If you are looking for that ideal “vacation” where you sit by the pool all day, enjoy a cocktail and visit the spa, Palm Springs can be your perfect destination but if you dig deep, this iconic, yet humble city in the desert can be so much more.
Yes, you can certainly escape your busy life and enjoy a relaxing getaway in the hot desert but as of late, Palm Springs has grown up. You can still find your tourist traps along Palm Canyon Drive but you would have to be nearly blind to miss the development that is happening in the heart of the city. More hipster friendly restaurants have sprung up as well as boutique coffee shops and specialty clothing stores.
Is it family-friendly? Of course, there is something for everyone but choose your timing wisely because parts of the year can be unreasonably hot.
DO: The Aerial Tramway is great for families and adventure seekers alike. This 2.5-mile ride begins at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains and takes riders 8,516ft up the mountain. Mt. San Jacinto State Park offers 54 miles of hiking trails throughout 14,000 acres of incredible wilderness. Forgot to pack a lunch? Don’t worry, there are 3 dining options located at 8,500ft so you better be comfortable with heights. There is a full dining experience at Peaks Restaurant, a lunch spot and even a place equipped with plenty of cocktails.
If there is one thing that makes Palm Springs unique, it is certainly the architecture. PS Architecture Tours offers personally guided tours to view the world-famous mid-century modern architecture that Palm Springs is famous for. Want to see Elvis’ honeymoon hideaway? Um, of course you do. Do you feel like you are living as a modern day rat packer? If so, you can catch a glimpse of Frank Sinatra’s Rancho Mirage digs.
Eat: If you’re looking for the best happy hour on the strip, look no further than the HooDoo Lounge at Hyatt Palm Springs. No where else can you snack on lobster rolls, duck confit quesadillas and a pork shank while people-watching and listening to live music. They have two happy hours to choose from, 4:30-6:30pm and 10pm – Midnight. This way, you can either go for an aperitif or a digestif and of course, you have some great cocktails to choose from. The Mexicali Mule is a twist on the, you guessed it, Moscow Mule. Boots & Saddles is a bourbon-based cocktail on draft that is not only delicious but will put some hair on your chest.
If you are looking for great food but don’t want to venture too far, the north end of the strip is your best bet. Birba is a modern Italian restaurant with plenty of open air seating and an impressive cocktail and wine list. Workshop Kitchen + Bar is an impressive space with equally impressive bartenders. One step inside and you could easily mistake this place for a hip restaurant in New York City. My advice, grab one of the few seats at the bar and let one of the bartenders lead you in the right direction.
Stay: Not sure if you want to stay in a hip, boutique hotel or a full service resort? Your in luck, Hyatt Palm Springs brings the best of those into one very cool place on the strip. In the beating heart of Palm Springs lies this luxurious hotel equipped with two restaurants, live entertainment, great nightlife, a stunning pool with fire pits and private poolside cabanas and so much more. Why walk? Grab one of the hotels complimentary bicycles and cruise the strip.
Pro Tip: Request a room on the back side of the hotel and get a great view of the stars, mountains and O’Donnell golf course.