Travel

Palm Springs salutes Frank Sinatra on 100th anniversary of his birth in December

Palm Springs, where Frank Sinatra lived and partied for nearly 50 years, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth next month with tours, concerts, hotel packages and signature drinks. (Photo credit: Detroit News archives)

Tributes to Ol’ Blue Eyes can be found around nearly every corner in Greater Palm Springs.     Whether it’s the Frank Sinatra “Star Suite” at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa or his original Twin Palms Estate in the Movie Colony neighborhood, the legendary crooner is never far from mind.

And, now, as Dec. 12 — the 100th anniversary of his birth — approaches, Sinatra fever is kicking into high gear.

Special “Sinatra on Saturday” tours (www.palmspringsalive.com), hotel packages, concerts, signature cocktails, menus and more are on tap in this California desert retreat where Sinatra lived for nearly 50 years.

In a town once known as “Hollywood’s playground,” travelers with mega-bank accounts can follow in Sinatra’s footsteps year-round by renting his mid-century modern Twin Palms Estate. Nightly rate is $2,600, 3-night minimum (www.beaumondevillas.com). Guests may swim in the piano-shaped pool and inspect a crack in the master

The exhibit, "Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe," at Palm Springs Art Museum through Dec. 13, includes several pairs worn by Lady Gaga. (Photo credit: Susan R. Pollack)

The exhibit, “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe,” at Palm Springs Art Museum through Dec. 13, includes several pairs worn by Lady Gaga. (Photo credit: Susan R. Pollack)

bathroom sink from a champagne bottle hurled during a fight with his second wife, Ava Gardner.

Sinatra’s second home, The Compound, on Frank Sinatra Drive in Rancho Mirage, is closed to the public but, 17 years after his death in 1998, remains one of the region’s popular drive-by destinations. En route, stop at Wolfson Park to hear a recorded “welcome” by the “Chairman of the Board” himself.

Sinatra’s spirit — and that of his famed Rat Pack pals — can be felt at such step-back-in-time restaurants as Melvyn’s and Johnny Costa’s. At Sinatra’s final resting place, Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, his simple bronze grave-marker reads: “The Best is Yet to Come.” Visitors often leave fresh cigarettes, dimes and mini-Jack Daniels bottles in tribute.

Colony Palms Hotel will offer a Frank Sinatra cocktail and “Old Hollywood”-style pre-fixe menu through Dec. 21, plus a Sinatra-era jazz band on Dec. 12. A “Sleep with Frank at CPH” package starts at $169 per night, Sunday-Thursday, featuring a welcome martini for two, $25 food and beverage credit and a Frank Sinatra keepsake pillow; www.colonypalmshotel.com.

AJ Lambert, Nancy Sinatra’s daughter, will salute her grandfather in song at a dinner show, Dec. 10, at the Purple Room. Reservations are required; buy show tickets online.

 

View of the pool at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa, where 10 "Star Suites" include one devoted to Frank Sinatra. (Photo credit: Susan R. Pollack)

View of the pool at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa, where 10 “Star Suites” include one devoted to Frank Sinatra. (Photo credit: Susan R. Pollack)

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa plans a dinner theater Dec. 12 starring Sinatra impersonator Steve DiTullio and a three-course, classic Italian dinner. Email pinziminips@westin.com for reservations; get 30 percent off accommodations at (866) 716-8108; mention code LDPKG1.

Through December, Lulu California Bistro in downtown Palm Springs will toast Sinatra’s birthday with a Jack Daniels-based cocktail, “Fly Me to the Moon.”

The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert salutes Sinatra in 2016 with a four-concert series featuring performers with ties to the superstar:  Frank Sinatra, Jr. ( Feb. 5-6),  Steve Lawrence (Feb. 14), Jack Jones (March 4), and Michael Feinstein (March 12-13). http://www.mccallumtheatre.com

Through Oct. 27, 2016, the Palm Springs Historical Society hosts the exhibit, “Frank Sinatra in Palm Springs.”  Docents also lead neighborhood tours featuring Sinatra and other celebrities. http://www.palmspringshistoricalsociety.net

And don’t miss “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe,” a special exhibit at the Palm Springs Art Museum, through Dec. 13.

For Palm Springs information, check visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

Susan R. Pollack

Globetrotting journalist and former Detroit News staff writer Susan R. Pollack has covered travel since 1985, visiting scores of countries on five continents, 49 states, six Canadian provinces and hundreds of cities, islands and outposts along the way. From Alaska, the Galapagos and New Zealand to South Africa, Thailand and Wales, she has suffered the occasional lost luggage, jetlag and Montezuma’s revenge but still delights in sharing travel adventures with readers. In addition to The Detroit News, her award-winning stories and photos have appeared in major newspapers including the Dallas News, Toronto Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Chicago Sun Times; and magazines including Delta Sky, Midwest Living, Long Weekends, Experience Michigan, Jetsetter, Home & Away, Hour Detroit, Prevue Meetings and Group Tour. She has contributed to several books including “Rand McNally 2008 Ultimate NASCAR Road Trip Guide,” and is the copy editor for secondchancetravels.com. She also has written for websites including gardendestinations.com and travelingmom.com.