Greater Palm Springs holds a special place in my heart. It’s so unique with its midcentury architecture, desert scenery, and laid-back vibe — you’ll never confuse it with any other destination in the world. I fell in love with this place the first time I visited five years ago, on a road trip chasing adventure across California, and I try to return once a year.
Arrive Palm Springs
Start your weekend with a drink after check-in at one of my favorite hotels in Palm Springs. This Uptown Design District property welcomes
with cocktails, partying, and dancing
by the central pool. The alfresco Wexler’s Deli (which is also great
for breakfast) serves up shareable
fare and mixologist-made
beverages long after the sun sets.
Palm Greens Café
Four words: best açai bowl ever. We found this place in Palm Springs on HappyCow (it’s like Yelp for vegetarian and vegan restaurants around the world), and it did not disappoint. My favorites are the tofu scramble with vegan tempeh bacon and, of course, the açai bowl, made with almond butter, cacao nibs, and fresh fruit.
This High Desert community offers a one-of-a-kind experience that transports visitors back in time to the 1860s. Make the most of the location by wearing something that complements the Wild West backdrops (flared jeans and a cowboy hat, anyone?), then grab a bite at the lauded restaurant and music venue Pappy & Harriet’s.
Joshua Tree National Park
The best time to visit Joshua Tree is at the end of the day to catch the beautiful High Desert sunset. Wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water (and a picnic dinner!), and set out to explore the rock formations, glimpse wildlife, and embrace the adventurous spirit of this magical place.
DIY Architectural Tour
I always prefer strolling the streets to organized tours. With a short travel window, you’ll get more out of wandering the city at your own pace, meeting people, and feeling like a local. So, grab a cappuccino to go and drive through the Indian Canyons neighborhood of Palm Springs. It feels like a retro movie set with its white minimalistic architecture and bursts of color. Remember to be polite — these are private residences.
Moorten Botanical Garden
Switch your phone to airplane mode, stick your earbuds in, and put on your go-to playlist — it’s time to recharge, slow down, and enjoy the moment.
An hour at this whimsical oasis works better than a day at the spa. Make sure to stop by the tiny greenhouse in the back for an Insta-perfect shot.