Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs has been at the top of my travel list for years. There’s just something so charming about a small town in the middle of nowhere that’s seemingly stuck in the 1960s. That, coupled with the fact that Palm Springs is just as obsessed with bright colors as I am, motivated me to plan a trip to the Southern California desert a few summers ago.
My friend Quinlan had recently moved to Los Angeles, so we decided to take a weekend road trip. We packed up our bags early on a Saturday morning and two hours later arrived in Palm Springs. First up on our list was breakfast. We went to Cheeky’s and ended up waiting an hour for a table for two, but it was honestly well worth the wait. I ordered eggs benedict (which came on a cheddar scone instead of a biscuit!), Quinlan got huevos rancheros, and we shared a corn pancake. It was the perfect way to start our day!
I wanted to stay at The Amado for the weekend, but it was fully booked so we chose The Saguaro instead. I picked this hotel because I loved the colorful aesthetic, and it was significantly less expensive than some of the other popular hotels in town. Quinlan and I were expecting to have a relaxing day by the pool, but by mid-afternoon the pool area turned into a Vegas-style pool party complete with a live DJ. We got into the spirit by ordering margaritas and a delicious cocktail called Mermaid Bait, which was a combination of vodka, Campari, watermelon, and lime. The Saguaro and the Amado would both be perfect places for celebrating a bachelor or bachelorette party in Palm Springs.
For dinner, Quinlan and I went to Birba where we started off with the highly recommended meatballs, split a bottle of red wine, and polished off a couple pizzas. The majority of the restaurant seating is outside and we only had to wait a few minutes for a table for two. We ended up chatting with an older lady who lives in Palm Springs full-time and gave us the lay of the land and what to expect during our weekend getaway. Sometimes the best tour guides are just a table away.
On Sunday, I wanted to “see the sites” so to speak. Quinlan and I walked around the Parker and the Ace Hotel just to check them out, and then drove around a few Palm Springs neighborhoods to see the mid-century architecture. My favorite house happens to have its own following (#ThatPinkDoor) and I couldn’t resist getting a quick photo right out front! While it’s tempting to think of homes in Palm Springs as tourist attractions, it’s important to remember that real people actually live inside. Even though everyone we encountered was happy to talk about their colorful community, be aware that others may not appreciate you snooping around their yards!
We headed to Reservoir (no longer open) at the Arrive Hotel for lunch where I ordered the Cobb salad with shrimp and Quinlan ordered the burger. Both meals were insanely delicious and the weather was perfect for sitting outside in the shade. Afterwards, we satisfied our sweet tooth next door at Ice Cream & Shop(pe) with a couple scoops of ice cream. One half of the storefront is an ice cream parlor, while the other half is a fun-filled party gift shop. We loved looking at all of the colorful party gifts and trinkets while polishing off our cones.
Quinlan and I walked up and down North Palm Canyon Drive, which is the main strip in town, and popped into any and every shop that looked interesting. One in particular that stuck out from the crowd was A La Mod, who has a cool and quirky inventory of authentic mid-century modern furniture and home décor pieces.
I randomly found out about this art exhibition called Desert X a few days before our trip via Instagram, and the last day of the event happened to be the Sunday we were in town. I felt so lucky to have caught it! On our way out of Palm Springs, we hiked up a desert hill to see Mirage by Doug Aitken. The installation consisted of a mirrored house that reflects the sky, the mountains, and the city around it. From certain angles, the house seems to disappear into the scenery completely. It was such a cool way to end our weekend adventure in Palm Springs.