“Wilderness. The phrase itself is music.”

Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Winter within the California desert is the very best time to depart the South Bay bubble and go to. Heat climate, the colours, large open areas, blooming flowers, snow-capped mountains—does it get any higher than this?

Palm Springs is the poster little one for the California desert, and I’ve spent plenty of time there through the years. However lately, I ventured down Freeway 111 to find extra, as in Palm Desert, one other desert metropolis that can rejoice its fiftieth anniversary this yr.

What’s Palm Desert about, in a nutshell? Animals, swanky accommodations and golf programs and far more open areas than I’ve seen in Palm Springs.

I lately introduced my iPhone 14 Professional Max (and some different cameras) to Palm Desert to revel within the majesty of the winter desert, and to point out what’s potential with a smartphone. Please watch the newest episode of #PhotowalksTV to see extra of what I’m speaking about.

What to do in Palm Desert?


Make the Residing Desert and Cactus Backyard your first cease. This small zoo brings the big animals accessible to you (love these giraffes) and the Wallabees hop round you, Kangaroo model of their gated space. They’re straightforward to seize in your smartphone.

Stated my buddy Joshua Kalev about visiting: “You’re feeling such as you’re on a safari!”

The opposite animals are more durable to seize in your smartphone, as a result of they’re additional away. Cameras with zoom lenses wanted for excellent photographs of the zebras, rhinos and like. Fortunately, I had each.

Admission is $30 for adults and $20 for teenagers.

A leopard seems to be out over the Residing Desert Zoo in Palm Desert. By Jefferson Graham for the PhotowalksTV collection

How about some Pink Flamingoes totally free? They’re lounging in a physique of water in entrance of the tony JW Marriott Desert Springs resort and many enjoyable to look at and {photograph}. Together with your smartphone you’ll haven’t any points, as you may get proper of their face. Use the 3X telephoto lens, when you’ve got it, in your telephone. It’s what I used to isolate only one chook and get the water reflection on this shot.

Pink Flamingos in Palm Desert on the JW Marriott Desert Springs resort by Jefferson Graham for the PhotowalksTV collection

For $5, the parents at Marriott provides you with a ship experience by their artifical our bodies of desert water surrounding the resort. Make sure that to get a reservation first.

Additionally free are the geese on the Palm Desert Civic Heart. It is a big, 40 acre park with heaps to discover.

The view from Randall Henderson Path in Palm Desert

However talking of exploring:

You possibly can’t beat the large open areas of open land within the Palm Desert space.

There are 3 nice desert hikes for you:

    • Bump and Grind is correct on the town, behind the big Goal large field retailer, and from right here you possibly can stroll up a hill and catch an superior overview of the realm. 72440 Painters Path, Palm Desert, CA, 92260
    • If climbing isn’t your factor, the Randall Henderson Path is up the hill on Freeway 74, proper off El Paseo, about 4 miles from city. It’s the place I shot the above {photograph} of the open desert. It’s completely beautiful, and close to the traditional welcome to Palm Desert signal.
    • One other few miles up the highway is Vista Level, the place I shot the morning dawn and several other time lapse movies. There’s parking and you may’t beat the view.

Palm Desert has many excessive finish eating places, however as readers know, I occur to be a fan of traditional Jewish delis, and was thrilled to see that Sherman’s, the deli from Palm Springs, has a second location. There’s a brand new deli in Palm Desert, J’s, which I hope to take a look at on the subsequent go to.

Grilled Cheese on rye at Sherman’s Deli in Palm Desert by Jefferson Graham for the PhotowalksTV collection


Excessive finish shops aren’t my factor, however I bought a kick out of strolling down El Paseo anyway. I cherished all of the artwork on show by shops and within the meridians that automobiles zip by.

In the meantime, for those who go, some journey suggestions for you.

Getting there

Palm Desert is a two-hours drive from the South Bay, or about 4 hours from Las Vegas and Phoenix. Aircraft vacationers are welcomed by way of the Palm Springs Worldwide Airport.

The pool on the Inn at Deep Canyon in Palm Desert

The place to remain

I stumbled onto a traditional Nineteen Fifties period resort referred to as the Inn at Deep Canyon. It’s conveniently situated close to Freeway 111, your principal highway, El Paseo is correct across the nook, however extra importantly, that pool. All of the rooms wrap across the traditional desert pool, the one we dream about.

I like their description, on the web site:

The Inn is a spot “the place friends change into mates and mates return many times to resume outdated acquaintances at one of many most interesting small accommodations in Palm Desert with HEATED SALTWATER POOL and Sizzling tub. Think about such a spot. Your particular hideaway the place desires come true and you’re feeling like an important individual on the earth.”

I don’t know that I’d go that far, however I cherished hanging on the pool and by no means needed to depart. I can’t wait to return.