Rarely do I arrive at an airport as pretty and well designed as the one I saw when I arrived at Palm Springs International Airport.  Located between the departure terminal and the main building, enroute to claim my baggage, I passed through a lovely open air concourse filled with tall swaying palm trees and shaded benches inviting travelers to stop and rest a while.

All the major car rental companies service this small airport and rental counters are conveniently located next to the baggage claim carousels. You will want to rent a car when visiting Palm Springs and its surrounding cities, as this a travel destination that offers many interesting communities and visitor activities, and having a car is by far the best way to experience the Palm Springs area. My budget tip, however, is to bypass the airport car rental counters and take a short $10 taxi ride to the Enterprise rental office located on Airport Center Drive, just off Ramon Drive. You can save about $80 a week by renting a car offsite and save the airport fees.

Embassy Suites Palm Desert offers reasonable rates, complimentary breakfast and a daily complimentary cocktail hour.

Some of my top picks for activities in Palm Springs are the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which offers a 360 degree revolving view of the valley and lots of hiking trails to explore at the top. It is worth the $24 price.

Pick up a map of Mid-Century Modern landmarks at the Tramway Gas Station, the official Palm Springs Visitor Center,  and treat yourself to to self guided tour, Mad Men style.

Lunch at Fisherman’s Market & Grill on South Indian Drive is a must. This budget-friendly seafood restaurant offers the best and freshest selection in the city.

Or, if Mexican food is more to your liking, try El Gallito in Cathedral City, a favorite with locals. This truly old-school Mexican eatery is reasonably priced, sports a very colorful and eclectic interior, and serves the best and most authentic Mexican food in the area. No reservations are accepted so leave your name with the very friendly hostess and have patience. I recommend the Chile Rellenos. They accept cash only.