Local's Guide to a Relaxing Palm Springs Getaway
Palm Springs, California has long been one of our favorite places to hide away. With pools, palm trees and plenty of hikes, it's the perfect spot to spend a relaxing weekend with friends or family. After coming to the desert for over 10 years, we decided to buy a second home and have spent plenty of time living like a local. Here are my top picks for where to go, what to do and how to enjoy your time in this magical oasis.
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Where to stay
Parker Palm Springs
Classic Palm Springs accommodation with stylish decor, plenty of leisurely areas and a private Yacht Club.
On the edge of downtown, a mod Moroccan-Mediterranean hideaway with a tranquil courtyard, pool and San Jacinto mountain views.
The Colony Palms Hotel and Bungalows
Bright boutique hotel in Palm Springs with a full-service spa just one block from Palm Canyon Drive.
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Day 1: Hike and relax by the pool
On your first day in the desert be sure to wake up with the sun and watch as the San Jacinto mountains turn a vibrant shade of orange. Grab a spot in line at Cheeky's Palm Springs and indulge in their 'world famous bacon flight' and my favorite, the Crispy Buttermilk Waffles.
Once satiated, head out for a hike on one of the many trails at the Indian Canyon Preserve. There is an entrance fee but you will be rewarded with beautiful mountain vistas, cactus dappled canyons and palm trees as far as the eye can see.
After you've worked up an appetite, grab a sandwich to go from Aspen Mills Bakery and head back to your hotel to relax by the pool.
Day 2: Breakfast, shopping & dinner at Birba
Start your day at Cafe La Jefa and camp out on the beautiful outdoor patio and do some people watching. Locals and tourists alike congregate here for the delicious coffee, pastries and friendly vibes.
Check out some of the local shops and be sure to hit up The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five and Mojave Flea, both featuring local artisans and fresh finds that will overwhelm your senses (in the best way).
If you happen to be in town on the first Sunday of the month, don't miss the Vintage Flea Market for midcentury modern treasures and vintage clothes.
Take a drive around town to check out some of the mid-century architecture and be sure to do a drive by of the famous pink door house on East Sierra Way, Elvis and Priscilla's Honeymoon Hideaway (1350 Ladera Circle) and the famous Swiss Miss houses on West Crescent. Don't forget to check out the windmill farm on the north end of town.
For dinner, dine under the stars at Bar Cecil for some old school Palm Springs cocktails and delicious eats. Be sure to check out the Beaton Burger that comes branded with the Bar Cecil logo and don't miss out on ordering Cecil's Bread Rolls. Afterwards, wander over to grab a nightcap at Seymour's speakeasy inside Mr. Lyons, the vibes are Palm Springs at it's finest.
Day 3: Hike at Tahquitz Canyon and dinner at Colony Club
No visit to Palm Springs is complete without a decadent breakfast at Norma's at the Parker Hotel. Designed by Jonathan Adler, this playful spot features breakfast favorites all day and night.
Stretch your legs with a hike at Tahquitz Canyon where the two mile loop will lead you past a raging waterfall where you can wade in the water to cool off and take a break.
Grab a treat for all your hard work at local favorite Ice Cream & Shoppe and wander in and out of the shops on the North End of town (otherwise known as the Design District) like The Frippery for vintage finds and Elizabeth & Prince for wardrobe staples and special pieces.
For dinner, sit poolside year-round at the beautifully appointed Colony Club at the Colony Palms Hotel.
Need to Know
If you have some extra time in your schedule, be sure to add on a day to visit Joshua Tree National Park where you'll be transported to another planet. Only an hour outside of town, you'll truly feel like you've landed on Mars with the vast open landscape that includes otherworldly vegetation and rock formations. Be sure to end the day at the Cholla Garden where the sun setting sets the little cacti aglow and make for some stunning photos.
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