SAFETY FIRST (AND THEN SAVINGS): The desert resort cities are about to get the biggest influx of visitors of their year. True, Modernism Week can deliver a lot of out-of-towners to the pools of Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage. And the warmer days of December and January draw those who want to celebrate the holidays without a few feet of snow. But the Coachella Music and Arts Festival is the biggest belle of the desert's ball, what with the huge amount of people it draws, not just from Los Angeles and San Diego but points around the world. That means that the hotels and inns of the region jump, restaurants stay full, and those visitors -- and locals -- who wish to partake in the many bars of downtown Palm Springs will need to think about transportation and designated drivers.
LATE-NIGHT HOP-ALONG: Thank goodness The Buzz is buzzing through the stylish, scene-swanky town. The just-a-few-months-old trolley doesn't run all the time but it does run when revelers have been out cocktailing-it-up at the tiki hangouts and music clubs of the area. And we do mean "area" in a quite large sense: The Buzz makes a 14-mile-loop every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. There are some 30 locations, so if you're at a tavern along East Palm Canyon Drive or North Indian Canyon, count on a Buzz pick-up stop being withing strolling distance of that barstool. You can get back to your hotel safely. The big bonus? The Buzz is free, free, free.
AND THERE ARE GOODIES... for getting a ride, like the Buzz Perks program. Carry the card and find savings at nearly three dozen businesses along the route, including The Hyatt's HooDoo Lounge, Brandini Toffee, and Bike Palm Springs. So, are you doing the whole check-in, see-a-night-of-Coachella, and enjoy-downtown-Palm-Springs thing? Best do it responsibly and build some Buzz while you're at it. For the map, perks, and other to-knows about the P.S. late-night weekend trolley, turn your wheels in this direction.