When a girl gets engaged, her girlfriends have just one burning question (and it has nothing to do with who is going to catch that silly bouquet or what style of bridesmaid dresses they’ll be wearing): “So, where’s the bachelorette party?”
Palm Springs is officially the unofficial new go-to destination for girlfriend getaways and destination bachelorette parties. And it’s not just for gals who live in SoCal. With an airport minutes from downtown, a free Buzz Trolley that runs between hotels and downtown, and plenty of cabs and Uber drivers, Palm Springs is both easy to reach and a breeze to get around, all without relegating a bestie to play designated driver. Cheers!
Whether you envision a low-key weekend of foodie feasts, bike rides, pedicures, and poolside mojitos or a three-night rager of Patron shots and dancing your hearts out, Palm Springs makes a scenic, sun-drenched backdrop for pre-wedding memories.
We have suggestions to get the ball rolling, then your creativity takes over. A mass of bloggers and pinners have also discovered bachelorette-friendly Palm Springs and are not letting go, leaving the Internet awash in fresh ideas for a modern hen party in the desert. Start pinning!
Lulu California Bistro
The party goes non-stop at this hopping place known for indoor-outdoor group seating, a multi-course prix fixe menu, and an all-day (yes, 12-hour) happy hour at the humongous bar. A late-night scene stretches until 1a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights to the tune of a live DJ. The cotton candy is spun to order.
200 S Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-327-5858, www.lulupalmsprings.com
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LULU CALIFORNIA BISTRO ON FACEBOOK
Bachelorettes love the all-day happy hour and pink cotton candy at Lulu California Bistro.
A favorite among locals, this modern Uptown restaurant starts the night right with vibrant orange décor and dance-floor music. For a naughty dessert surprise for the bride, ask about the, ahem, suggestively shaped cakes.
707 N. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-864-8746
A cool urban atmosphere woos parties with its community tables, duck fat fries, and potent punch bowls sized for sharing.
800 N. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-459-3451
PHOTO COURTESY COPA NIGHTCLUB AND KRUNKY LIFE
Next to Tropicale restaurant, Copa Nightclub draws bachelorette parties, especially on Friday nights which is Ladies Night.
Ladies of all musical persuasions agree: it’s not a bachelorette weekend without at least an hour or two on the dance floor.
611 S. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-325-2375
Costas Nightclub at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
74855 Country Club Drive
Palm Desert; 760-341-1795
244 E. Amado Road
Palm Springs; 760-866-0021
266 S. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-323-3265
Drag shows at Toucans Tiki Lounge
If you’re respectful of the regulars and their longstanding hangout, the drag queen performances at Toucan’s are renowned.
100 N. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-416-7584
Gambling at Spa Resort Casino
Hit the slots and tables in downtown Palm Springs. The Cascade Lounge hosts live DJ’s with no cover charge, beginning at 9 p.m.
401 E. Amado Road
Palm Springs; 888- 999-1995
Boutique hotels that love bachelorettes
Eat, party, and stay at these scene-making hotels. Each has at least one restaurant, plus a spa, pool party vibe, and nightlife.
Ace Hotel Palm Springs
701 E. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-325-9900
Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs
150 S., Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-325-9676 www.hrhpalmsprings.com
PHOTOS BY ASHLEY WILLIAMS
Boho bachelorettes enjoy poolside cocktails at Saguaro Palm Springs.
The Riviera Palm Springs
600 N. Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-327-8311
The Saguaro Palm Springs
1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-323-1711 www.thesaguaro.com/palm-springs
Vacation rentals for a full-house sleepover
Girls never outgrow the classic pajama party. Pooling funds may make it even more affordable and convenient than a hotel. Check Airbnb and Palm Springs vacation rental sites — making sure to inquire about noise restrictions if you’re likely to get rowdy.
PHOTO BY ASHLEY LAPRADE PHOTOGRAPHY
Images from a professional photographer during your bachelorette party make sweet bridesmaid gifts.
If you’re booking a vacation home, then book a masseuse or a yoga teacher to come to you. Otherwise, pop into a local yoga or pilates studio to start your day right. World-class spas fill the valley; a number offer girlfriend packages complete with your own private spa suite. Before your night out, get glam with a major blowout.
All Tressed Up Blowdry and Beauty Bar
73-655 El Paseo
Palm Desert; 760-568-4526
Just Blow Drys
73375 El Paseo
Palm Desert; 760-568-2569
Shopping and souvenirs
Designer showrooms, national brand names, and upscale unique boutiques line the elegant shopping avenue of El Paseo in Palm Desert. Cafes, restaurants, and happy hours beckon for a break between browsing. In downtown Palm Springs, Destination PSP brims with merch that reflects the pool-and-cocktails lifestyle, including a swimwear section of hot brands curated by Chelsea Lane.
El Paseo Shopping District
between Highway 74 and Portola Ave., Palm Desert
170 N. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs; 760-354-9154
Pedal together on the Sunny Cycle
Forget about those calories in that three-course dinner washed down with a few cosmos. This group bicycle built for 8 to 15 friends lets you burn it off while you pedal between your choice of hip hangouts. Luxury comes in the form of a flat-screen TV, stereo sound system, USB port phone chargers, misters, and an electric motor assist function — so you don’t have to work that hard.
Don’t forget professional photos
“One of the coolest outcomes of doing a bachelorette photo-shoot is that you can then turn around and use the photos as bridesmaids gifts,” says photographer Ashley LaPrade. “Maybe put them in a frame with a personal note, add some bling, or in a cute monogramed wooden box. You are good to go!”
Ashley LaPrade Photography
Lisa Marie Hart has been writing about weddings since serving as an editor at Bridal Guide magazine in New York City in 1999. Since 2006, she has been editor of the annual Palm Springs Life Weddings & Honeymoon Planner. Away from the laptop, she creates tiered cupcake stands for weddings and celebrations at www.highteaforalice.com