Dear Matthew McConaughey,
I’m glad to hear you’ll receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award this winter at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Congratulations.
You’ve been one of my favorite actors ever since I saw you portray Jake Tyler Brigance in the big screen adaptation of John Grisham’s thriller, “A Time to Kill.” Since then, I’ve enjoyed most of your movies. (Let’s just admit it. “Fool’s Gold” probably wasn’t your best work.)
During the years, I haven’t been able to miss those stories about how you like to party. You know which ones I’m talking about. Now that you’ve hit middle age and have three kids, you’re probably taking things a little slower. But from what I’ve heard, you still like to have a good time.
Let me take a few minutes to suggest some places you may want to visit while in Palm Springs.
- There is no better place to embrace Palm Springs’ pool culture than at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club (701 E. Palm Canyon Drive). It has a climate-controlled swimming pool, hot tub and poolside cocktail service. It’s also filled with the young, beautiful and hip, making it a great place to see and be seen. It’s the perfect place to take off your shirt and show off your pecs and abs.
- You have a great body, which we all know doesn’t just happen. It requires exercise and a proper diet. I have read, however, that you like a good hamburger every once in a while. One of the best places in the valley to get one is Grill-A-Burger (73091 Country Club Drive at Monterey Avenue in Palm Desert). They have a great selection, including salmon, low-carb and vegetarian.
- You’re a Texan, and you know that sometimes a man wants more than a hamburger. If you get the cravings for barbecue or chili, head for the Mojave Desert and eat dinner at Pappy & Harriets (53688 Pioneertown Rd., Pioneertown).
- While you’re in the Mojave, enjoy a ‘sound bath’ at the Integratron (2477 Belfield Blvd, Landers). It’s a great place to contemplate the mystery of geomagnetic vortexes, time travel and the paranormal.
- If you do visit Pioneertown or Landers, then drive through Joshua Tree National Park on your way back to Palm Springs. There is no better place to see the flora and landscape change as you leave the Mojave and return to the Sonoran Desert.
- We know you’re a family man who wants to spend time with his kids. If you bring Levi and Vida with you, the valley has plenty of things for you and your family to enjoy. Take them on a ride to the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (One Tram Way, Palm Springs) and, weather permitting, enjoy a snowball fight or make snow angels under the trees. (Sorry, but I didn’t mean to leave out Livingston. The problem is I don’t know how to entertain a toddler.)
- What kid doesn’t like the zoo? Levi and Vida will love the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Palm Desert (47900 Portola Ave.).
- From what I’ve read, you’re a man who likes to enjoy a good beer with his bros. This is the desert and we enjoy a good beer, too. The Coachella Valley Brewing Co. (30-640 Gunther St., Thousand Palms), which opened this year, is the valley’s first microbrewery dedicated to solely brewing beers. Drop by, meet the locals and let us know what you think.
- If you want something a little stronger (yes, we’ve read the stories), stop by the bar at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs (222 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs). It recently opened and features that 70s vibe the Parker was known for back in the day. It’s already a hit with the valley’s VIPs, and is the city’s newest spot to grab a drink and mingle.
- If you happen to have a medical marijuana card, bring it with you. We have three legal dispensaries if you need them.
- Now let’s discuss the bongos. We know you enjoy playing them in the nude. We can’t promise you that you’ll never have to deal with a noise complaint in Palm Springs, but we will tell you that the desert is a great place to shed your clothes. We have a lot of nude resorts, but unfortunately, I can’t recommend a place. I’ve never visited one.
P.S. While you are in the desert, please don’t forget to give me a ring. I’ll be happy to share a beer with you. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, @RobHopwood.