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Eye on L.A. takes a trip to Palm Springs

With amazing weather year round in Palm Springs, you've got to take advantage of the great outdoors!

January 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Eye on L.A.'s Tina Malave hit the road for a quick, but fabulous, getaway to Palm Springs. From a tram ride up the cliffs of Chino Canyon to ATV rides in the desert and premiere golfing to prehistoric creatures, there's a lot more to do than just soak up the sun lounging by the pool.

Tina's first stop was in Cabazon, 13 miles west of Palm Springs, to see the World's Biggest Dinosaurs. Famously featured in the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," the two original Cabazon dinosaurs, Dinny and Mr. Rex, are still standing and yes, you can still climb up inside of Mr. Rex's mouth. The attraction has also been expanded to include a Dinosaur Garden - which features over 50 dinosaur sculptures, a robotic Dinosaur Museum, and many kids' activities, including panning for gems and real fossils [Watch video].

Continuing on the 10 East, Tina hit up the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa. With its four-star accommodations, round-the-clock gaming action, fine dining and world-class entertainment, Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, just two hours from L.A., turns a casino experience into an unforgettable getaway.

If you're in Palm Springs on a Thursday night, head downtown for the Palm Springs VillageFest, also known as the Palm Springs Street Fair. Tina walked Palm Canyon Drive to check out the vast array of artists, artisans, entertainers and food vendors, plus all the businesses open late for the fair.

Tina visited the Palm Springs Historical Society, located on Palm Canyon Drive, to check out some of the most iconic celebrity images of stars like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood, and unlikely party guy Albert Einstein, living it up in Palm Springs. The historical society is comprised of two 19th century pioneer homes, The McCallum Adobe and Miss Cornelia White's "Little House."

The Palm Springs Art Museum shared with Tina some of their amazing images by photographer Bill Anderson, official photographer of the infamous Racquet Club, where he shot every A-list celebrity imaginable. Opening at the Palm Springs Art Museum on January 21 and running through May 27 is Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography 1945-1982. The exhibition features more than 140 stunning photographs depicting the swimming pool in Southern California, including images of celebrities, like Rock Hudson, lounging poolside.

Robert Imber of PS Modern Tours took Tina on an incredible tour of some of Palm Springs' most unique and famous mid-century architecture. She got a look at Bob Hope's iconic Lautner house, which looks like a giant dome on top of a mountain, a fabulous William F. Cody home (which is also Robert Redford's vacation rental) and Elvis Presley's honeymoon hideaway and one of the 15 rare Alexander A-frame homes, known as the Swiss Miss houses.

In the mood for some shopping? El Paseo Shopping District in Palm Desert -- known as the Rodeo Drive of the Desert -- features over 300 world-class shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, jewelers, restaurants and much more.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 130,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring a celebrated list of talents which has included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Bridges, Danny Boyle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Colin Firth, Ron Howard, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman and Kate Winslet.

With amazing weather year round in Palm Springs, you've got to take advantage of the great outdoors! Tina took in a few rounds of golf at the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, hit the dunes on exhilarating ATV and dune buggy rides, and took a 10-minute tram ride 8,500 feet up to the top of the San Jacinto Mountains for a breathtaking view and found it was snowing! Within the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area are 54 miles of hiking trails and six primitive camprounds.

Eye on L.A. couldn't visit Palm Springs without learning a little bit about their earliest residents, the Agua Caliente. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the historic Palm Springs-based tribe with more than 400 members, has a community base that includes families, businesses and civic organizations.

On Eye on L.A.'s Living Desert adventure, Tina made some new friends after feeding their comical camels, got up close and personal with two rare leopards and met the newest, and cutest member of the Palm Springs community, Niara, the zoo's new baby giraffe.

Also in the Coachella Valley is the Shields Date Garden, which dates back to 1924. It's located in Indio, just 26 miles east of Palm Springs, which is known as the date capital of the world because 95 percent of the world's dates are grown there. The famous "Blonde" and "Brunette" dates are exclusive to the Shields Date Garden and aren't grown anywhere else in the world. Tina tried their famous date shake, made with vanilla ice cream, milk and dates.

[Original air date: January 14, 2012]