Fall has officially begun, and all the instagram girls rejoiced as they slipped on their Ugg boots before making a Starbucks run (because Pumpkin Spice Lattes). Although the sun has set on the summer season, California natives are blessed (or cursed) with near-triple-digit weather for a few more weeks. Palm Springs, for example, is the poster-child of an endless summer.
My family is extremely fortunate in that we own two condos down in the desert, which makes for an easy escape to the land of cacti and palms. After two decades of exploring Palm Springs, I have finally checked off all of the things on my desert to-do list. It only seemed fair to share all of my favorite Palm Springs things with you, you know, in case you’re planning on hibernating there this winter.
So, here it goes;
Since my family owns two homes, it’s very rare that we are booking a hotel down in the desert, because that would be a waste of money (right?). Well, one day, I will stay at each of these hotels— someone hold me to that.
The Parker Palm Springs – The Parker really put Palm Springs back on the map for tourists, as it was one of the firsts in a wave of hotel renovations. The decor inside is a really cool mix of fresh, modern and hip— with lots and lots of greenery. I will never understand how these resorts can keep so many plants alive in the hot desert when I can barely keep a succulent alive in the central valley.
You may recognize The Parker by their insta-famous “drug” wall. If I didn’t already have you convinced to stop by, do it for the ‘gram.
Korakia Pensione – This gem of a hotel, Korakia, is literally every bohemian-babe’s dream. The bohemian decor, Mediterranean-style villas, cacti and palm trees, wooden doors, cobble-stone courtyards, bougainvillea vines and the turquoise, blue pool gave me all the feels. One day I will stay here and enjoy a glass (or two) of chardonnay in the boho-bungalow— because that seems like the right thing to do.
Okay, I’m biased because I could eat Mexican food for every meal, everyday for the rest of my life. But I swear, Palm Springs really kills it with their nachos and margaritas.
Los Casuelas – Imagine the cutest outdoor patio in Cabo San Lucas on the water, with the prettiest patterned tiles, vibrant umbrellas and dainty string-lights. Now swap out the ocean for palm trees, cacti and the desert mountains in the background— that’s Los Casuelas. This dream of a restaurant has two locations, one off of highway 111 and one in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. Grab a large margarita, some guacamole and sit on the patio, you won’t regret it.
Cheeky’s Palm Springs – What’s a vacation without brunch? The food is good, the drinks are better and the vibe is the best. Order the Cheeky’s Spicy Bloody Mary, it comes in a boot-shaped glass. You’re welcome.
Papa Dan’s Pizza & Pasta – Papa Dan’s is a total hole-in-the-wall, family-owned pizzeria, but the food is to-die-for. It’s technically in Palm Desert, but it’s worth the short drive if you’re in to pizza (trust me).
Armando’s Dakota Bar & Grill – I don’t think I’ve ever met a margarita I didn’t like, but Armando’s really knows how to serve their Tequila. In fact, their margaritas are so potent they limit each person to two. Their food is phenomenal, and you’ll need it to soak up all of the alcohol you’ll be consuming.
Think of Palm Springs as a relaxing oasis with sun, water, booze and golf courses (lots of golf courses).
The Pink Door – Full disclaimer, the above photo is not the pink door. The infamous pink door in Palm Springs is an instagram-must (if you’re in to that sort of thing). If a door has it’s own hashtag (check out #thatpinkdoor), that makes it okay to trespass on a stranger’s front yard for a photo, right?
The Outlets – If shopping is your jam, check out the Premium Outlets in Cabazon. You will be glad you did— your bank account, on the other hand, will not.
Golf – Palm Springs is the holy grail of golf courses (naturally, because of all of the retired folks who reside there). If you’re anything like me, driving the golf cart is way more appealing than actually golfing. Either way, you should check out at least one golf course while you’re down there.
Pool Parties – Unfortunately, my favorite pool party spot, the Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club, closed last year. Fortunately, pool parties are what keeps the desert alive and there’s one around every corner (literally). Check out Saguaro or the Ace Hotel for some splash-worthy fun. If the crowds aren’t your scene, create your own pool party with a pitcher of margaritas and some fun pool floaties.
Alright, someone take me to the desert now.