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Linda-Marie Singer is The Live Wire

Linda-Marie Singer - Click to Enlarge
Bob Hope, Dianah shore & Ginger Rogers are Closer Than You Think
Click to Enlarge By Linda-Marie Singer

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QUESTION: Where in America can you pass Ginger Rogers Road, only to arrive at the intersection of Bob Hope and Dinah Shore Drives?

ANSWER: Rancho Mirage, California.

But then every starry-eyed tourist knows the endurable reputation of Palm Springs and its desert communities. Did you know they're home to the world's top entertainers, athletes, CEO's, and of course U.S. Presidents. Gerald Ford is a permanent resident along with his wife Betty (head of the Betty Ford Clinic), while newcomers Barbra Streisand and Madonna have taken refuge in the desert's remarkable ability to shield stars from snoopy reporters and overzealous fans. 

This was surely what Clark Gable had in mind in the 1930s, when he swept up Carole Lombard and brought her to the secluded town dotted with palm trees and surrounded by the tranquil San Jacinto Mountains. Silver screen legends Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, and Spencer Tracy followed. Later on they were joined by Frank Sinatra, Kirk Douglas, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, cosmetics queens Estee Lauder and Helena Rubinstein, and that famous Astaire partner, Ginger Rogers. 


LIBERACE'S house in Palm Springs. Note the candelabra!
LIBERACE'S house in Palm Springs. Note the candelabra!

Today you can relive the wonderful era with an excursion to the celebrated neighborhood of Palm Springs known as Las Palmas. 
Today you can relive the wonderful era with an excursion to the celebrated neighborhood of Palm Springs known as Las Palmas. 

Then there's Elvis' honeymoon digs shaped like, what else? a musical platter! 

ELVIS' HONEYMOON DIGS
ELVIS' HONEYMOON DIGS

With one brief tour, you'll be glided by so many homes that you'll quickly become an expert on the rich and famous. Celebrity Tours (619-220-2700) offers one-hour bus rides for only $15. Take your camera!

You'll also want to capture many of the desert's eye-popping resorts resplendent with luxury accommodations, fine restaurants, health salons, swimming pools, and of course top golf and tennis facilities. 

THE WESTIN MISSION HILLS RESORT in Rancho Mirage, California.
THE WESTIN MISSION HILLS RESORT in Rancho Mirage, California.  
Reliving Morocco!
Travel down Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage until you hit Dinah Shore Drive. 

You can't miss The Westin Mission Hills Resort owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Keep tabs on Starwood and you'll know they're waging an aggressive travel campaign. 

Their strategy seems to be working, as their properties seldom disappoint.

Take what happened when I first saw The Westin Mission Hills Resort. It reminded me of a country I had recently visited: Morocco. The hotels' motif is a show off of rich Moroccan, Roman, Spanish, and Moorish designs. This sprawling complex offers 512 rooms and 40 suites and appears like a small Moroccan village, although one with American casual chic.

The sandstone-colored rooms do not deflect from the property's beautyline, and within no time you feel quite removed from reality. But then, this is what you expect from a holiday. Wander around and you'll see golfers teeing off from the Pete Dye course, people going off to the Aida Grey Institute De Beaute for an affordable 30-minute facial costing $35. There's also the Reed Anderson Tennis School where for three hours of instruction, you'll get all the work needed on your strokes and a game analysis. The cost runs $95 per person. A one-day mini school of Golf costs $190 per person and provides two hours of full swing video analysis, plus two hours of your short game instruction.

The Westin Mission Hills Golf line-up.  Photo by:  Kay Norman
The Westin Mission Hills Golf line-up
Photo by: KAY NORMAN

Volleyball fun at the Westin Mission Hills Resort|
Volleyball fun at the Westin Mission Hills Resort
Don't forget to send the children off to the Kids Club where they can take nature walks, do arts and crafts, and swim away for $35/per session. Children must be between 4-12 years of age.

Bargain rates run through August 31st. During weekdays expect to spend $99; weekends are $159. Call: 760-328-5955. E-mail: ranch@westin.com.

Through September 12th, rooms average $169, while the high season fetches $320 for accommodations.

The best news is that over the many decades of star gazing, Palm Springs remains a favorite with sun worshippers. Take George Hamilton, Mr. Perfect Tan. According to the actor, the desert has the best arena in America for tans, because "the sun sticks with you longer." He also adds that Palm Springs has "the most beautiful tennis, unbelievable golf, and great polo. And," says the star, "you'll never find a place with a more glamorous history." But you'll be reminded of that as you pass Bob Hope, Dinah Shore and Ginger Rogers all in the space of one block. 

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Linda-Marie Singer "The LIVEWIRE" for Travel Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine & Proses." She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (More about this writer.)

Email: lindamari@aol.com - Web: http://www.i.am/lindamarie  

 

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