A funny thing happened on the way to the bar, um, last week. I was with a dear old friend of mine, Todd—visiting from San Diego for the weekend—and we were enjoying a cocktail and one of the best burgers in town at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at The River (www.flemingssteakhouse.com). We were taking advantage of Fleming’s amazing “5 for $6 til 7” happy hour menu (not to be confused with its “8 for $9 til 10” bar menu), but I digress. Out of the blue, Todd—who, despite my constant recommendations, forever chooses to stay outside of my fair city’s walls during his frequent visits—asked me, “Why Rancho Mirage?” The answer was and is so obvious that I didn’t even know where, when, and how to blurt out my response.
What Todd was really asking was, “Why do I favor Rancho Mirage over all other desert cities when it comes to events, accommodations, restaurants, etc.?”
My answer is simply this: To me—and to many, many, many of the millions of people who live and/or come to visit the Palm Springs Valley every year—Rancho Mirage makes major sense because it is the most centrally located of all desert cities. Mere minutes from our perfectly practical Palm Springs International Airport, a Rancho Mirage home base permits one to be at either end of the desert (be it Coachella or Desert Hot Springs) in under a half-hour. Therefore, attending a screening at the Palm Springs International Film Festival or a match at the PNB Baribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a snap.
And if you’re looking for an exquisite night’s stay at a luxury resort, how does one quibble with the fact that Rancho Mirage owns no less than four of these superior properties: Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, and the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage—each with its signature restaurant, by the by.
And speaking of mealtime, if you’re a foodie, it’s my duty to inform you—as if you didn’t already know—that some of the desert’s most celebrated chefs are toiling at Rancho Mirage eateries. I’m thinking of the men and women at Shame on the Moon, bluEmber, Catalan, Wally’s Desert Turtle, and Roy’s—but to name a precious few. For a full list of our endless gastronomic possibilities, please visit the Rancho Mirage Restaurant Association’s website at www.dineranchomirage.com.
When I was done answering Todd’s question, he had another one—for himself. It was, “Why do I stay and eat anywhere ELSE but Rancho Mirage?” I’m sorry it took so long for Todd to learn his lesson, but I think it’s safe to say that on his next visit, he’ll stay and play with the best of them in Rancho Mirage.