Palm Springs is one of the most diverse destinations in California. On one hand, you’ve got the Coachella crew flocking for the pool parties and brunching. On the other, you’ll encounter those who want to drink where the Rat Pack drank and sleep where Marilyn Monroe did. If you fall somewhere in-between, they’ve got that covered, too.
Between beautiful boutique hotels, delicious food, and near year-round sunshine, Palm Springs invites you to come as you are. It’s also the ideal spot to do a whole lot of nothing. So, kick back, sip a cocktail, and read a book by the pool. No matter what your perfect weekend looks like, there’s something for you in Palm Springs.
Where to Stay
I adored my recent visit at Los Arboles Hotel. Located in the Uptown Design District, it’s central to downtown and the sights. You’ll feel like you’re in a Spanish hacienda. You can easily park your car and leave it there until your exit. With six room types, my Extended Express suite featured a King-sized bed, tile flooring throughout, dining corner, rain shower, bath tub, and a patio. You’ll even find hammocks in front of some of the suites—perfect for a cat nap and lounging in the desert sunshine.
If sleeping where Marilyn did is on your bucket list, check into the Pretty in Pink Room at the nearby Rendezvous. Monroe frequented this suite back in the day to escape the Hollywood noise.
Where to Eat
After you check-in, check out some of the irresistible cuisine nearby. It’s hard to go wrong with eating in Palm Springs. For a sleek dinner option, visit Uptown Design’s Eight4Nine. There’s a reason why A-Listers like Miley Cyrus can be spotted here. My personal favorites are the Scottish steelhead and a Minty Razz margarita. For the best Mexican food in town, don’t leave without trying El Mirasol. Located within Los Arboles Hotel, El Mirasol offers traditional and California-inspired plates. Not to mention, the freshest guacamole you’ll have.
For breakfast, brunch, and lunch, where do I start? For a hip take on AM classics, start at Cheeky’s. A foodie favorite, Cheeky’s has made a name for itself with cult-like favorites. What warrants an average weekend wait time of an hour or more? Their bacon flight (five pieces each with unique flavors like apple cinnamon) and Bloody Marys, for starters.
If a touch of kitsch attracts you, Billy Reed’s should be on the list. It reminds me of the Madonna Inn along the Central Coast of California. Old school comfort foods and big breakfast plates make up the menu at Billy Reed’s. I enjoyed take-out on my last visit, but I would return to take in the atmosphere.
What to Do
I always enjoy a ride up the Aerial Tramway to visit Mt. San Jacinto State Park. It’s a very welcomed trek when the desert temperatures are over a hundred degrees. It’s also the largest rotating tram car in the entire world. Whether or not you’re into hiking, see breathtaking views and grab lunch at their restaurant. You’ll also find a bar, gift shop, and plenty of photo
For the Hollywood experience, check out Palm Springs Celebrity Tours. See the former homes of legends like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. See the house where JFK allegedly first met Marilyn, and other memorable neighborhoods. The tours, except for private tours, are currently on hold, and hopefully will return soon.
One of my favorite aspects of the city is its artistic flare. Explore its many elements with a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum. With a heavy focus on modern and contemporary, the museum has reopened after a year’s closure. While you will need advance tickets, it should definitely be on the itinerary.
The Living Desert
Venture about 20 miles to Palm Desert and treat yourself to a visit at the Living Desert. A perfect blend of a zoo and botanical gardens awaits you. See dozens of animals including cheetahs, wallaby, and camels. You can even get up close and personal with the giraffes as you feed them.
From October through May, three hiking trails are open. The Discovery and Adventure loops are brief (under 20 minutes) and ideal for a quick stroll. But if you enjoy more of a challenge, the Wilderness loop is either 3.5 miles from its junction, or five miles from the desert’s entrance.
For a unique experience, check out their impressive G-scale model trains. More than 3300 feet of track are laid for eight different loops as trains on the Bighorn Railroad come and go.
As summer approaches, consider arriving early to take in all that the Living Desert offers. Once it starts heating up it’ll be a great time to head back to your hotel and soak up the sun by the pool with a libation in hand. Am I right?
Visit Palm Springs
No matter the temperature, Palm Springs offers an array of activities for their visitors to enjoy, even if it’s a whole lot of lounging. Besides, folks like Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, and Marilyn wouldn’t steer you wrong!
(Author’s note: As common in the travel industry, many of these experiences were hosted on behalf of story purposes. All opinions are that of the author.)