A Little Slice of Paradise

A friend of mine is fond of saying of Palm Springs: “I love that place—everyone has their own little slice of paradise! I suppose that’s his way of saying that this is a democratic landscape. The mountains are viewable by all, not just a select few, the year-round sunshine beams equally upon everyone and the cascading bougainvillea blooms near even the most humble abode. And it’s not just the landscape—the magic and sparkle of Palm Springs, both past and present, is easily experienced by anyone. And that’s what makes it so great. From the many fairs and festivals, to the truly impressive museums and art galleries, to the fascinating and fabulous shopping (from crafts to Cartier!) to the plethora of outdoor activities and adventures, there’s truly something for everyone.

One of my favorite activities to do this time of year in Palm Springs is absolutely nothing. It’s so incredibly peaceful and the sun feels amazing. I enjoy nothing more than relaxing with a good book beside a crystalline swimming pool with a stunning view of the mountains. But if you’re not a sun worshipper, don’t fret—there’s plenty more to see and do this time of year in the desert playground of Palm Springs! As the desert heats up, it’s a perfect time to head inside to check out some of the world-class museum and galleries of Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Art Museum

Start your tour at Palm Springs Art Museum where, in addition to their wonderful permanent collection, you can enjoy what is certain to be my new favorite exhibit (given my love affair with swimming pools): Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982 which “examines swimming pools in photographs from 1945 to 1982 as visual analogs of the ideals and expectations associated with Southern California.” Count me in! The exhibit runs through May 27th and is housed in the Annenberg Wing. Also, be sure to check out the continuing Rodin to Now: Modern Sculpture exhibit at the Palm Springs Art Museum’s sister location in Palm Desert.

El Paseo

While on that end of the valley, head on over to the wonderful shopping, art and dining destination of El Paseo and check out the eclectic and colorful CoDA gallery at 73151 El Paseo in Palm Desert (their other location is in Park City). Owner David Katz started the gallery 20 years ago and, by following his intuition for what’s “for what’s fun, unique and good,”  has expanded the space from a 2,000 square foot gallery to—four expansions later—an exciting 15,000 square foot showplace today. Browse their smile-inducing collection of painting, sculpture, glass and objects and you may come away with more than just a memory!

Another favorite is the Denise Roberge Art Gallery at 73995 El Paseo. Known for her original contemporary and traditional art and innovative display space, the eclectic Roberge Gallery is another art experience not to be missed.

Whether enjoying the art of nature around a sparkling azure pool, or browsing some of the fascinating galleries of Palm Springs and Palm Desert, you’ll be sure to come away with your own slice of paradise!

About Kate Buckley

Kate Buckley is a brand strategist, premium domain broker and consultant, interviewer, storyteller, visual artist, and award-winning poet & writer. She’s worked in media and marketing since 1997, holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and is the author of A Wild Region (Moon Tide Press) and Follow Me Down (Tebot Bach). A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her awards include a Gabeheart Prize and the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize. She was most recently shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. A ninth-generation Kentuckian, she’s made her home in Southern California since 1998.

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