THE BEST WAY TO SANTA ROSA AND SAN JACINTO MOUNTAINS NATIONAL MONUMENT
From Los Angeles, take Interstate10 east to Highway 111 in Palm Springs. Most of the monument's major attractions can be accessed from 111.
WHERE TO STAY
The Chase Hotel at Palm Springs, 200 W. Arenas Road, Palm Springs; (877) 532-4273 or (760) 320-8866, http://www.chasehotelpalmsprings.com. Step back into the Palm Springs of Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope at this attractive midcentury boutique motel in downtown Palm Springs. Pool, free continental breakfast in the morning and chocolate cookies each afternoon. Close to Indian Canyons and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Rates start at $139.
Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, 41-000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; (866) 423-1195, http://www.rancholaspalmas.com. This well-manicured lodging complex underwent a $35-million refurbishment and offers 27 holes of golf, a Splashtopia pool complex, lounge, 20,000-square-foot spa and upscale restaurant, bluEmber. Family- and dog-friendly. Rates start at $364.
Best Western Plus Palm Desert Resort, 74695 Highway 111, Palm Desert; (760) 340-4441, . Comfortable, well-tended budget motel close to monument headquarters. Pool, full breakfast; late checkout available. Dog-friendly. Rates start at $129.
WHERE TO EAT
Sherman's Deli & Bakery, 401 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs; (760) 325-1199, http://www.shermansdeli.com. Iconic Palm Springs diner, opened in 1953, has been a popular choice for breakfast ever since. Great people-watching from the outdoor patio. Also serves brunch, lunch, dinner and luscious bakery goods. Breakfast starts at $5.25.
Mikado Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, 74855 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert; (760) 341-2211, http://www.desertspringsresort.com. Knife-wielding chefs entertain while they chop and grill steak, chicken and seafood teppan-yaki style. Prices range $31 to $50.
Las Casuelas Terraza, 222 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; (760) 325-2794, http://www.lascasuelas.com. This downtown hacienda-style restaurant is fun and popular; it's a descendent of the first Las Casuelas, which opened here in 1958. Combination plates start at $7.95.
TO LEARN MORE
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, 51-500 Highway 74, Palm Desert; (760) 862-9984, http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings/santarosa.html.
Friends of the Desert Mountains, (760) 568-9918, http://www.desertmountains.org