Brandini Toffee has been a staple in the Coachella Valley for nearly 20 years.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY BRANDINI TOFFEE
42250 Bob Hope
In high school, desert native Brandon Weimer and a friend decided to make and sell his family’s go-to almond toffee to raise funds for a school trip to Italy. Beyond bankrolling the getaway, the venture snowballed into a toffee empire that has been featured on The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah Winfrey’s esteemed “O List.”
“We like to play the hits,” Weimer says.
While some toffee companies delve into different flavors with an assortment of ingredients, Brandini still serves the same small-batch almond toffee that Weimer has been making since he was a kid. “Butter, sugar, dark chocolate, and some almonds,” Weimer says — and that’s it. Of course, they use it in a variety of ways: for toffee popcorn, delicious milkshakes, toffee-dipped ice cream bars, and other delectable treats.
With a second storefront in Palm Springs and outposts in Cabazon and Los Angeles, the Rancho Mirage flagship houses Brandini’s factory. Visit to see how the award-winning confection is made.
Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert
71701 Gerald Ford
Play and learning collide at CDMOD, where hands-on activities allow kids to explore the arts, crafts, cooking, and science in a compelling indoor-outdoor educational play area. After closing due to the pandemic, the museum has been undergoing a major renovation and re-imagining of its programming. It is poised to reopen in December 2022.
The River at Rancho Mirage
71800 Highway 111
Water features wind through this outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment hub, where you can go from a craft beer flight at the Yard House to late-night lounging at Dringk Eatery + Bar. A handful of boutiques offer retail therapy, and Century Theatres delivers a state-of-the-art movie experience. The River also hosts live music and entertainment throughout the year.
69930 Highway 111, Ste. 116, rancho mirage
Seeking a souvenir for a stylish pal or maybe yourself? Look no further than Rancho Relaxo, a cheerful, sustainability-minded boutique that focuses on artisan-made items you aren’t likely to find anywhere else.
Owner Stella Adena draws on her years as a resort retail buyer when sourcing products, including snazzy home goods, scented soaps, limited-edition apparel designed by local artists, and quirky toys and games for the whole family. Rancho Relaxo’s own line includes apparel and accessories, emblazoned with the store’s charming roadrunner logo, and it’s all designed with comfort and desert living in mind.
A focus on uplifting female makers and creators extends to the very walls at Rancho Relaxo — a vibrant mural by local artist Sofia Enriquez greets patrons en route to the dressing rooms. (The perfect spot to snap a quick selfie!)
ask a local
Owner, Rancho Relaxo
1. Something I love about the desert:
“There is an ethereal quality to the light and landscape that inspires the work of some of my favorite local artists like Phillip K. Smith III, Sofia Enriquez, Ryan Campbell, and John Cuevas.”
2. Where I go for inspiration:
“Escaping to Joshua Tree is an amazing way to recharge. The terrain is otherworldly and always a bit cooler. We got married in Pioneertown, so getting tacos and margaritas at The Red Dog immediately puts me in vacay mode.”
3. Don’t miss this:
“Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage! I am enamored by native plants and find it extremely calming to see wild, resilient cacti landscaped in such a manicured way.”
Rancho Mirage Rock Shop
70020 Highway 111, Ste. A
Lift your spirits and raise the vibrations within your space. The Rock Shop stocks a plethora of crystals, minerals, and handmade jewelry in addition to Indonesian furnishings and décor — from wood-slab tables to handcarved stone Buddhas. Events make this a fun gathering place.