The most well-known places to stay, eat, shop, and do in the desert oasis known as Palm Springs for the ultimate relaxing yet upbeat California weekend.
A trip to Palm Springs was just what every California girl or guy needs. The location encompasses a mixture of mid-century architecture, hip hotels with decor to die for, a plethora of one-of-a-kind eateries and even small adventures that are sure to keep the activity levels high for those looking for a little adventure. This desert town was once widely known for its retirement culture, but has now transformed into a location where twenty and thirty somethings flock to transport into a different era with famous hotels, vintage shops and architecture that fit into the 1960’s style. Seriously, even gas stations and banks look awesome here. I couldn’t help but feel as though this is the perfect escape that has a mix of adventure, relaxation and style approximately 100 miles east of Los Angeles. While we spend over a week in this dreamboat town, it simply wasn’t enough- and I can’t wait to travel there again to discover all the locations we didn’t make it to this time around. For now, here’s a list of my favorites locations and even some places I can’t wait to see in real life next trip!
Moorten Botanical Garden
One of the most beautiful collection of rare cacti and desert plants native to the region is Moorten Botanical Garden. The $5 admission fee allows you to roam the garden, explore the cactarium, and the option to purchase quality succulents in perfect condition along with handmade pottery. A visit here takes around an 45 minutes, but the memories and pictures you can snap along the way make it must stop for Palm Springs locals and visitors alike.
The Door Tour & Architecture
Everywhere you look in this desert city is perfectly styled and so well designed. One of Southern California’s most photographed spots is definitely #ThatPinkDoor. This now historical landmark sits pretty in a neighborhood of beautiful homes, other fabulous doors and even a new Instagrammable spot know as The Party Lions (below). If you’re renting a car or have access to one, I definitely recommend parking and strolling around the neighborhood. If not, take a Lyft/Uber to 1100 E Sierra Way, Palm Springs where you will find the famous light pink hued door.
Downtown Palm Springs
Endless restaurants, tiki bars, vintage shops and mid-century modern architecture stores will keep your itinerary packed for a full day. There is no shortage of photo opportunities and even some great happy hour spots like Trio Restaurant. If you’re not sure where exactly to head, I suggest starting around West Elm and walk your way up and down the long stretches of downtown. If you’re up for it, a stop at Bootlegger Tiki will give you all the feels- with inventive, handcrafted cocktails to match.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tram
Trade in a day of shopping and dining for something with a little more adventure! Up in the mountains, the worlds largest rotating aerial tram will take you to the very top of San Jacinto State Park. Here you will find many hiking trails, and two restaurants to enjoy a drink after the 10 ride up to the top. A trip here takes about 3 or so hours depending on how long you hike, and be sure to bring an extra layer to comfortably enjoy the cool temperatures at the top.
Hang Poolside & Relax
One of the biggest draws of Palm Springs is to sit, relax and soak in the desert sunshine. The heat here maintains around 90 degrees in the fall, so be sure to plan a trip accordingly. The summer months can reach up to 120 degrees, meaning a trip here during that time won’t allow you to do to many activities besides hang poolside. Bonus points if you bring a fun float like this jumbo sized heart float for an added level of vacation mode.
The Parker Hotel
One of Palm Springs most famous luxury hotels as got to be The Parker Hotel. The hotel is carefully curated to display young, hip decor items that make you feel as if you’ve stepping into the 1960’s every which way you turn. While we did not stay at The Parker, we dined at the famous Norma’s restaurant and opted to sit outside. Because we were there in the middle of the week, we essentially had the common areas of the hotel to ourselves, and couldn’t help but order a few more round of drinks at the small bar just off the lobby after brunch. The next time we visit, we will definitely consider booking accommodations here!
The Ultimate Checklist: Where To Stay, What To Eat & What To Do
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