Welcome to ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your premier resource to the Coachella Valley’s best, from a local's perspective. Your guide, Denise Ortuno is, The Palm Springs Local, with over 38 years of desert living under her belt, experiencing all the wonders of the Coachella Valley. And now she’ll be sharing her knowledge with you! From dining to attractions, to events and much more, you’ll be able to “Go Where the Locals Go”.

Just click on the appropriate category to find what you’re looking for and you’ll be on your way. And make sure to check out Denise’s blog for special reviews and colorful commentary, as well as her “Out and About Videos” featuring local flavor.

It’s all here at ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your guide to the Coachella Valley’s best….done local style!

Sizzling Summer Golf Savings

By Katy Treadwell

This time of year, it’s hot in the desert, and so are the deals on golf.  From the end of May thru September, you can play some of the valley’s best and most exclusive clubs for a fraction of the price.  Summer golf in the desert is all about timing.  If you plan your day right, you can beat the extreme heat, play some really awesome courses and help support local golf in the Coachella Valley during the off-season.  With all that in mind, let’s look at some of the HOT DEALS available this summer.                                                                                                       rsz pga west                                                                                                  

PGA West- Who doesn’t want to play PGA West… especially the Stadium Course? The problem is, during season, who can afford it?  Well, from June thru September, you can play it for as low as $48 in the afternoons, or tee off early to beat the heat and you still save HUGE with rates starting at $79 in the early mornings.  Either way you go, morning or afternoon, rates are drastically discounted from their in-season price and rounds go by much faster.  While the heat may be intimidating, super low rates allow you the opportunity to test your skills on courses you normally avoid because of the high cost.  If you can stand the heat, PGA West has deals you can’t beat.

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Marriott Shadow Ridge- One of my personal favorites in the desert, has summer rates as low as $35.  That’s a striking difference from the normal $100 rounds in past months.  Shadow Ridge also offers a Summer Access Pass for just $99.  With the purchase of the Summer Access Pass you can play 18 holes for just $29, any time you tee it up, get 10% off food and beverage, 10% off all golf merchandise and 20% off instruction.  Sure, its hot out, but the hot summer deals and golf pass options at some of the desert’s most elite clubs makes breaking a little sweat worth it.                                                   rsz westin mission hills

The Westin Mission Hills- Do you struggle to get a decent tee time out here during season? We all do.  The Pete Dye and Gary Player Courses are notoriously booked from bell to bell during season. As two of the very best public courses in the valley, it’s no wonder.  But, during the summer months, not only is there significantly less traffic, you can save tons of fun; at times paying less than half the normal green fee.  Normally around $100 a round during peak times and in season, from June thru September you can play either course for as little as $53.  You can even get on for as low as $35 in the afternoons.  If you’re a junior (16 or younger) looking for a place to call home this summer, with the Troon Family Golf option, you can play free any time after 3pm when accompanied by an adult. 

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SilverRock Resort- I couldn’t believe this rate when I saw it… $30 for 18 holes at SilverRock?  No, it can’t be… but it is.  SilverRock uses real time, Dynamic Pricing that fluctuates with the changing conditions and market factors, so depending on the time of day and traffic at other courses nearby, you could happen upon some really “Dynamic”  deal’s.  SilverRock is already offering $30 rates for La Quinta residents and $45 rates for visitors…all day long.  Add in the Dynamic Pricing option, and keep an eye on the changing conditions… you could potentially save even more!                                             rsz palm royale

Palm Royale Country Club- From June thru September, you can enjoy a fast and fun round at Palm Royale Country Club for just $10.  Escape to this challenging little par three course after work or start your morning out with a quick round.  It’s easy to get in a full 18 holes on this track before or after the heat of the day, and you can’t beat golf in the desert for $10, no matter the conditions. I should mention, there is one stipulation; honest golfers only.  The Palm Royale Club House is closed during the summer, so players put $10 in an envelope and place it in the door slot of the club house entry.  The honor system at its finest. 

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Cimarron Golf Resort- You can play the Pebble or the Boulder course for as little as $20, and only $33 during peak hours, and both are well worth either amount.  Plus, Cimarron Golf Resort also offers a Summer Players Card for just $49.  The card gets you 1 free round, discounted rates through August 31st, a dozen golf balls, a free hybrid certificate valued at $200 and entry into the summer loyalty program.  With 36 holes to play, the $49 Summer Players Card is a great value Cimarron.                                                                                                 rsz desert princess

Desert Princess- Located at the Double Tree Hilton in Cathedral City, Desert Princess has 27 holes and is always a fun track to play.  It’s never terribly expensive, even in season but right now, you can play 18 holes, with lunch and a cart included for only $30 any time of the day.  Desert Princess also offers Unlimited Summer Golf Packages, valid June 1 thru September 30 for only $399.  That’s less than $100 a month for unlimited golf; and that’s a darn good deal. 

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Escena Golf Club- This beautiful layout is worth the green fee no matter what time of year, but during the summer, with rates at $39, it’s almost impossible to pass up.  That’s more than 60% off the average rate.  Like other courses, Escena also offers a Summer Card for $79.  The card includes 1 free round of golf, $20 loaded gift card, discounted rates all summer long, 10% off merchandise and you can bring up to 7 guests at a time at your rate!  Round up the crew, it’s time to sweat it out at Escena!

If you’re still leery about playing in the heat, here a few of my favorite heat cheaters to help make your next summer round a little more comfortable. 

Chill-It’s Evaporative Cooling Towel- Starting at just $3.99, adding this one item to your golf gear will make ALL the difference in the world.  Like your MasterCard, you’ll never leave home without it. 


Mission Athletecare Enduracool Instant Cooling Hoodie- This thing is awesome because it works two ways.  When it’s wet, it cools up to 30 degrees, and when it’s dry, it wicks sweat.  The hotter the user, the better it works.  You can get one of your own for under $20.


Yeti Tumbler- Because there is no better way to keep water (or vodka) colder, longer than in a Yeti. 


Fresair Rooftop Air Cooler- If you have your own cart, a Fresair rooftop cooler is the coolest thing out there.  The Fresair units fit any cart and are more reasonably priced than you might expect.  An A/C system for your golf cart… what will they think of next? 


El Paseo Grill, Great Food, Cool Vibe

By Denise Ortuno Neil

For a cool neighborhood vibe, with inviting service and delicious food, you can’t miss with El Paseo Grill.

It might sound like El Paseo Grill is right on the famed Palm Desert street, filled with high end boutiques and restaurants to match. But the cozy little nook is more off of El Paseo, located in a small strip mall cornered by Hwy 111, and is far from the “pricy” expectations of the street that is incorporated in its name.

Opened in 2014, the relaxed unpretentious nature of El Paseo Grill fits its owners, Carol and Chris Schallert. The couple moved to the Coachella Valley to slow down and semi-retire from their successful restaurant business that they had for almost 30 years in Northern California. However, when they came across the quaint restaurant space for sale in Palm Desert, their plans quickly changed and they decided to get back into the business. It’s beneficial to all of us that they did.

The ambience and food match up perfectly at El Paseo Grill. One side of the restaurant has a faux brick wall, with the other having a chain link fence adhered to it, a place where patrons can leave their business cards. The art work displayed and the look of the restaurant is done by their son, and reminds them of home, opting for a more “real” look opposed to anything fancy. It reminded me of a set of a restaurant that would appear in a television After School Special back in the day. Where kids could hang out and have a bite to eat and chat about the day’s events. It has that kind of comforting warmth that not only is present in the restaurants aesthetics, but comes flowing out of their food.

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By the suggestion of a friend of mine, my visit to El Paseo Grill was motivated by the desire to try one of their burgers. The Dumpster Burger peeked my curiosity, and the enthusiastic recollection of my friends burger experience, sealed my selection to try it for myself. I stepped up and ordered the burger, a drink and fries. The huge Dumpster Burger was served, with fries in tow. The burger, made with Grass-fed Beef, was topped with bacon, mushrooms, bleu cheese and grilled onions, as well as lettuce, tomato, kosher pickle and mayo. The difference in the meat alone was very apparent. It was light and flavorful, missing that lingering, heavy greasy taste that regular beef can sometimes have. The other fresh ingredients blended perfectly with the beef, all sandwiched together by their homemade bread. The scratch made bread is a perfect complement to all of their sandwiches and burgers. That is the key at El Paseo Grill, they are all about having their ingredients made in house. From their dressings, to daily cut lettuce and produce, it’s the freshness that counts, “It’s a healthy take on fast food”, says Carol.

Other menu items that are available at El Paseo Grill include a variety of chicken sandwiches such as the, Mediterranean Chicken Sandwich (balsamic grilled chicken with feta cheese, lettuce and roasted red pepper aioli), Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich (lime cilantro chicken breast with mayo, lettuce, fresh tomato salsa and avocado) and one that I will be trying on my next visit, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich (grilled chicken breast with jack cheese, lettuce and Jamaican jerk sauce), among others. They also serve up hot dogs, and salads, as well as breakfast items such as French Toast with fresh whipped cream.

Although Carol states that, “We are not trying to set the world on fire”, with their restaurant, I believe that they have made a positive contribution to the restaurant scene in the Coachella Valley.

El Paseo Grill offers a delightful dining experience, where fantastic homespun food is served up with cordial service, and an easygoing, neighborhood vibe.

El Paseo Grill is opened Mon-Sat from 8am-3pm and located at 73-030 El Paseo, Suite #103, Palm Desert

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