Lots of my L.A. friends think that Palm Springs and in particular Rancho Mirage is “Gods Waiting Room”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. As a matter of fact Rancho Mirage resorts have spent millions in the last few years making their properties family friendly. Splashtopia at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa is a multi-million dollar water park that has to be experienced to be believed. The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa’s and The Westin Villas feature multiple pools, water slides and grottos that attract families like magnets; especially in the summer when gloomy weather settles in on the So.Cal coast like a blanket. And if you haven’t checked out the pool at the new Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage you’ve missed experiencing the Vegas attitude in the Palm Springs Valley. Remember, when it’s cold in L.A. we are still swimming in the California Desert. So don’t forget your bathing suits when you come in the winter season.

My friends with children have learned that Rancho Mirage is only 1/2 a tank of gas and a two hour drive from anywhere in So. Cal; an easy trip for little ones. Plus Rancho Mirage resorts are eager to welcome families and often have special offers for discounted dining and two-for-one admissions to our major regional attractions that help to cut expenses and make family get-aways more fun. If you haven’t taken your kids on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway you’ve missed the best E-Ride in California. It’s an 8,500 foot spiraling tram ride straight up granite cliffs to an eagle’s aerie that dangles above the Palm Springs Valley floor – amazing! The Living Desert, Zoo and Botanical Garden features desert animals from around the world. Never have I seen a better giraffe exhibit; get there at 10AM and you and the kids can feed the gentle giants! I know of no another zoo where you are able to get inches away from pacing leopards – thanks to a marvelous glass enclosure.

Family friendly restaurants abound in Rancho Mirage that feature children’s menus. My top suggestion for a great family dinner would be Las Casuelas Nuevas that features great Mexican food, Mariachi music and a fabulous ambience.

REBA