Best Boutique Hotel 2014

First place: Terra Cotta Inn

Anyone who’s spent even a little time in the desert will agree, nudity has a somewhat long tradition out here. The Terra Cotta Inn has been recognized as not only a top boutique hotel in north Palm Springs, but one of the more premier nudist resorts in the western United States. Originally built as a celebrity hotel with high walls, the 17-room hotel offers complimentary breakfast with afternoon hors d’oeuvres, spa services and wonderful mountain views. 2388 E. Racquet Club Rd., Palm Springs, (800) 786-6938,

Second place: Miramonte Resort & Spa, 45-000 Indian Wells Ln., Indian Wells, (760) 341-2200,

Third place: Viceroy Palm Springs, 415 S. Belardo Rd., Palm Springs, (760) 320-4117,

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Best Day Trip 2014

First place: Top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

For the past 50 years, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has been the Coachella Valley’s most impressive attraction. In only 10 minutes, you will travel to 8,516 feet above sea level to the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area, a 13,700-acre preserve with thousands of feet of trails and dozens of breath-taking views of the valley bellow. Some 500,000 visitors take the tram up to the mountain-top, where two restaurants and other amenities await. The area can be a snowy wonderland in the winter or a much needed cool mountain retreat in the summer months. So climb aboard the rotating tram cars and head up the mountain. 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, (760) 325-1449,

Second place: Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree Visitor Center: 6554 Park Blvd., Joshua Tree

Third place: San Diego, San Diego Visitor Center, 750 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, (619) 232-3101

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Best Local Landmark 2014

First place: “Forever Marilyn”

Few borrowed statues have become local landmarks the way “Marilyn” has – it seems to be how everyone knows her now. “Forever Marilyn,” a 26-foot-tall likeness to Marilyn Monroe’s wistful pose from “The Seven Year Itch” by Seward Johnson has been holding court in downtown Palm Springs for about a year and a half. She has been the location of numerous outdoor concerts and most recently, a block party during Greater Palm Springs Pride. The statue is on loan and is due to depart in March. 101 N. Palm

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Canyon Dr., Palm Springs

Second place: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, (760) 325-1449,

Third place: Sunnylands Center & Gardens at the Annenberg Retreat, 37-977 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage, (760) 328-2829,

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Best Place to Take a Visitor 2014

First place: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Whether they’re 8 or 80, a trip through Chino Canyon up to nearly the top of Mount San Jacinto at 8,516 feet above sea level never seems to get old and never stops impressing

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visitors. Not only is the trip up in a rotating tram car adequately ah-inducing, the thousands of feet of trails winding through a 13,700-acre wilderness preserve in an alpine forest will have house-guests in a constant state of “wow.” 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, (760) 325-1449,

Second place: The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, (760) 346-5694,

Third place: Sunnylands Center & Gardens at the Annenberg Retreat, 37-977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, (760) 328-2829,

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