In a town not so far away from Los Angeles, there is a place that exudes relaxation. Looking for a couple night’s romantic getaway? Look no further…from hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses and spas, Palm Springs is the place to rid you from all of your worries.
When: July 2018
Where: Palm Springs
What : San Jacindo Mountains, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, Indian Canyons, Villagefest every Thursday evening, Moorton Botanical Garden, Palm Desert, Joshua Tree, Coachella Valley for hiking, biking and horseback riding trails or the festival in the Spring!
Thursday 12th July – Day 32
I had an ‘A-ha’ moment when we began driving through Palm Springs. Aesthetically somewhere along the line, this is how I imagined Los Angeles to look like in my head. No traffic, palm tree after palm tree with the San Jacinto Mountains complimenting this already beautiful backdrop. Palm Springs also encompasses the magic of added Hollywood star dust sprinkled throughout the streets on the homes that once belong to the likes of Sinatra, Bob Hope and even Elvis. However in 108 Degrees Farenheit, one thing was for sure, we were definitely in the desert. I was really excited for a change of scenery and although Palm Springs is known for it’s spas, our budget friendly pockets swapped this luxury for a hot tub and pool in our next Airbnb.
A snap captured on my iPhone driving in the car through Palm Springs
Our next host was an eccentric guy who proudly displayed his Christmas tree (in July), as well as a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Chatty and welcoming, we learned that he was a chef to the stars, who kindly gave us a long list of recommendations of places to eat during out short stay. It seemed our luck had changed as soon as we left LA as it was restaurant week in Palm Springs. This is a clever incentive to persuade customers to venture outdoors into the heat, aided by some excellent deals; perfect timing for our short visit. For dinner we ate at Ac3 Restaurant and Bar where we had 3 courses for only $90 between two including wine.
Ac3 Restaurant and Bar
We were keen to also experience Villagefest, the weekly Downtown Farmer’s Market having enjoyed it so much in SLO. However after driving around for a while we were unable to find it, so settled on a quick trip to Vons for some wine and sweet treats instead.
Tip: Villagefest is located here: P: 760-320-3781 – Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA, 92262
When we got back from our meal, we were about to crack open the wine when our host tapped on the door, “Room service!”. Feeling somewhat confused for a moment, I cautiously opened the door and there he stood with home baked cookies for us, “Something to satisfy that sweet craving before bed”, he said with a smile. It seemed our host already knew us all too well and the Universe was repaying us. Although this also sounds like it could be the start to a thriller movie, it was very thoughtful and the chocolate cookies he baked for us were delicious; we could see why the guy was a chef to the stars! Although it was still humid outside, we wanted to make the most of the novelty of the hot tub on a Summer’s night, so decanted our wine into some tumblers and sipped it in the hot tub under the stars. I could have definitely got used to weekend breaks like this.
Friday 13th July – Day 33
Our host who at this point you can already tell had a quirky side, was keen to point out a similarly quirky feature – the outdoor shower. He stated that although it was a space to cool off/shower before heading into the pool and hot tub outside, we could use it as our regular shower if we wanted. Of course we still had access to the indoor bathroom, but there was something quite freeing about the option of showering outside, particularly as most of the houses in Palm Springs are bungalows, so there was the comfort knowing there would be no peering eyes. That morning I embraced mother nature before having a quick morning dip in the pool.
Cacti, Palm Springs
Palm Springs, July 2018
For brunch we visited a good old fashioned American Diner – Elmers. This was one of the second times we experienced the huge portion sizes that the States is famous for and we were so very grateful for every mouth and plateful! Although it was 42 Degrees Celsius at this point, I needed an excuse to walk off the huge amount of food we had consumed, so took a small stroll (mostly drive) to Downtown Palm Canyon Drive. This is known for it’s string of vintage boutique shops and there are some great finds particularly at “The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five”. Here I am 18 months later, still kicking myself that I didn’t buy the perfect pair of vintage Levi shorts that fitted me so well! Later that day we went for a drive around the cool streets of Palm Springs and found some Insta-famous spots such as The Pink Door.
During our visit we also wanted to go to the Moorten Botanical Garden but to our dismay it was closed. Instead we drove to the Ace Hotel for a swim and enjoyed a couple of frozen cocktails. These weren’t half bad priced either, as we paid about 50 dollars (including tip) for 4 drinks. During this trip, I could see why Palm Springs is so appealing to escape to. With it’s laid back attitude, Palm Springs is the perfect reset for a day or two.
Later on that evening we had one of the best meals we had out of our whole Californian road trip at another Restaurant Week showcaser… Spencer’s. If you fancy something a bit more elegant with some piano music but comfortable informality this is the place to go! Spencer’s is also dog friendly, very romantic and has won many awards, such as Best Wine List, Best Chef, Best Sunday Brunch and even Best Gluten Free. This meal was an absolute steal of a deal during Restaurant Week!
Sunset in Palm Springs quickly taken on a drive
Saturday 14th July – Day 34
The following morning we planned to experience the Aerial Tramway, but the 44 degree heat in combination with my potential freakout from the heights, we ultimately gave it a miss. Therefore we enjoyed one last chilled swim in the pool before making the 2 hour drive to our last Californian stop… San Diego!
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The California Travel Diaries | Los Angeles (Part 1)
California Travel Diairies | Los Angeles (Part 2)
California Travel Diaries | Exploring Orange County
California Travel Diaries | A Whistle-Stop Tour of LA (Again)
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