Hope and Sinatra, Rogers and Astaire. Presidents and power, golf courses and ... you get the idea. Rancho Mirage in SoCal is no stranger to fame, history and celebrities. It's a place to connect with the lifestyles of the rich and powerful, and swing for the greens, a place to run the casino tables and be pampered at the spa.
But golf courses and shopping aren't the only ways to stretch your legs. Bring your hiking shoes and set Rancho Mirage as your home base for adventures in nearby state and national parks, and nature preserves.
The two best transportation options for a getaway to Rancho Mirage are by plane or road trip. Flights glide daily from SFO (San Francisco) to PSP (Palm Springs), in a quick 1 hour, 20 minutes. Weigh that effort -- time and costs to and from airports, rentals, taxis and whatnot -- against the tried-and-true road trip and chart your course.
To make the 7-hour drive from San Francisco to Rancho Mirage, pack snacks and playlists, and cross the bay. Take Interstate 80 to I-580, and turn south to go long on I-5. About the time highway signs start calling out nothing but L.A. area this and that, you're going to hook left around as much of it as possible on I-210. Past Pasadena, the interstate will become State Highway 210.
Take Highway 210 until it bends around San Bernardino and turns into I-10 at Redlands. That's your last road change until Rancho Mirage ... unless, of course, you feel like a pitstop at Cabazon Dinosaurs (30 minutes shy of Rancho Mirage, along the interstate).
It's one of those classic roadside attractions that's kind of a must-do, like seeing the biggest ball of yarn. It's home to more than 50 lifelike dinos, and has more than one Hollywood cameo under its belt (Pee-Wee Herman's Big Adventure, anyone?).
The Motel 6 in Rancho Mirage is a great budget option amid the swank. It covers what you need while having a solid location to put you on the hot track to whatever you're wanting to do. Less than 5 miles away are the Big League Dreams Sports Park and the Agua Caliente Casino. And the Palm Springs Air Museum, Moorten Botanical Gardens and Desert Fashion Plaza are within reach, too.
The Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage is everything you think it is. The Palm Springs International Airport, if that's your ride in and out of town, is only five miles away. The hotel is surrounded by the picturesque Santa Rosa Mountain Range, has two outdoor pools, a child's pool, a spa and health club, on-site fine dining ... the list continues.
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa is on 360 acres. Highlights include two world-class golf courses and a full-service spa. The resort offers tennis courts with available lessons and a gym. The 14,000-square-foot spa offers beauty treatments and massages. A 60-foot water slide is a standout feature at the outdoor swimming pool.
Blaze Pizza serves up pasta and custom pizzas. It's the go-to for a casual night out or to keep on budget. Service, food and bang-for-the-buck all get high marks at Blaze Pizza.
Expect great -- and a wait -- at Wilma & Frieda's Cafe. This "farmhouse cafe" is popular for all the reasons you'd expect, and want. Does blackberry custard French toast with house-made blackberry sauce sound good? Or maybe a thick slice of homestyle meatloaf topped with a double-shot of eggs? Breakfast at Wilma & Frieda's gets top raves. In fact, it was voted best by locals in 2017, and so was the brunch, which is served up daily on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pacifica Seafood Restaurant is great for an extra-nice night on the town. Moscow Mules and martinis, ahi tuna tartare and baked oyster apps. Grilled swordfish and Chilean sea bass, sugar-spiced salmon and mustard catfish. Or try surf and turf ... or just turf. Seafood isn't Pacifica's only trick. Ribeye, free-range chicken and filet, classic veggies, pasta and the slate of desserts you can't say no to round out the menu.
In the mood for an evening at the theatre? The Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre in Rancho Mirage offers an intimate theatre experience, with a schedule of plays, dance and musical productions. Concerts get top billing at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater if you're feeling more the casual groove and outdoor environment. The 600-seat venue is big enough to feel special, but small enough to spark that community feel.
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort offers two courses: Pete Dye and Gary Player. The full-package resort offers the perfect opportunity for a getaway foursome to make the day all about the links, or to part ways with a mixed itinerary. A full-service spa is on-site, as are restaurants where you can meetup for lunch or dinner after enjoying your own style of leisure.
In the midst of so much sunshine, day spas and championship golf courses, Sunnylands is the draw that has welcomed the mighty and powerful from countries around the world. Presidents, Prime Ministers and royalty have convened at Sunnylands to sort out solutions and peace. And the grounds are open to the public, for tours of the historic estate, gardens and all-around beauty.
Great for children of all ages. The many interactive exhibits stoke imagination and curiosity. Take a break from the heat with some playful exploration throughout the museum, or just make it a solid half-day (or more) on your itinerary. Admission is $10 for visitors one year and older. Military veterans get a discount.
The Agua Caliente Casino offers the full package, day and night. Play the tables of cards and dice or melt into a day of spa treatments. On-site restaurants and shows make it easy to throw away your watch and enjoy the full lineup of entertainment without missing anything.