I recently went to Palm Springs to celebrate my hubby’s 30th birthday and we had a blast. Palm Springs has easily become one of the top vacation destinations in California and it’s easy to see why: it’s a small little desert oasis with fun shops, delicious restaurants and some of the best resorts.
If you’re planning a trip, checkout my guide below!
WHERE TO STAY
- The Riviera Hotel – We love this hotel, it just screams old Hollywood glam. This is a large resort and definitely makes you feel like you’re on a getaway. They have two large pools with bars located at both – If you’re looking for a pool party on the weekend, this is a great spot to go to. However if you’re looking for a nice getaway, the weekdays are party-free and the pool area is perfect. They also have fire pits at the Bikini Pool, which is the largest pool. The hotel also has Circa 59, a tasty restaurant that we enjoyed breakfast at, although I’ve read dinner is awesome as well. While the halls may need a bit of a facelift, the rooms are a great size and the grounds are gorgeous. It’s located at the beginning of the main strip on N. Canyon Drive where the free Buzz Shuttle picks up, which is super convenient to get to downtown.
- The Saguaro Hotel – We ventured over to this hotel to check it out and have added it to my list to stay at next time. They’re notorious for their fun pool parties and colorful décor. Plus, they have the tastiest restaurant (more on that later).
- The Ace Hotel – This is the first place we stayed at when we first visited Palm Springs. It’s a hipster paradise from the décor, fun music and cool bar. If you stay here be sure to check out their photo booth, their Amigo Room bar which cranks out delicious drinks, and the Kings Highway Cafe for breakfast. It’s a little off the main drag, but worth exploring.
- The Parker Hotel – This little expensive gem is off the main drag and caters to guest looking to get away and lounge. It’s decorated by Jonathan Adler, so it’s trendy and unique. Their grounds are beautiful and guests get to take advantage of the super popular Lemonade stand, which is not open to the public. However, if you’re looking for the same drink, you can still order it at their lobby bar called “Mini Bar”. While the décor and the restaurant is nice, it’s a drive from downtown and other local hot spots.
WHERE TO EAT
- Cheeky’s – This place is all the rage in Palm Springs. They open at 8am and I was shocked to see there was already a line at that time! The dishes are unique and the spicy bloody mary is no joke. A must-try little spot. I recommend patio seating and arriving really early, as it’s only open until 2pm.
- Norma’s at The Parker – This cute little place has such tasty food, although it’s extremely overpriced. They do offer free smoothie shots which is a nice little bonus. We ordered the fish tacos and lobster mac and cheese and everything was delicious. Highly recommend.
- El Jefe – Located in The Saguaro Hotel, it’s a must-stop. The drinks are the best! Strong cocktails, delicious tacos and nachos – could there be anything better? My favorite place by far. Checkout their HH from 3pm-6pm.
- Circa 59 – This place is gorgeous. I recommend eating in the pretty outdoor patio area during the day, which has a more affordable menu. This place would also make the perfect dinner date with its stylish booths and glam chandeliers inside.
- Bill’s Pizza – The pizza is amazing and affordable, order the Elton pizza – you won’t regret it.
- Las Casuelas – One of the most liveliest places in Downtown – open patio, live music and margaritas!
- Great Shakes – I wasn’t able to try their shakes on my trip, but it’s still on my list to check out. The reviews are great and their shakes look delicious, so I’d recommend everyone check it out.
- Bar – The rave reviews made me add this too the list, but unfortunately we didn’t make it out. Still, I’d recommend any visitor to checkout and brag about it.
WHAT TO DO
- Moorten Botanical Gardens – This little hidden gem is a great spot to check out. A great place to enjoy and observe desert wildlife for only a $5 fee, it’s tiny, but pleasant.
- Palm Springs Art Museum – We loved the museum and highly recommend it. Great exhibits, friendly staff and lots to enjoy. On Thursdays they have free admission after 4pm, so add it to the list!
- Village Fest – If you visit on a Thursday, be sure to checkout the Village Fest in downtown, where they have street vendors, music and tons of food options.
- Downtown Palm Springs – Lots to do and see in downtown, from shops, restaurants to bars and the old Walk of Fame – you won’t get bored.
- Buzz Shuttle – It’s free to everyone! It picks up at the beginning on N. Canyon Dr. right in front of The Riviera Hotel and takes you downtown and to plenty of other great stops.
Have you been to Palm Springs – what are your favorite places to check out? I’d love to hear.