High Life

These five alfresco hangouts are elevating the bar scene.

Tienlyn Jacobson Restaurants

High Bar at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs.

When you’re dashing from one gorgeous Modernism Week event to another, it only makes sense for your in-between moments to be equally stunning. Greater Palm Springs offers spectacular views, and your watering holes of choice should be on par with the scenery.

“Handcrafted cocktails savored with the backdrop of vivid vistas is a no-fail recipe for living the high life,” says Christine Delgado, director of sales and marketing at the freshly opened Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel, where high living is both figurative and literal.

When we sip alfresco, these are a few of our favorite places to perch.

High Bar 
at the Rowan

One of the newest bars to open in Palm Springs can claim bragging rights to what is easily one of the best views in the city. The aptly named High Bar sits atop seven floors with a panoramic sightline of the San Jacinto Mountains and surrounding valley.



Although only a few months old, High Bar epitomizes what makes Palm Springs unique; amid airy decor that cleverly integrates the rooftop lounge with its horizon, creative mixologists whip up desert-inspired cocktails like the Passion of Rickey’s, made with Tanqueray 10, passion fruit, fresh lime, and soda water. It’s so delicious, you may just order it twice.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar

There’s no better place to take in the beauty of Palm Desert than the second-level deck 
at Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar on El Paseo. Relaxed island vibes complement an expansive drink menu and seafood-focused fusion fare. Overlooking the tony shopping boulevard, Tommy’s breezy patio is an idyllic spot to imbibe among the palm trees. A stiff martini is an excellent order, but the rum concoctions put the tropical cherry on top of the entire experience.

Azúcar at La Serena Villas

This boutique-hotel restaurant’s interior design is so impressive it’ll take you a minute 
to remember that you came for a drink. But 
there’s more to Azúcar than visual perfection. For starters, the staff will immediately make you feel like family. Head upstairs to the open-air rooftop lounge, known as Sugar High, to sip spirits fireside. The cocktail menu is a work of art in its own right. Top picks are the Poolside Mojito, made with watermelon, or the spiked Rooftop Lemonade. And don’t overlook the eats — ingredients are locally sourced and prepared to pair with the cozy atmosphere and craft drinks.

Moxie Palm Springs

Perched just above the brunch-centric Broken Yolk Cafe on Palm Canyon Drive, Moxie fosters a relaxed, casual environment; artificial grass and a large stone fireplace on the roof deck create a unique setting for people-watching from above. Games galore, a well-priced happy hour, and live music on the weekends make Moxie a fun stop with friends.

La Copine

While La Copine isn’t exactly on the Modernism Week bus route, its cult following is reason enough to make the detour. Sited in the relatively undeveloped area of Flamingo Heights, the restaurant’s leisurely ambiance cultivates a sense of escapism — a feeling accompanied by a decidedly gourmet menu.


Unwind with a glass of Scribe’s 2017 Nouveau Pinot Noir and, for a small bite, try the duck-chicken mousse, made with Hudson Valley and Jidori liver pâte, meyer lemon mostarda, and radish. Get a table on the spacious patio at sunset to fully immerse yourself in the High Desert landscape.