Travel Guide: Palm Springs, CA

Like an oasis in the middle of the California desert, Palm Springs is a refuge for all arbiters of style. One could make a long weekend just out of exploring the hotels in the area, which showcase an incredible fusion of kitsch, high design, and everything in between. Take a road trip out from LA (Cabazon Dinosaur and In-N-Out rest stop optional) and park yourself in this design mecca for a long desert weekend.

Check out my Instagram hashtag #caro_in_palmsprings for a photo diary of my trip!

Where To Stay

Your best bet for a relaxing weekend away is booking an Air BnB not far out of town. The homes here are big on style, and you’ll want to make sure that you have a pool at your digs because Palm Springs gets HOT. Use your quiet Air BnB as a launching pad for exploring the area.


What To Do

The Parker Hotel – An absolute feast for the senses, The Parker is a design mecca no matter what your style may be. Even if you go for just an hour, spend some time walking around the grounds, and don’t forget to visit the croquet court and the lemonade stand for a sweet treat.

The Saguaro Hotel – Neon color is the name of the game at this funky hotel, which also has a huge pool and a killer Mexican restaurant inside. Swing by the outdoor tiki bar for a cocktail and some people watching poolside.

Ace Hotel – If Stumptown coffee, Monday night bingo, and pool parties are your thing, check out the Ace Hotel. Stopping by for breakfast and an excellent coffee are musts so you can check out the scene.

Korakia Pensione – This Moroccan riad is adults-only and intensely relaxing. Note that the amenities here are for guests only, so there’s no dropping in for breakfast or lunch by the pool. This keeps the space feeling small and intimate. It’s also stunningly beautiful.

Sparrows Lodge – One of the newer hotels in Palm Springs, this one wins the award for being the place I would stay time and time again. It’s modeled after a rustic country lodge, with a fire pit, trellis hanging over a long family-style table, and rooms that are all decorated differently with a beautifully curated selection of found objects.

Explore the Town – Grab brunch and wander! There are so many great little interior, design, and clothing/accessory shops and the main area of town is an easy stroll after a leisurely daytime meal (don’t forget to stop at Lappert’s along the way).

Hiking – There are a ton of great hikes to be done in Palm Springs, but I did the “Cove to Lake” trail in La Quinta on my most recent trip and we had a blast.

La Quinta – This enormous resort is like a town in and of itself. Note that the spa is what to come here and visit. Don’t forget to book ahead.

Where To Eat

Birba – Book a table at Birba for dinner and sit out on the patio for a lovely Italian feast. Classics such as the bruschetta and meatballs are excellent, and the pizzas and pastas are perfect for sharing with a group.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar – Whether you hit up Workshop for brunch or dinner, the stunning modern space and reinvented classics make this spot a can’t-miss. I loved the avocado side baked with goat cheese and drizzled with honey and toasted almonds. Great bloody maries here as well.

Lappert’s Ice Cream – Make a pit stop at Lappert’s while exploring town, and grab a “Dole Whips” pineapple soft serve to keep cool in the desert heat.

Cheeky’s – Another excellent brunch spot, steal a seat on the patio at Cheeky’s and indulge in updated brunch hits such as huevos rancheros and eggs benedict.

Norma’s – This decadent spot at the Parker Hotel is the home of an absurdly decadent brunch. The portions are huge, the prices are up there, but it’s fun to go and experience. I recommend the shrimp quesadilla, fish tacos, and latke for the table to share.

King’s Highway – This casual poolside lunch spot at the Ace Hotel is the perfect spot for fish and carnitas tacos and a watermelon marg (with a side of people watching).

Purple Palm – This impeccably decorated restaurant inside the Colony Palm Hotel features an outdoor space that’s perfect for a cocktail and snack by the pool. Spring for the coconut milk ceviche (and ask for more of the incredible crackers that come with it).

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