palm springs, california

With over 350 days of sunshine a year, Palm Springs is a popular mid-winter escape for many reasons. Charming mid-century modern architecture, cheeky and colorful hotels and (almost) guaranteed good weather set against a dramatic backdrop of palm trees and mountains. Find a good pool to take it all in and relax with a cocktail. 

Pack... A big sun hat and plenty of bathing suits.

Sleep... Each time I've visited Palm Springs I've been with a group and we've rented an Airbnb - on my most recent trip we stayed at this James Bond inspired oasis, and last year we rented this Mid-Century modern gem. Highly recommend them both, and staying in a house in general. It's a treat to have your own pool and plenty of space to spread out when you're with a group. But I'm also keeping a running list of hotels to check out on my next trip, including the Parker Palm Springs, Avalon Hotel or Korakia Pensione. Have heard wonderful things about each of them.

Take a side trip... If you're feeling adventurous head out to Joshua Tree for the day. Eat a fantastic brunch at La Copine then work it off with a hike in the park. The landscape is mesmerizing and inspiring. You've got to see it for yourself. 

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Ace Hotel & Swim Club - In my mind, the Ace is quintessential, hipster Palm Springs. After a delicious brunch, grab a drink and head outside for some pool party action and fabulous people watching. 

Saguaro Palm Springs -  The colorful Saguaro Hotel is an Instagrammer's dream. With outdoor games and plenty of pool toys, this is a fun place to spend an afternoon. The Saguaro is one of the few pools in town that allows children, but we actually quite enjoyed watching some adorable babies learn how to swim.

Bar - Make sure to head all the way through this spot to the excellent outdoor area in the back. A bocce court, corn hole and plenty of picnic tables make this a fun place to hang with a group.

Joshua Tree National Park - Rent a car and make the trip out to Joshua Tree National Park. The landscape is completely unique, with the large Joshua trees the park is named for and large boulders everywhere you look. You'll gain some elevation so it will likely be colder out there, bring a layer and have fun exploring. 

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Ernest Coffee - For a necessary caffeine fix. 

King's Highway - The Ace Hotel's restaurant is a hip spot with a roadside diner atmosphere. From avocado toast to tacos, the brunch menu offers a wide variety of sustenance and is a great starting point for a day spent at the Ace pool. Reservations recommended. 

Cheeky's - Super popular brunch spot in town, definitely a needed stop after a long night out on the town. Everything we ordered at Cheeky's was top notch, including the bacon flight prepared 5 ways. No reservations, so be prepared to wait. 

La Copine (Flamingo Heights) - This hot spot in the desert completely lives up to the hype. Honestly, I'd drive there from Palm Springs (about 45 minutes) just for brunch, but its a must do if you are spending any time out in the Joshua Tree area. Order the Wild and Free, or the Royal Crumpet, or the Lavish Lavash. Or really anything on the menu. Everything was fantastic. 

El Jefe - A casual Mexican restaurant in the Saguaro Hotel will satisfy your craving for guacamole and tacos. A good stop for lunch. 

Eight4Nine -  A contemporary restaurant with a strong Art Deco vibe (think white everything with pops of strong color). We didn't eat here, but enjoyed the large bar for a pre-dinner drink before hopping across the street to Workshop (see below). 

In-N-Out Burger - Because no trip to California is complete without In-N-Out. 

Workshop Kitchen + Bar - Loved this meal. A great place to indulge for a nicer night out. If you are with a group, highly recommend the outdoor patio as it is a bit quieter than inside and a nice ambiance. Reservations recommended.  

BirbaItalian pizza spot. (Still) didn't make it here but it's on my list for next time. 

 

 

{ February 2017 }