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LIFE+HOME: Palm Springs City Guide: Desert Hills Outlets
Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

We all need a break from the heat at some point while visiting the desert resort town of Palm Springs, Calif., so why not get a little shopping in? It turns out, the largest collection of luxury discount stores in California is a short drive away: the Desert Hills Premium Outlets. The massive shopping destination sits just 20 minutes northwest of Palm Springs, making it an easy pit stop when driving to or from Los Angeles. Traveling from out of town? No sweat. Hop in your rental car and you’ll spot it right off of Interstate 10 next to the must-stop Hadley Fruit Orchard, where there’s always a line for date shakes (a Coachella Valley staple).

With 180 outlet stores in the Desert Hills complex—from Jimmy Choo to Prada to Saint Laurent—it's a requisite stop for any serial shopper. Before your visit, take stock of its retailers and devise a game plan. Aside from mapping out your favorites, take note of the outlet stores that are exclusive to this center: Alexander McQueen, Belstaff, Sandro, Maje, and Gucci Kids. You won’t find them anywhere else! Afraid you'll miss a bargain? You won't with the four tips below.

LIFE+HOME: Palm Springs City Guide: Desert Hills Outlets
Credit: (C) 2010 Larry A. Falke

Hire an Expert

As of this season, Desert Hills will have personal shoppers on hand who have the insider intel on just-arrived products and insane deals. Book an appointment by calling 760-449-4697. The first two hours with your personal shopper are free.

Avoid the Rush

Schedule your visit for a weekday after 4 P.M., when the weather's cooler and the crowds have dissipated. You'll still have five full hours of retail therapy before the center closes at 9 P.M.

Don't Fear the Damages

You'll find the biggest discounts on items with defects. Many holes and stains can be fixed, so eyeball scuffs and repair them DIY-style.

Know Where to Park

There are two main clusters of the center that you must visit. First, enter through the parking garage in the East Village, where you'll find a luxury-brand strip highlighted by Dolce & Gabbana, Rag & Bone, and Valentino. Then head to the West Village, which houses destination department store outlets like Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.

48400 Seminole Dr., Cabazon; 951-849-6641