A Weekend Guide To Palm Springs, California
Are you planning to visit Palm Springs??
I adore the California desert and I make any excuse to get out there. In January 2014, I went to Palm Springs with two of my best friends for a fun girls getaway weekend slash birthday celebration.
Palm Springs has become a popular destination for people to visit especially with festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach and properties like the Ace Hotel opening up. I thought this is a great time to share a few of my favourite places in the desert since it’s a popular hot spot!
WARNING! This post is photo heavy!
I love driving towards the desert and seeing the wind farms. It means I’m almost there!
A Palm Springs Weekend Guide
I feel relaxed whenever I drive into Palm Springs.
Where To Stay
My girlfriends and I stayed at the Parker Palm Springs for our weekend. Honestly, I could easily move into the hotel. There’s so much to do and we didn’t even have time to experience it all. I love it! If you don’t stay at the Parker, at least pop in for a (pricey) meal or cocktail at Norma’s or Mister Parker, their restaurants on property
The Parker Palm Springs
Outdoor areas around the Parker Palm Springs
Our suite at the Parker Palm Springs
We had cocktails at the Lemonade Stand at the Parker by the pool area
What To Do
It was a weekend getaway and my birthday so I treated myself to a massage at the Palm Springs Yacht Club which is the spa at the Parker. My massage therapist was excellent, so excellent I fell asleep I was so relaxed! I will say that it’s not a quiet vibe at PSYC which is totally fine because I was with friends. But if you’re looking for a quiet spa vibe, it can get quite lively here because groups of friends go and when you arrive they give you a shot of vodka. Haha.
Palm Springs Yacht Club
YES at Palm Springs Yacht Club!
I want to live at the Parker Palm Springs!
See? Don’t you want to live here?
If you want to have a quiet typical spa experience I recommend driving to Desert Hot Springs and going to one of my favourite spas in the desert. The Spring is a small property with spa facilities. I’ve never stayed there but I have gone several times for treatments. The vibe is super low key and less expensive than most of the spas in the desert. I’m a huge fan!
The pool at The Spring
And this is for the non-festival goers because they won’t have time to go here….I love the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. It takes you to the top of Mount San Jacinto via a circling gondola. As you climb upwards you’ll see amazing views of the desert, landscape, and area. You can hike while you’re there and it’s part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Please note that depending on the time of year, even though it’s hot on the desert floor but cold up top!! I’ve gone up in November and while it was about 80 F/26 C on ground level it was 46/8 up top. Cold!
Going up! View from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Palm Springs Tram
I may have forgotten to tell my girlfriends it’s cold up top. I didn’t expect snow! Sorry ladies!
Before we drove to the Tramway we passed by a market. We made a mental note to stop on the way back to pick up some lunch and treats. It’s the Palm Springs Open Air Market and it happens on the weekends from November through till April. I’m dying to go back when they have their vintage market on the first Sunday of the month. If you’re a Mid-Century modern fan I’m sure you can snag some great scores on housewares and furniture!
Palm Springs Open Air Market
We grabbed some food here and checked out the different vendors. One of my girlfriends bought toys for her daughter and I checked out some of the health and wellness items as well as spices and oils.
I ordered a shwarma plate to stick to a healthy living plan on the road
Where To Eat
Delicious dinner at Mister Parkers
Brunch at Norma’s is fun too!! It’s great to sit out on the patio and eat.
One of the nights we were craving pizza and I was recommended Birba by several people. We wanted to chill and enjoy our suite so we ordered pizzas, picked them up, and had a picnic in our room!! So fun!
Tasty pizzas from Birba
Birba Pizza party picnic in our room!
Our last morning before we headed back to our respective homes (Toronto and Los Angeles), we went to the Ace Hotel’s King’s Highway for breakfast. It was delicious!
Ace Hotel’s Kings Highway interior
Breakfast at Kings Highway
After breakfast, I still needed some caffeine for the drive home. Luckily Koffi is next door to the Ace (as well as other locations around the desert cities)!
Coffee at Koffi! It’s good!
One of my must-dos on the way to or return from the desert back to LA is going shopping at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon. If you know me, I love a shopping bargain. I’ve been coming out to this outlet since I was a teenager on summer holidays with my parents. Some days it’s a miss and I don’t find anything but just a few weeks ago I found a purse that I was lusting over for an insane bargain price. SCORE!!! My favourite outlets are Barney’s, J Crew, Saks, and Nike.
Photo courtesy of Desert Hills Premium Outlet
Nike! Just do it and go shopping!
Found some really great prices on Nike Free Flyknits!!
Found (but did not buy) Celine Furry Slides!
Woooo Celine Trio! I may have bought the forest colour. Yay!
I only had a couple of days and a packed itinerary and there is so much to explore in the desert. In the past, I’ve also stayed at friend’s casita and the Westin in Rancho Mirage (which is great for kids because there’s a water slide and awesome pool there).
SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST
**Disclosure: I worked in collaboration with Palm Springs Tourism on this guide. Thank you to the Parker Palm Springs, Ace Hotel, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tram for their support. As always, opinions are my own.**