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Sheri’s Palm Springs Area Blog

Whether it be real estate updates, restaurant reviews, events, or highlights of unique homes in Palm Springs, follow Sheri as she covers all that Palm Springs and the surrounding area has to offer.

What to Do at the Top of the Palm Springs Tram

Enjoy More than Just the View at 8,500 Feet

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY

We found a special deal and activities that will enhance your experience at 8,500 feet above Palm Springs.

Courtesy of Palm Springs Life: JIM POWERS AUGUST 8, 2019 ATTRACTIONSCURRENT DIGITAL

Once you've taken the 2.5-mile ride along the cliffs of Chino Canyon on the Palm Springs Tram, here are five things to enhance your experience at the top at Mountain Station.

You have about a month before the Tram shuts down from Sept. 9-29 for its annual maintenance.

First you're at 8,516 feet elevation, so note the temperature difference (about 15-20 degrees cooler than the desert) and let your body, particularly your breathing, adjust to the altitude. That means hydration and operating at a little slower pace to start. Plan ahead to ensure you have enough time to enjoy the surroundings rather than try and rush through a hike or physical activity.

DEAL

From now until the end of the year, you can buy a $36 ride and dine combination ticket from 4 p.m. daily with dinner from 4:30 p.m. at the Pines Café. Children are $23.50, ages 3-10. visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

HIKING

Mt. San Jacinto State Park is located at the top of the mountain, giving you access to 54 miles of hiking trails and 14,000 acres of amazing terrain. There are several easy hikes to try first – from three-quarters of a mile following nature trail posts to a 2.5-mile trail that is considered moderately strenuous. There is no fee for hiking.

CAMPING

There are six designated camping areas ranging in distance from the Mountain Station of 2.5 miles to 6.0. Each sits at a different elevation level – the highest is 9,700m feet – so take that into consideration. There is a $5 fee per person for camping permits. Depending on how much you want to rough it, some come equipped with water access and all of them have a pit latrine.

NATURE WALKS

In association with the Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association, you can register for guided nature tours in August and again in October. In addition to high altitude exercise, you receive an education on a variety of topics from photography, the San Andreas Fault, to the environment. The classes are free, but you must register. msjnha.org/events

DINING

The Pines Café offers the typical food selections you might expect at a tourist attraction — pizza, sandwiches, soup and salad — but the Peaks Restaurant offers an opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience. The accompanying Lookout Lounge serves a variety of alcoholic beverages. The last reservation taken for the Peaks is 7:45 p.m., and reservations are recommended.

For more information on the Palm Springs Tram, visit pstramway.com.

Dining Around the Desert: Tacos Gonzalez in Indio

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Tacos Gonzalez is a tiny little taqueria right on Hwy 111 and Jefferson on the North/East corner. It consistently comes up when we ask anyone where the best tacos are. It’s a true mom and pop organization, with a very friendly, helpful staff and about 8 tables. You order at the counter but they are very attentive and if you need or want something more, they will take your order and you pay at the end of your meal.

We enjoyed beef, chicken, and pork tacos along with a couple of beers, chips and salsa. All were very tasty, the service was quick and it measured up to all of the good reviews.

They are pretty much open 8AM to 8PM every day, but they’ll close for example on Mother’s Day so that the staff can have the day off. They don’t have a website, but there are plenty of reviews on Yelp and they also have a Facebook page. I don’t think anything is over $10 on the menu and the portions are generous.

80120 US Hwy 111
Indio, CA 92201

760.347.6858

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From Sheri Dettman
In Dining Around The Desert

Dining Around the Desert: Angler in San Francisco

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This past weekend Michael and I were fortunate enough to enjoy a couple of days in San Francisco, a city near and dear to my heart as I used to live there and loved it. And since it’s only an hour flight, it’s a nice, quick get-away from the desert.

The current restaurant scene has exploded. It’s always been great, but as my friend, Adam and his wife Jeanne who joined us at Commons Club, said, “It’s like the old days”! He’s in the restaurant and hotel consulting business and knows what he’s talking about.

On Friday we enjoyed one of the hottest new places, Angler. Angler is a sea-life focused restaurant with views of the expansive wood-burning hearth as well of the San Francisco Bay from Chef Joshua Skenes and Saison Hospitality located on the Embarcadero waterfront. The service was flawless, the food perfection, the ambiance warm and inviting, and the location can’t be beat. In fact, it’s right next door to Boulevard, which is a long-time favorite in the City.

Beautiful Potato

Beautiful Potato

We enjoyed oysters that were out of this world, and a whole chicken with a potato side that was heavenly. I know. It’s a seafood restaurant, but the menu is small and the chicken was calling our names.

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Read more about Angler here

132 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

LUNCH
Thursday to Saturday: 11:30AM - 2:00PM

DINNER
Sunday to Thursday: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Friday to Saturday: 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM

415.872.9442

Make a Reservation

From Sheri Dettman
In Dining Around The Desert, Lifestyles & Things To Do

What Zillow has to Say About Why You Should Use a Realtor to Sell Your Home

Why Use an Agent?

According to Zillow’s Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, 89 percent of sellers list their home with a real estate agent. The sellers listed a strong sales track record, local market knowledge, trustworthiness, responsiveness, and a good reputation in the community as the most important attributes in a top agent.

A great Realtor will make a big difference in all aspects of the selling experience, from your profits to keeping your stress level under control.

Read on to explore what else Zillow Palm Springs has to say about selling your home.

What is the standard commission for a real estate agent?

Real estate agents work on a commission basis, making a percentage of the sale or purchase price of the home their client is buying or selling. Typically, as a seller, you’ll pay 6 percent of the sale price, with half of the total serving as the buyer’s agent’s commission.

What is the difference between a listing agent and a buyers agent?

Real estate agents work on a commission basis, making a percentage of the sale or purchase price of the home their client is buying or selling. Typically, as a seller, you’ll pay 6 percent of the sale price, with half of the total serving as the buyer’s agent’s commission.

What is the difference between a listing agent and a buyers agent?

The listing agent, also known as a sellers agent, works for the seller to help them sell their house, from listing to closing. The buyers agent works for the buyer, guiding them through the process of finding a home they love, into negotiations, and all the way through closing.

Benefits of using a listing agent

You might ask yourself, “Why use a real estate agent to sell my home?” There are a number of services and plenty of expertise a real estate agent can provide, so it’s important for each seller to take a look at the list of benefits and decide if an agent is worth the expense.

1. Real estate agents provide local housing market expertise

  • They have access to a comprehensive list of comparable homes and understand the value of homes in your area.
  • Taking into consideration the current market conditions, they can strategize ways to craft the optimal selling approach, with the goal of earning the highest possible return on your home.
  • They can guide you to setting the right price for your home, one that will allow you to both pocket as much money as you can while selling in a timely manner.
  • They understand local housing codes and can point out any red flags on your property that buyers (and their home inspectors) will find.
  • They can recommend the specific home improvements that matter most to buyers in your area.
  • In our case, we know the developments inside and out and will share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly.

2. Real estate agents market your listing

  • They can provide recommendations for staging your home.
  • They can hire a professional photographer to take great listing photos.
  • Creating an enticing listing description of a property is an art form, and a skilled agent can call out features local buyers are looking for.
  • They list your property on the MLS and online real estate sites like Zillow. In fact, agents have access to more listing outlets than sellers who are listing on their own.
  • They host open houses and showings, physically showing your home to buyers.
  • They serve as a buffer between you and all potential buyers, fielding calls, answering questions, and scheduling showings.

3. Real estate agents network with other agents to increase buyer interest

  • They may show your home to an agent-only crowd to increase buzz.
  • They talk to other agents about your home, positioning it as a match for their buyers.
  • Homes sold by agents are typically more appealing to buyers agents, as they know they’ll get a commission on the sale.

4. Real estate agents handle your negotiations

  • They vet all potential buyers, identifying the serious offers.
  • They skillfully work with the buyer’s agent to get you an offer that meets your needs in terms of price, timing, and repairs.
  • They help you make smart decisions on negotiating counteroffers.

5. Real estate agents ease the selling process

  • Selling a home comes with a lot of paperwork, and your real estate agent will handle it all.
  • Professional real estate agents keep an eye out for deal loopholes and unusual requests, and read all the fine print.
  • In a multiple-offer situation, they’ll help you identify the pros and cons of each offer, making your decision easier.
  • They’ll recommend when you should counteroffer and when you should accept the deal.

 

Dining Around the Desert: Coming Soon: Eddie V’s in Palm Desert

On a recent weekend trip to Austin, Texas, Michael and I had the pleasure of dining at Eddie V’s, a high-end chain with locations from Newport Beach to Boston to Orlando. I was especially interested as we are getting our own Eddie V’s soon in Palm Desert.

I’ve heard of Eddie V’s described as “The Mastro’s of seafood”, and I’d say that’s an apt description.

This quote from their website gives you an idea:

Seafood is what we’re known for, but our specialty is excellence. Fish arrive daily from pristine waters around the world including Swordfish from Block Island, Scallops from George Banks, and YellowFin Tuna from the Caribbean. USDA Prime steaks are hand cut and specially aged for more than 28 days to ensure peak flavor. Devotion to excellence is the guiding principle in all that we do. From making fresh tortillas by hand daily for our lobster tacos to including a full half-pound of Jumbo Lump crab meat in our crab cakes, we strive to go above and beyond in every step of preparation. Our intent: to prepare the finest meal you’ve ever had.

Michael and I enjoyed a glass of champagne along with Kung Pao Calamari with Wok-Fried Vegetables and Roasted Cashews, and an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Italian Burrata Cheese, Basil, EV Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar. It was one of the best Calamari dishes either one of us had ever had.

Moving on to entree’s, I had Gnocchi with Shiitake Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Sundried Tomato Pesto, which was melt in your mouth delicious.

Michael enjoyed the Texas Redfish with Sautéed Jumbo Lump Crab, Meunière Style.

We also couldn’t resist the Brussels Sprouts and Truffled Mac and Cheese.

We topped it all off with Creme Brûlée but next time we’re looking forward to the Dark Chocolate and Crushed Toffee S’Mores with Toasted Homemade Marshmallow.

We were seated next to the piano at a high-top booth and were fortunate to be up close and personal with the trio providing classics along with the great atmosphere.

The service was outstanding, the vibe was fun and happening, and overall it was a great experience. We are looking forward to having our very own Eddie V’s this coming season.

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

2019 BNP PARIBAS OPEN

Whatever plans you had this weekend, cancel them - nothing will be as exciting as Tennis Paradise! To kick it off, Serena Williams will take on long-time rival Victoria Azarenka on Friday, along with Simona Halep. Then, on Saturday, Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova each take the court, followed by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

Get your tickets here….

From Sheri Dettman
In Lifestyles & Things To Do

9 Great Dive Bars in the Desert

Dive Right In Party with the locals at these great dive bars in Palm Springs and neighboring desert cities with nothing but a good time up their sleeve.

KAY KUDUKIS JULY 9, 2019 CURRENT DIGITALRESTAURANTS

Courtesy of Palm Springs Life

Tryst is open daily from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Palm Springs.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TRYST PALM SPRINGS

“This is a total dive” is a compliment in the mouths of those who recognize dive bars’ fabulous je ne sais quoi that turns a so-so evening into “Vegas baby” without emptying your pockets. These neighborhood spots offer a genuine experience where you’re likely to see some familiar faces. It’s where locals and hospitality workers go after the touristy places shut down. These dive bars are all about the drink and the fun, no finery required. No pretentiousness or posing here — you can be your authentic self.

Here are a few suggested dive bars to get you started. Got a fave dive already in mind? We welcome your feedback on expanding this list.

PALM SPRINGS

Tryst

Open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, Tryst is the ideal spot to drink your way through giant Jenga, darts, pinball, or air hockey while selecting your favorite songs on the jukebox. Only snacks are available here, so make sure you eat beforehand. While it is on the periphery of LGBT nightlife haven on Arenas Road, Tryst is neither gay nor straight; they have open arms for everyone over 21, and drinks are reasonably priced. The inside is smoke-free, but they do have an old fashioned cigarette machine for outdoor smoke breaks. You never know what local stars (think innovative chefs and crowd-favorite musicians) might end up here on any given night. There’s plenty of parking in back.

188 S Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760.832.6046; Facebook page.

Crazy Mel’s Burgers

This unassuming downtown joint slings bargain burgers and booze six days a week (closed Tuesdays) from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bar is a small half-horseshoe, but it’s still a great place to grab a beer and a nosh — the french fries are outstanding. It’s also got a laid-back, unadorned patio that’s great for day drinking and people-watching. No games to play, but they do have jello shots. Free parking is behind the Rowan complex, about a two-block walk.

166 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760.656.7563; Facebook page.

Pete’s Hideaway

Located just down from the Sunset Center on the south end of Palm Springs, Pete’s isn’t as much of a dive bar as it is a local hangout. Family owned and operated, they have a healthy following of Coachella Valley residents who value good entertainment and decent food. During the cooler months they have entertainment every night, but understandably cut back during the summer.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PETE’S HIDEAWAY

Pete’s Hideaway has space for nightly entertainment.

Rat Pack (and Rat Pack–adjacent) celebrities grace the walls in photos and artist renderings. Weekdays, stop by anytime between 3 and 11 p.m.; weekends at Pete’s begin at 11 a.m. and end at midnight (Wednesdays also get the extended 12 p.m. close time). Lots of parking is available behind Allen’s Tires.

665 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, 760.322.6500; peteshideawayps.com

Fireside Lounge

Current and former Chicagoans longing for the nearly endless stretch of Cicero bar hours, take note: This terrific dive bar keeps its doors open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Between the friendly locals and games — think standards like pool and shuffleboard — a lot of fun is ready to be had. Given the hours, it’s also a haunt for entertainers and hospitality workers. Parking is only on the street, but the endless search for a spot you would experience downtown is rare here. Everyone is welcome to karaoke, and many of the valley’s best singers also participate. The bathrooms are not air-conditioned, so get in and get outta there during summer months.

696 S Oleander Rd, Palm Springs, 760.327.1700; facebook.com/FiresideLoungePalm Springs

CATHEDRAL CITY

AMP

Though it’s relatively new to the area, this barebones sports bar still has what you’re looking for in a dive — namely, friendly staff, pool, darts, and karaoke. They occasionally have live entertainment that tends to exceed the environment. Live music is a random bag, with past gigs ranging from Latin singers to rock ‘n’ roll, but you can count on a consistently nice pour.

68718 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City, 760.699.7090; Facebook page.

PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHELE MCMANMON

The Hood attracts a healthy lineup of musical acts, but it’s also a sit-down bar to hangout at.

PALM DESERT

The Hood

The Hood was named Best Dive Bar and Best Billiards 2018/2019 by CV Independent readers. They have pool, bingo, eats (housemade pizza!), and entertainment from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Prepare to get your drink on with a fun, energetic crowd.

74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert, 760.636.5220; hoodbarandpizza.com.

Red Barn

Red Barn was a runnerup in CV Independent’s 2018/2019 best dive bars, and looks like…well, a red barn, inside and out. They have a jukebox, two pool tables, shuffleboard, live entertainment, and outdoor seating. Patrons rave about the generous pours, as well. Doors open at 8 a.m. (yep, you read that right) and close at 2 a.m. daily.

73290 Highway 111, Palm Desert, 760.346.0191; redbarnbar.com.

Desert Fox

The owner refers to his club as a sophisticated dive, and we whole-heartedly agree. It’s cozy; it’s eclectic; it’s perfectly decorated and often has entertainment. Suave bartenders (we said it’s sophisticated, didn’t we?) concoct modestly-priced cocktails from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.

44750 San Pablo Ave, Palm Desert, 760.895.4385; desertfoxbar.com.

INDIO

Neil’s Lounge

Also on the runnerup list for CV Independent’s best dive bars, Neil’s has karaoke every night, pool tables with tournaments, and friendly bartenders and patrons, as well as funky and fun aesthetics. It definitely has a sense of humor. It’s a big bar, so bring all your friends and take over the space to sing your hearts out. It’s open 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

80956 Highway 111, Indio, 760.347.1522; Facebook page.

• READ MORE: 9 Palm Springs Bars to Engage in Conversation

PGA West La Quinta Real Estate Update

During the past six months 95 homes and condos were sold within the PGA West community in La Quinta, an increase in sales volume of 7% versus the same six-month period in 2012.

Average PGA West Selling Price Up 11.2%

The average PGA West selling price of $589,907 is up 11.2% over the same period last year when the average price was at $523,558. Homes and condos sold during this recent six-month period ranged from $207,900 up to $1.997 million.

Today, there are 90 PGA West homes and 51 PGA West condos offered for sale ranging from $210,000 to $2.4 million. The average list price for a single family home is now at $969,000, while the average condo is now at $420,000.

Several buyer clients told me this month that they ‘blew it’ by not buying last year when prices were lower. OK, but what about this year? Prices are still lower that our previous market highs and every day my team and I are showing our buyer clients some very nice homes and luxury condos at what most people are still considering to be very attractive prices.

You’ll likely get about 11% less house for the same money this year than you would have in 2012, but what you get is not just a home or condo, this is really about investing in a lifestyle for your family and friends. Of course after enjoying our sunny 81ºF (27.2º C) weather today, I'm a little biased!

Our Featured Listings At PGA West

  • 54973 Tanglewood, La Quinta / 3 Bedrooms / 3 Baths / 1,621 Sq. Ft. / Offered At $340,000
  • 56965 Mountain View, La Quinta / 3 Bedrooms / 3.5 Baths / 2,501 Sq. Ft. / Offered At $685,000
  • 57101 Medinah, La Quinta / 4 Bedrooms & 5 Baths / 3,013 SQ. FT. / Offered At $889,000
  • 55387 Tanglewood, La Quinta / 2 Bedrooms & 3 Baths In 1,492 Sq. Ft. / Offered At $328,000
  • 55498 Firestone, La Quinta / 3 Bedrooms & 2 Baths / 1,529 Sq. Ft. / Offered at $239,000

PHOTO: The photo here was taken at our listing above at 56965 Mountain View just this week.

I Often Tell My Friends & Clients To Take A Hike!

The Palm Springs area enjoys ideal hiking weather through most of the winter. Palm Springs and surrounding the area feature an extensive trail system in and around the city and many outlying areas. Where else can you explore elevations ranging from 11,000 feet to below sea level?

Andreas Canyon in Palm Springs

Coupled with the readily accessible wild lands on local Indian reservations and a few nature preserves, the Palm Springs area offers much more than just golf, tennis, art, dinning and entertainment. The area just happens to offer some of the best ‘off-season’ hiking in California.

140 Great Hikes To Consider

Many of the best trails are described in book; 140 Great Hikes in and near Palm Springs by Philip Ferranti. With more than 140 hikes within a 60-mile radius of Palm Springs, you can choose from easy to difficult as you hike among canyons, palm oases, earthquake faults and mountain switch backs. The desert area also features scenic state and national parks such as Joshua Tree, many local preserves, and the popular Indian Canyons.

Note: Be prepared on all hikes and don't be one of those people that have to be rescued each month!

Photo Credit: Palm Springs Bureau Of Tourism

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