Palm Springs, CA
Distance from SF: 487 miles; 7.5-hour drive (or 1.5-hour flight)
Yes, this is California’s playground for the rich, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the desert resort city known for its golf courses and spas (especially now that you've got this AND our guide to having the best weekend there ever).
How to do it on the cheap:
- Stay: Los Arboles Hotel. The Petite Express room inside the desert boutique has a full-sized bed, flat-screen TV, and shower and averages around $89 a night. Plus, there’s a heated pool, a sun deck, a jacuzzi tub with mountain views, poolside dining, and it’s walking distance to the strip, which is basically a must.
- Drink: The Amigo Room inside the Ace Hotel has $6 tallboys, which makes it a pretty solid option as is, but throw in the fact that you can get into its open-'til-2am jacuzzi for free at night and you've got an even pretty solider option. And don't worry if you forget trunks, plenty of people will be in their underwear...
- Do: Play night golf at The Lights at Indio Municipal Golf Course -- it's the only desert course that's lit up once the sun goes down, with tee times going up 'til 8pm on normal days and through midnight (or later!) for special events. $20 gets you your green fee AND a cart all year long, and it drops down to $15 during the summer.