I’ve been visiting Greater Palm Springs a few times a year since I was in high school. Now in my 20s, I drive down from Los Angeles every month. It’s a magical and sentimental place for me because the atmosphere inspires freedom in creativity — and, of course, provides an easy escape from city life for a few days.
La Quinta Resort & Club
This Waldorf Astoria property, opened in 1926, gives you a resort feel without seeming overcrowded with tourists. With 41 temperature-controlled pools, there’s plenty of space to sprawl out. My friends and I like to grab dinner at the Adobe Grill restaurant (known for homemade Oaxacan fare) and then go for a night swim.
Coachella Valley Preserve
One of my top spots to explore is the Coachella Valley Preserve. It’s best to go in the early morning before it gets too hot. During season, the preserve offers guided hikes. But even in summer, it is breathtaking — and definitely a must-see — with more than 30 miles of trails to have a picnic, spot wildlife, and take photos of the oases.
Self-Guided Door Tour
I love architecture and am especially drawn to the different door colors that you see on midcentury houses throughout Palm Springs. Search “Palm Springs door tour” on Pinterest, and you’ll find maps for the area’s most famous entryways. An afternoon drive beats the heat and leads to great Instagram backdrops, too.
This eclectic restaurant is the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring. It even has a rooftop bar, which is a great place to hang out with the girls. Azúcar is located in the heart of Palm Springs at La Serena Villas. Keep in mind you must be 21 or over to hang on property.
Saguaro Palm Springs
Fun atmosphere and décor make Saguaro Palm Springs one of my favorite hotels to visit (even if I’m not checking in for the weekend). Carve out a few hours to lounge by the pool before heading home; the hotel offers a $20 day pass for nonguests. The vibe is relaxing, and they have lawn games and live music at certain times of day.
Amtrak Train Station
This next location isn’t in Palm Springs, exactly, but on your way out. Type “Amtrak train station Palm Springs” into your Maps app to find a gorgeous view of the windmills and the “Welcome to Palm Springs” sign. This spot epitomizes the freedom that I feel in the desert and provides the perfect photo-op to close the weekend.