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7 Ways Palm Springs May Surprise You




When we think of Palm Springs, we imagine people relaxing by a pool, surrounded by the desert. However, there’s more to Palm Springs than that.

Palm Springs, or more accurately, Greater Palm Springs, is alive with unique attractions, engaging art, great food scenes, and a welcoming vibe for all kinds of travelers.

Leave your preconceived notions of Palm Springs at the door because we’ve got a list of things that just might surprise you and make you want to book your next vacation there.

There are nine cities.

Most people aren’t aware that nine cities make up the Greater Palm Springs area. Yes, Palm Springs is one such city but it offers just a minuscule of things to see and do in the valley.

There’s Cathedral City where Sonny Bono and Frank Sinatra are buried, and the affluent Rancho Mirage, home to plenty of resorts, golf courses, and lots of gated communities.

The upscale shopping street of El Paseo is located in Palm Desert, as is the Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden. Indian Wells has deluxe resorts and the BNP Paribas Open, the fifth largest tennis tournament in the world.

La Quinta has 14 parks and lots of public art installations. Indio is a city of festivals, including Coachella, and the location of the Empire Polo Club.

Coachella is not just a festival name, but a city in the Greater Palm Springs area and has a culturally Hispanic population, great local restaurant scene, and charming city center.

The art scene is fantastic.

You won’t miss out on unique art experiences when you visit Palm Springs and the surrounding area. There are high-end galleries all along El Paseo, the main shopping street, in Palm Desert. Palm Springs Art Museum is a great place to see international art by renowned artists like Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, and Lichtenstein.

Those who take a tour with Tallgrass Hiking & Tours can witness the desert art of Salvation Mountain and East Jesus. Salvation Mountain is a gigantic colorful sculpture created by a local, Leonard Knight, after having a desert revelation. East Jesus is a large art exhibit of sculptures created with junk in the desert.

If graffiti is your cup of tea, head to Coachella and walk around the square for some gorgeous renderings of Hispanic-influenced street murals.

It’s inclusive of LGBT+ travelers.

Palm Springs may just be the most LGBT-friendly city in California – even beyond San Francisco. Not only is it the entire city council part of the LGBT community, but the population is made up of over 50% gay people.

Travelers will discover a large selection of gay nightclubs, businesses owned by LGBT+ individuals, and a popular Gay Pride Festival.

There are even hotels specifically marketed to gay men like the Triangle Inn Palm Springs, Canyon Club Hotel, and Escape Resort.

Those aren’t (all) palm trees.

You may think all those trees in Palm Springs are palm trees, but you’d be wrong. Despite the name, many people confuse palm trees and date palms, which can be differentiated by how a date palms’ leaves reach upward like fingers.

Dates are an integral part of the agriculture of Palm Springs and you can see plenty of farms in the valley. Don’t forget to try a date shake – a milkshake with dates – a popular snack in the area. Oasis Date Gardens sells date shakes, as well as dates by the package, and cookies, bread, and pies all made with dates.

Coachella isn’t the only worthy event.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is just a taste of the amazing events and festivals available in the Palms Springs area.

Desert X is a biennial exhibition that occurs over 11 weeks from February-April. The free exhibit involves about 15 larger-than-life and/or interactive sculptures by international artists scattered throughout the valley desert.

The National Date Festival and International Tamale Festival are a foodie’s dream and highlight the area’s important agricultural industry.

Modernism Week features more than 350 events in one week in February that showcase the city’s midcentury modern design, architecture, and art. Events include double-decker bus tours, live music, fashion shows, garden tours, films, and lectures.

In November, hot air balloons alight in the sky creating a charming scene against the desert and mountains at the Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival.

It’s home to the largest collection of mid-century modern residential architecture.

The Greater Palm Springs aesthetic is a unique one and all it takes is a quick drive through the neighborhoods to see that. It boasts the largest collection of mid-century modern architecture, most often called Desert Modernism.

In addition to making up clean lines, it’s elegant and simple and uses the natural environment in the construction and overall appearance.

Guided tours are available year-round from downtown Palm Springs and many visitors are surprised by the insight they gain on the city’s architecture and how many celebrities had a hand in the development of the neighborhoods and style.

While the Palm Springs Official Tourist Center has maps for your own self-guided tour, you might also want to visit during Modernism Week.

Activities beyond golf, shopping, and spas.

Tourists are keenly aware that Palm Springs has long been known as a golf, shopping, spa, and resort destination. Unfortunately, many are in the dark about the plenty of other activities and attractions in the area.

We’ve already mentioned the wide range of art exhibits and installations to visit, as well as festivals. There’s also plenty of hiking opportunities around the city, either via the Aerial Tramway or by driving to hiking trails in Indian Canyon or to the Cactus to Clouds Trail.

Though the Salton Sea is a controversial environmental subject, it still remains a great place to boat, ski, swim, and fish.

For those who prefer a different spa experience, check out Desert Hot Springs’ cold and hot-water aquifers filled with mineral water.

While there are plenty of desert and art tours in the area, touring the San Gorgonio Wind Farm Park offers up-close views of the windmills in the area.


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Travel & Escape

Why your hotel mattress feels like heaven (and how to bring that feeling home)




(NC) Choosing the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. To make a good choice for your home, take a cue from luxury hotel-room beds, which are designed to support the sound sleep of tens of thousands of guests, 365 nights a year.

“When we’re shopping for a mattress, we do lab testing, identify the best materials, bring in multiple mattress samples and have our associates test them,” explains David Rizzo, who works for Marriott International. “We ask for ratings on comfort level, firmness, body support and movement disruption. It takes 12 to 18 months just to research and select materials.”

Here, he shares his tips to pick the perfect mattress for your best sleep:

Understand your needs. People have different food and exercise preferences, as well as different sleep cycles. So, it’s no surprise that everyone has unique mattress preferences. Not sure whether a firm or a soft mattress is better? Rizzo says the best gauge is to ask yourself, “Do I wake up with aches and pains?” If the answer is no, you’re golden.

Foam versus spring. All mattresses have a core that is made up foam or innersprings or a combination of the two. Today’s foam-core mattresses contain memory foam — a material engineered by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their seats. It’s special because it retains or “remembers” its shape, yielding to pressure from the sleeper’s body, then bouncing back once the pressure is removed.

An innerspring mattress has an encased array of springs with individual coils that are connected by a single helical wire. This wire creates continuous movement across the coil that minimizes disruption if the mattress is disturbed, such as by a restless sleeper. According to Rizzo, the innerspring is “bouncier.”

Temperature preference. Consider how warm or cool you like to sleep, and factor in the construction of the mattress to find one with a temperature that suits you. The air space engineered into an innerspring mattress promotes ventilation, which some people find keeps them pleasantly cool. To accomplish the same purpose with a foam mattress (or the foam layer of an innerspring) it may be infused with metal, usually silver or copper, to help dissipate heat and humidity.

Need to test out the right mattress for your needs? Find the right fit during your next trip by booking your stay at

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Travel & Escape

How to make the most of summer travel




(NC) One of the best parts of our short Canadian summers is the opportunity to enjoy them a little bit extra on long weekends. If you need ideas, check out these creative things to do whether you decide to stay in town or go away.

Do a dinner crawl. Pub crawls are fun for couples, friends and also families with older kids. For an exciting twist that stretches your dollars and lets you taste food from several spots before you get too full, try a dinner crawl. Eat apps at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at another.

Go on a mini getaway. You don’t need to go very far to enjoy a vacation – exploring a Canadian city over a summer weekend is great way to treat yourself to a holiday. Whether it’s checking out the museums in Toronto or the parks in Vancouver, there’s something for everyone. For upgraded benefits, special experiences and the best rates guaranteed, join Marriott Bonvoy and book direct on

Host a potluck. Perfect whether you’re staying at home or going to your cottage, gather friends and family together for some food and fun. A potluck is an easy and affordable way to host a big get-together and lets everyone try something new and swap recipes. Make the festivities extra special with a fireworks potluck, too – ask everyone to bring some fireworks or sparklers and put on a light show. Just be sure to follow local regulations for consumer fireworks.

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Travel & Escape

Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!




Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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