE for information.



If you’re looking for some high-impact backgrounds to spice up your Instagram account, Palm Springs Life magazine has you covered. Check out their recommendations on the 10 most Instagram-worth places in Palm Springs, then get out there and enjoy our sunshine and snap some awesome 


Click HERE to find your perfect Instagram spot.





If you like the great outdoors, October is a wonderful time to visit the desert. Even on warmer days, the evenings and mornings are cool, and perfect for getting out and taking in the local beauty. 


Bear Creek Nature Trail. This 4.8-mile paved trail in La Quinta stretches along the base of the southern Santa Rosa Mountains through a protected nature preserve. Walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and leashed dogs are all welcome.  Click HERE for information.


Indian Canyons. The calm, serene setting of Indian Canyons is the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. With miles of winding hiking trails and the lazy stream that flows through the canyon, this is the perfect place for an escape from reality.  Click HERE for information.




Adventure Hummer Tours Enjoy a self-guided tour of Joshua Tree Park in your own Hummer. The vehicle come fully equipped with camping & sleeping gear and is a great way to explore the park.  Click HERE for information


Red Jeep Tours. Back in business starting Oct. 1, unique open-air Jeep tours are available for the San Andreas Fault, Joshua Tree Park, Painted Canyon, and more. Get outdoors and experience the desert’s beauty up close.    Click HERE for information.


Sunnylands Garden Tours. The gardens at Sunnylands are now open and guests are welcome to take self-guided tours of the gardens. Parking is free and charging stations for electric vehicles are available. The cafe & gift shop are closed at this time.  Click HERE for information.


Tennis & Pickleball


If you love a good tennis match or a morning of pickleball, check out the offerings at the JW Marriott in Palm Desert or the La Quinta resort. You can book private tennis lessons with USPTA-certified pros or try the fast-paced paddle sport pickleball, which has

an easier learning curve. Lessons are available at both the JW Marriott and the La Quinta Resort.


Click HERE for information on the JW Marriott tennis & pickleball schedule.


Click HERE for information on the La Quinta Resort tennis & pickleball schedule



While restaurants are now able to open for indoor dining, at limited capacity, many of us are not comfortable with indoor dining right now. The good news is that many local restaurants are expanding their patios and providing a very COVID-friendly dining experience including more separation between tables, thorough cleaning of tables between seatings, and single-use menus. If you’re looking for a great outdoor dining experience, here are some of my recommendations. 


Palm Springs

  • Tacquila - Awesome Mexican food made with fresh ingredients, served with the best tequilas. Click HERE for more information.
  • Kimpton Hotel - “Dinner Under the Stars” offers rooftop dining with mountain views. Open to non-hotel guests each Wednesday. Click HERE for more information.
  • Eight4Nine - One of the nicest outdoor patios, with lights in the trees and socially distanced tables, the setting is wonderful and the food a delight. Click HERE for more information.

Rancho Mirage

  • Si Bon - This charming European-style bistro offers Belgian-inspired dishes — and delicious waffles — on their large cooled patio. Click HERE for more information.
  • Fleming’s - If you’re in the mood for a great steak, head over to Fleming’s at The River. They have limited outdoor patio seating available.  Click HERE for more information.
  • Babes’ Bar-B-Que - If you enjoy good Bar-b-que and beer, check out Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewery, also in The River. They offer outdoor patio dining.   Click HERE for more information.

Palm Desert

  • Pacifica - Great seafood, and my favorite place to order scallops, with one of the best outdoor patios in the area. Click HERE for more information.
  • Tommy Bahama’s - Good food and the best patio for lunch as they use both misters and swamp coolers to keep the patio comfortable. Click HERE for more information.
  • Casuelas Cafe - Good Mexican food, good margaritas, and the grilled fish tacos are my favorite. The patio is large and normally cooled with swamp coolers. Click HERE for more information.
  • Wilma & Frieda - Homestyle cooking done right, with fresh ingredients and inventive preparations. Highly recommended for breakfast or lunch. Click HERE for more information.

Indian Wells

  • The Vue - Enjoy good food, creative craft cocktails, and the largest selection of whiskeys in the desert. Outdoor patio dining offered by reservation. Click HERE for more information.

La Quinta

  • Cliff HouseAnother option for great seafood. Cliff House has two separate outdoor patios, one directly adjacent to the rocky cliffs that give the restaurant its name. Click HERE for more information.