A Weekend Away in Palm Springs
Danielle Da Silva
Food & Wine
Palm Springs is the ultimate desert getaway. Used as an escape for old Hollywood, you'll still find a retro movie star experience awaits. With a vibrant downtown, mid-century architecture and tons of opportunity for for party or relaxation, Palm Springs is sure to provide a fun-filled weekend (or many weekends) for all. Perfect for couples, bach trips or anyone looking for a weekend in the desert. Palm Springs is also extremely inclusive with much of its history rooted in the LGBTQ+ community.
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Where to stay
Avalon Hotel & Bungalows Palm Springs
Chic, Spanish-style lodging at the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs.
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Complimentary welcome drink.
Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel
Sleek property in downtown Palm Springs with chic rooms that offer views of the San Jacinto Mountains.
$50 hotel credit.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club
Mid-century style hotel with an air of stylish modern Americana in San Jacinto.
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Day 1: Arrive in Palm Springs
Arrive in Palm Springs in the early afternoon. Check into your downtown hotel. Walk over to Palm Canyon Drive to get lost in a boutique or grab some lunch. El Patron offers casual Mexican food and wonderful margaritas. Pop into the Art Museum to escape the heat or head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Head out to Farm for a dinner that will wow, or try other local favorites such as the Colony Club or 1501 Uptown Gastro Pub. Bootlegger Tiki is the perfect spot for after dinner cocktails.
Day 2: Guided architecture bike tour
If you're trying to be a do-er, grab a morning beverage and pastry from the hotel or local Koffi. Join a guided architecture bike tour, or DIY an Instagram-friendly photo journey through the colorful mid-century neighborhoods. The other best way to spend day two is relaxing at a pool, downtown hotels offer pools with more chill vibes. For something with a more party atmosphere get a pool pass for the Ace or Seguaro hotel. You can easily spend all day at either spot.
Day 3: Head to Elmer's
On your last day head to Elmer's for a true old school diner experience. Retro vibes and warm friendly service makes this a favorite breakfast spot for many. After breakfast you can visit the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, one of the top attractions in the area and provides a fun ride with amazing views. Swing through downtown for any last minute souvenirs and grab a date shake (locally grown in the Coachella Valley) from any local shake shop before catching your flight or hitting the road.
Things to Note
Palm Springs International Airport is located minutes from downtown. Also easily accessible by car from LA, Orange County and San Diego. May-September are hot, hot, hot, so hot (it's a dry heat! as the locals like to tell you). Don't let this deter you just stay hydrated and spend a ton of time in the pool. For more mild temperatures visit in October-April, when it's a bit cooler in the day but still warm enough for a dip.
Need to Know
Craving more travel tips? Check out Grace Hilty's guide, Three Days in Big Sur, California.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.