We’re talking travel today, and we’re headed to the desert. Palm Springs, California, is a gem of town, a place where the beautiful mountains and the blue, clear skies provide the loveliest backdrop for any vacation or weekend getaway. Here are some tips to make your Palm Springs adventure everything you’ve dreamed of (and more!).
There are a plethora of boutique hotels from which to choose when planning your stay in Palm Springs, but first consider researching sites like Airbnb and VRBO that offer house rentals for extremely affordable prices. These homes are rented out by trustworthy owners who set fair rates and provide many of the same amenities that hotels do, like well-stocked kitchens chock full of cooking appliances and fresh beach towels set out by the pool. Palm Springs is defined by the mid-century modern style of its neighborhoods, and by renting a property of your own, you can live like a local in a mid-century home of your own. By renting a house, you can save money not only on hotel fees but also by utilizing the kitchen to cook meals (and prepare happy hour beverages!) at home.
If staying at a hotel is your preferred way to travel, check out these great options:
The Ace Hotel. This hipster’s paradise is a Howard Johnson hotel-turned-relaxation station. The décor is gorgeous yet neutral, and the pool is absolute perfection—with a backdrop of the mountains, a DJ playing great music, and a server taking food and drink orders, you’ll know, without a doubt, that you are on vacation. The food at the Ace is excellent, and we especially love the barbecue station that boasts a delicious meal (your choice of freshly grilled Italian sausage, chicken, or hamburger with cole slaw and potato salad) for just $8, making it possibly the best deal in town. The rooms are comfortable and cozy, and most have outdoor living rooms situated close by so guests can post up outdoors while eating breakfast or basking in the glow of a fireplace.
The Saguaro. This colorful hotel is a truly an oasis. It’s impossible not to feel cheery when arriving at The Saguaro and taking in the multi-colored décor, both on the exterior of the hotel and in the rooms themselves. Enjoy luxurious afternoons at the pool or the spa, and take free daily yoga classes hosted by the hotel. You can also bring your furry friend – The Saguaro is pet-friendly
The Parker. The Parker is a beautiful hotel nestled in the corner off of one of Palm Spring’s main drags. The grounds are truly a sight to behold; guests can get lost in the maze of delicately pruned hedges, plants, and succulents, all while sipping a cold beverage or snacking on a fresh orange (bowls of fruit are placed around the grounds for guests to enjoy). The talented Jonathan Adler designed the interior of the hotel, so guests will marvel over the gorgeous details of the space. The restaurants are frequented by hotel guests and Palm Springs natives alike (see below for a review of one of our favorites) and both the spa and the pool are peaceful havens in which vacationers can relax.
Dining + Drinking
There are so many delicious dining and drinking options in Palm Springs. Take a peek at a list of our favorites.
Copley’s. This delightful spot is located in part of Cary Grant’s former estate. It’s a great place for dinner—the menu is beautifully cultivated and the wine list is extensive. Try to snag a reservation outdoors, as the grounds are lovely and the fire pits will keep you warm on cool evenings.
Norma’s. There is no better spot for brunch in town than Norma’s, located in The Parker. Be prepared to shell out some major cash but know that it will be worth it—the menu is creative and fantastic, featuring signature items like waffles stuffed with fruit and down-home crave-worthy options like eggs benedict. Be sure to make a reservation, as the wait for a table at Norma’s is notoriously long. Enjoy a mimosa while eating brunch – and keep your eyes peeled, because you might spot a celebrity or two.
Trio. Trio is a great place for drinks and appetizers or dinner. The menu is fresh (we love the Brussels sprouts salad) and the cocktails list is fabulous. Make reservations in advance.
Cheeky’s. This low-key spot is a resident favorite for brunch or lunch. Cheeky’s serves dishes made with seasonal, locally grown, organic ingredients, and the staff prides themselves on making their own batters, sauces, and dressings. You’ll enjoy a delicious meal at Cheeky’s without feeling overly indulgent.
King’s Highway. This is another fantastic brunch or lunch spot. Located inside the Ace Hotel, this restaurant is housed inside a restored Denny’s establishment, giving it a fun, diner-y feel. The food is fresh and tasty, and it covers a range of tastes. King’s Highway serves the best hummus plate we’ve ever had (enjoyed with toasty naan, juicy cucumbers and tomatoes, and chunks of marinated feta cheese) and freshly roasted Stumptown Coffee.
Citron Cocktail Bar. This sultry hideaway is tucked inside the Viceroy Hotel, a tiny boutique hotel that you might just miss if you’re not looking for it. Just off the main drag, the Viceroy is a quiet and enticing gem of a place to pop into for a drink. Sip cocktails underneath twinkle lights out by the pool (the bartender whips up a mean French 75) and enjoy the mild Palm Springs weather (in the winter and spring, that is!).
Take advantage of the beautiful Palm Springs weather and get yourself outside for some exercise and a dose of Vitamin D.
Hike at Joshua Tree National Park. Located about an hour outside of Palm Springs is one of nature’s most breathtaking beauties: Joshua Tree National Park. The Joshua Tree, known better to plant specialists as the yucca brevifolia, thrives in the desert and has a distinct look characterized by bayonet-shaped evergreen leaves that taper to a point. There are plenty of places to hike and to camp at Joshua Tree National Park. Enjoy some fresh air and some beautiful scenery while exploring these fascinating trees.
Take a water aerobics class at the Ace Hotel. On Sundays, hop into the pool at the Ace Hotel for a fun, easygoing water aerobics class! You’re sure to giggle throughout it, and burn enough calories to enjoy a post-workout cocktail (or two).
Play golf—lots of it! Palm Springs is known for its gorgeous golf courses. It is estimated that there are nearly 300 courses in town, which means that you have plenty of options if you want to hit the links.
Take a yoga class in the park. On Saturdays, Power Yoga hosts an outdoor yoga class at a local park. Channel your inner yogi as you stretch, strengthen, and stabilize your body. Feeling bogged down by your less-than-flexible limbs? The beautiful view of the San Jacinto Mountains will distract you from the pain.
Top images via Ava + Aliria Boutique; other images by Rachel Johnson.