This post is overdue but in January I escaped for a long weekend to Palm Springs and man is that place magical! It met all my expectations and I didn’t want to leave! My best friend Andrea and I chose to make the drive from LA and I loved it. As a girl that rarely gets behind the wheel, I loved driving and getting to see the beautiful dessert as we approached PS. Cadillac was kind enough to give us what I believe is one of the nicest cars I’ve ever had the pleasure of being in: the 2016 CTS-V. With loads of technology and one very powerful engine, the 2+ hours to Palm Springs flew by and it made getting around the town so easy.
Now onto the details for when you plan your own trip (which I seriously cannot recommend enough!)
Where to Stay:
Ace Hotel: This spot is like camp for adults. Seriously though…your room is designed to feel like you’re in a tent. The pool scene is top notch (I highly recommend ordering a salty dog to accompany your sunbathing), you can borrow bikes and there’s a 24 hour diner (formerly a Denny’s), a spa and great bar.
Where to Eat:
Cheeky’s: A Palm Springs institution, expect to wait here but the bacon flight alone makes it worthwhile. Or the baguette french toast like I got (seen above.) There’s also quite a bit of outdoor seating to soak up the warm air.
Birba: If you want a cozy outdoor dining experience, Birba is perfect. It’s Italian offerings are paired with heat lamps and fire features and the place was utterly packed when we went so it was a fun nighttime scene.
Workshop Kitchen: Far and away our favorite meal in Palm Springs, this place is excellent. The space is modern (they won a James Beard award for their design!) and the food so delicious. We had a market pizza, brussels sprouts with pomegranates, incredible beef carpaccio and one hell of a flourless chocolate cake.
Norma’s: Oh man if this place isn’t just the cutest. The back porch of this place, housed at The Parker Hotel, is where you want to be (and if it is chillier, the crew is ready with heat lamps and blankets!) and you can expect one very indulgent brunch here. We had pancakes stuffed with Nutella, a killer quesadilla and of course, coffee + bloody mary’s. My favorite part was wandering the grounds of the Parker afterwards.
Appetito Deli: This was the perfect lunch spot when we first arrived. We ordered boozy frozen lemonades, salads and a side of pasta to share and sat outside in their sun-drenched patio. It was created by Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer and also serves Palm Springs’ favorite coffee, Koffi.
Bootlegger Tiki: This is more a “where to drink” than a “where to eat,” but whatever – just go. This kitschy place is dark and moody and has loads of fun cocktails to choose from that will put you right in the tiki spirit. My favorite? The Coffee and Cigarettes. Sounds gross, tastes delicious. And recently voted the “best cocktail in Palm Springs” the bartender was eager to tell those of us that saddled up to the bar.
Great Shakes: Hands-down the best milkshake I have ever had. We popped by here (at Cait’s recommendation!) after dinner at Birba but I’d recommend going on more of an empty stomach because I wanted to finish my Salted Caramel Oreo Shake but just couldn’t! Did I mention they each come with a mini doughnut on the straw? Admittedly we wrapped those up and ate them in the morning – ha! (I’m now drooling thinking about how good this was…!)
What to Do:
Truth be told, we didn’t “do” that much! I think it’s kind of the beauty of Palm Springs. The place is made for quality R&R. We sunned ourselves by the pool and we did check out the outlets (we didn’t buy anything – very hit or miss situation I’m sure).
Rent bikes: Many hotels offer bikes as a part of your resort fee and you can cruise along the sidewalks. We used bikes to get us from the Ace to The Parker for brunch and the weather was perfect for it. I rarely ride a bike in New York so this was such a welcomed activity.
Check out the architecture: Another reason having a car was great was because the homes in Palm Springs are such fun to see! Very art deco in style with colorful doors and charming accents, we spent an hour or so just cruising around looking at all the colorful and chic homes.
Take in the sunset at the Ritz Carlton: This is a bit of a drive outside of downtown Palm Springs, but well worth it to take in the pink sky and beautiful colors of the dessert from an elevated view.
Have you been to Palm Springs? What did you think?
(And in case you’re wondering what I packed/wore…)
[All photography by Meghan Donovan]