Palm Springs is a great little desert city among eight cities in the Coachella Valley region two hours east of Los Angeles.
Getting There: Fly into the Palm Springs regional airport, PSP, and skip the drive out from L.A. (although LAX, Ontario, Burbank and even San Diego are options).
Many major airlines now go to Palm Springs, including my favorite, Virgin America, which flies nonstop to San Francisco (and you can connect to Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York.
Stay: Bargain hunters will enjoy the Motel 6 downtown. It’s handy to a Starbucks and near the bars and restaurants. The Motel 6 East is also nice and is across the street from the Ace Hotel (where the urban hipsters can be found).
The Best Western Las Brisas is also downtown and one block from the bars on Arenas Road. The location and landscaping are great. The gay resorts on Warm Sands Drive are another option.