I love California. Like, LOVE it.
So when my friend Melissa (who you may remember as my partner in crime in Rome, Positano, and Capri) called and asked if I wanted to come out and spend 10 days with her in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, it was a no brainer.
We rendezvoused at LAX, and spent a night in the city before heading out to Palm Springs. The day we left LA was cloudy and a rainstorm erupted midday. But we got to a point where we literally crossed into the sunshine at the exact moment we pulled into Palm Springs. I mean, can you even?! A perfect moment!
The last time I was in Palm Springs was about 2 years ago, and I’d been dying to come back. The best thing about PS is that it’s small enough to feel familiar, but there’s still plenty to do. And they have some of the greatest hotels. Oh, and palm trees are freaking everywhere.
We didn’t have any sort of agenda. Our time in Palm Springs was all about relaxation. Getting some sunshine, driving with the windows down and the Ed Sheeran up, squealing every time we saw a dog (which in Palm Springs is approximately every 1.4 feet or so).
One of the best things about Palm Springs is that the entire town seems to be stuck in the 1950s in the very best way possible. Mid-century modern design runs rampant, vintage boutiques line the streets, and some seriously delicious restaurants fill up their patios.
Here are some of my favorite places in Palm Springs, things I think you’d really enjoy if you head out to the desert.
FARM – In a city filled with acai bowls and salads, it’s refreshing to pop into Farm and get fare straight from Southern France.
Frankinbun – Hot dogs! Frankinbun has a ton of hot dog options (including a deliciously spicy vegan hot dog!) and the cutest custom wallpaper with little hot dogs dancing in the classic chinoiserie scene.
King’s Highway at the Ace – A classic. King’s Highway used to be a Denny’s and it’s still got the setup. Their avocado toast is delicious and you can stroll around the hotel grounds afterwards to burn off some of those calories.
Spaghetteria – A little bit off the main PS pathways, you’ll find Spag. They’ve got pesto pasta to die for, and you’ll feel less like you’re in the desert, and more like you’ve just touched down in Florence.
Pepper’s Thai – Do you like curry? Um, I DO. Pepper’s Thai has great curry (along with other Thai faves), plus they’re on Postmates, so they deliver (hell yes!) if you need a night in to watch Netflix.
Fresh Juice Bar – Acai bowls! Smoothies! Wheatgrass shots! If you live for that full on Cali vibe like I do, come here and get a PB2 bowl with pitaya and thank me later.
Purple Palm at The Colony Hotel – Wallpaper! And oysters. Enough said.
Parker Palm Springs – I mean. Does it get any better than playing a round of croquet under the desert sun? Or lounging with a book at a little alcove hidden away behind a pretty little gate? At the Parker, that’s exactly what you get. The best part is, even if you’re staying somewhere else, you can brunch at Norma’s and then take a long stroll around the property.
Old Las Palmas – This is my favorite neighborhood in all of Palm Springs. If you like mid-century modern decor – and it’d be a real shame if you came to PS and didn’t – you’ll die for this neighborhood. Drive around at magic hour and choose a dozen houses you’d be happy to own.
Cabazon Dinosaurs – Cheesy alert! Yes, the dinos are cheesy, but that’s kinda what makes them great. Full on 1950s vibes right off the side of the highway.
Palm Springs Door Tour – I know you’ve seen That Pink Door on Instagram, but there are TONS of adorable doors in town. The Door Tour is more than worth it!
Thursday Night Markets – On Thursday nights, downtown Palm Springs turns into a sweet market scene. The products featured at the market have to apply for entry and go through a rigorous process to ensure they’re high quality. So, long story short, you won’t find little dinky souvenirs here.
Dazzles – You guys. Dazzles is the best place to buy vintage costume jewelry in Palm Springs. If your dream is to dress like late 1960s Jackie O. or California Megan Draper, Dazzles is your place.
Frippery – Caftans and vintage Missoni galore is what makes the Frippery great. The owner is the sweetest human with the sweetest dog, and she sources the majority of her clothing from Palm Springs estate sales, so you know it’s good.
Desert Hills Premium Outlets – Valentino, Theory, Helmut Lang, YSL, Dolce & Gabbana, La Perla, Alice and Olivia, the list goes on and on… just go here is what I’m saying!
Trina Turk – A Palm Springs classic! Chic and colorful, and the perfect spot to pick up a few swimsuits for your trip.
The Twist – This was my first stay at The Twist and it couldn’t have been better. A great pool, relaxing hot tub, fantastic views, and an even better location make The Twist a really great option and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again.
Parker Palm Springs – Oh man. A PS mainstay, with insane decor. I love it here, and their rooms are very large. Plus, who wouldn’t want to lounge by the pool and have room service delivered via bike messenger?
Korakia – The Korakia is my absolute, hands down favorite hotel in the entire city. It’s got that relaxed boho vibe that I can’t get enough of, plus they have yoga and meditation and don’t allow children under 13, so it’s a literal dreamland.
Saguaro – If you’re coming to Palm Springs to party, the Saguaro is the place for it. It’s hip, colorful, and pulsing. They also have yoga, but I doubt anyone’s got time for that.