SAN JACINTO, WINTER AND SUMMER: It's the rare place in California where winter is distinctly different from summer. We know, there are differences everywhere, but we're not talking about a twenty-degree temperature swing. Rather, we speak to those places that get snow in the colder months and provide a pleasant respite from triple-digit heat in the summertime. These are usually our mountains, and Mount San Jacinto is a major among majors, certainly for residents of the desert resorts and the Inland Empire (and, yep, you too, San Diego and Los Angeles). Let's call it by its official name -- the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area -- and let's give it props for giving us a few snowball-making opportunities in January and a few ways to keep it cool in July. And keeping it cool just got a little less expensive: The Palm Spring Aerial Tramway's Summer Pass was just announced. It goes on sale April 8 -- and starts April 8, too -- and the price is $50.
WHAT THAT NABS YOU: Unlimited rides on the tram through Aug. 9, plus 10% off additional tram rides (you'll want to invite friends to enjoy the cool temps with you, we'll guess). There are also dining admission discounts for pass holders. And what will you find on top? Fifty four miles of hiking trails, plus picnic and camping opportunities. And the Wilderness Area? That's 14,000 acres altogether. Call it a nice summer getaway. And if you want heat? You're just above Palm Springs, which can definitely deliver on that front for you.
AND SPEAKING OF HEAT... We do love that Palm Springs throws its annual Restaurant Week right when temperatures starting with a "1" really kick into gear. Oh, how lovely it is to sit under a mister and enjoy a nighttime meal outside. Game to go after your mountain hike? Dates are May 31 through June 16.