My meticulously curated travel recommendations for Palm Springs, California include local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.
With Midcentury Modern architecture, poolside glamour, vintage shops, and delicious eateries, what’s not to love about Palm Springs?
*Check hours on everything because there are a lot of summer closures.
It’s all about being outside. Depending on the time of year, it’s about making the most of your mornings and evenings and siestaing the 100-plus degree afternoons away.
Palm Canyon Trail + Victor Trail loop at Indian Canyons: It’s my favorite three-plus mile hike which features an epic palm oasis.
Ladder Canyon Hike: If you’re willing to drive about an hour, wake up early and take on the (very exposed and sunny) Ladder Canyon Hike, which has stunning slot canyons and ladders that you climb.
Joshua Tree National Park: Hike the Black Rock Canyon to Panorama Loop Trail and follow it with lunch at La Copine.
Ruth Hardy Park: Some of the most scenic views in the city are from the public tennis courts at Ruth Hardy Park.
Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium: This museum is a must-see destination in Palm Springs for lovers of desert plants.
PS Architecture Tours: Experience Palm Springs’ world-famous midcentury modern architecture on this top-rated architecture tour.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: This is a must-do for spectacular views of Coachella Valley.
Palm Springs Art Museum: The Architecture and Design Center of the Palm Springs Art Museum provides an introduction to the city’s remarkable buildings.
Frey House II is one of my favorite hones to tour in Palm Springs.
The Modern Tour: The best architectural luxury tour of Palm Springs.
Cafe La Jefa is my favorite coffee shop in Palm Springs.
Shields Date Garden is famous for classic date shakes.
Great Shakes threads a mini donut on its straws.
Bar Cecil is the most sought after table in town requiring reservations but the bar does not accept reservations. Arrive at 5pm and enjoy dinner at the bar.
Farm is a country-chic eatery with a patio for farm-to-table Provençal fare. *GF menu.
Cheeky’s is a brunch and lunch spot.
Birba is an outdoor pizza haven with all the GF options.
Mr. Lyon’s is a winning play on the old-school steakhouse.
Melvyn’s if you’re looking for a genuine old-school steakhouse.
The Colony Palms Hotel if you want to lounge by the pool and enjoy your meal.
Tac/Quila is great for tacos.
There are many vintage home stores. Most are located on Palm Canyon Drive, the town’s main drag.
Hyphen is a natural wine shop.
M Vintage is a tiny shop meticulously curated with vintage pieces (no website).
Palm Springs Vintage Market takes place the first Sunday of the month from October through May. It’s an incredible event featuring local dealers, fine art, and jewelry.
Bustown Modern is another great vintage boutique.
Beaumont is on the way from L.A. to Palm Springs and the main drag of East 6th Street hosts a handful of mini antique malls. Don’t miss the Beaumont Antique Mall at 450 East 6th (no website).
Revivals should not be missed.
Angel View is the best place to score great housewares including vintage mugs and sets of cocktail glasses.
Angel View Clearance Center in Desert Hot Springs is great for thrifting. You pay by the pound.
Cathedral City Shopping
Colony Palms is an adults-only boutique hotel.
Two Bunch Palms is a contemporary wellness hotel and hot springs located in Desert Hot Springs, California. TBP’s has a daily calendar of classes.
Sparrows Lodge is a restored fifties retreat.
Boutique Homes lists mid-century modern rentals.
SunLine is the regional bus. Plan your trip with SunBus Tracker App.
After visiting the park, Joshua Tree National Park, take advantage of the bohemian boutiques, eateries, and music venues bordering the park, plus Salvation Mountain and the Salton Sea.
Tallgrass Tours are the best guides in the area.
The Natural Sisters Cafe is an organic cafe with vegan and gluten-free menus.
Food for Thought Cafe is a vegan cafe.
La Copine is a gussied-up roadside diner in the heart of Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree Company is the best coffee shop in the area.
Casa Erimoso is the only gluten-free and holistic AirBnB.
Big Bear is a popular ski destination.
Temecula is home to organic vineyards.
P.S. What else would you add if you’ve been to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree or any other hot spots nearby? Leave a comment below.
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