Our Palm Springs Travel Guide is finally here! I know I've been promising this for months, but I promise that it was worth the wait. Back in October, Scott and I headed down to PS to celebrate his 28th birthday and our best friends' desert wedding. This was our first time visiting as adults (I grew up stopping in the area on road trips), and since we had heard so many good things about Palm Springs over the past few years we were both really excited to visit. The drive from Phoenix is around four hours, so after packing up the rental car and grabbing a couple of iced coffees -- we high-tailed it out of Arizona for a long California weekend!
The last weekend in October is a super popular weekend in Palm Springs, so we ended up booking our AirBnB a few months in advance. We toyed with the idea of staying at of one PS's many boutique hotels (more on those later!), but we felt that we got a better bang for our buck this trip with a super cute apartment that was centrally located and close to where our group of friends were staying. If you're curious, this is the AirBnB we stayed in and we would definitely recommend it -- super clean, cute and in a quiet neighborhood.
COFFEE -- Who knew this little city had so many great coffee shops! Before driving out to PS, we asked for coffee shop recommendations on Instagram and got so many responses!
Ernest Coffee Co. - This cute shop reminded me of my beloved Peixoto and came highly recommended. We ended up stopping in here twice, and both times we had iced coffee + a few of their delicious pastries (they even had GF options).
Stumptown at Ace Hotel & Swim Club - You can never go wrong with Stumptown, and the coffee bar at the Ace is the perfect stop to grab a cold brew before taking a stroll around this uber hip (and cute!) hotel.
Customs Coffee - This little spot is in the Arrive Hotel and has delicious cold brew! We stopped here on our way out of town and wish we would have stopped sooner.
Koffi Coffee - This coffee shop is a PS staple and they have tons of locations around the city. Scott and I didn't end up trying the coffee at Koffi during our last trip, but we hear it's worth a stop!
EAT -- PS is chock full of delicious restaurants and bars! From pizza to Mexican, brunch, dessert and more - there is something for everyone!
Birba - Our first night in Palm Springs was extra special because it was Scott's 28th birthday, so we decided to check out Birba, a modern spot for pizza and small plates. We started off with their roasted cauliflower as a started, and each had our own pizza's - both of which were so delicious (mine was GF too!). Their patio is also really nice and cozy too, twinkle lights included.
Chicken Ranch - During a busy day in Palm Springs, we made a quick, easy and delicious stop at Chicken Ranch for lunch. It was a beautiful day, so we sat outside on their patio and enjoyed our salad and sandwich al fresco!
King's Highway - We had one of my most favorite meals at the restaurant at the Ace -- King's Highway! They serve an American-fare in a quirky old diner, which I'm sure is one of the most Instagrammed restaurants in PS!
Our sweet friend, Jill, who we ran into while having brunch at KH's snapped this photo of us -- it's one of my favorite from the whole trip! Happy and tired from dancing too much the night before during my best friend's wedding (and the after party at the Ace!).
KH's has an excellent brunch! Scott had the chilaquiles and I had a classic breakfast with a bit of a British twist! If you're in the mood for more of a sweet dish, definitely get their lemon ricotta pancakes (had them at the Ace in LA and they were DELICIOUS!).
WANDER -- PS is beautiful, eclectic and has so much to see! There is definitely a few places you have to see, but I swear that just driving or walking around the city is an experience in itself. The Mid-Century Modern influence here is strong, so your bound to see something interesting and unique wherever you may go!
#ThatPinkDoor - you knew that one was coming, right? Visiting this incredibly instagrammable pink door was high on my must-see list (PS priorities, HA!), and I don't think we could have picked a better day -- we were the only ones there! From what I read, the owners are totally cool with people coming and taking photos in front of their bubble gum pink door, but their home is located in a quiet residential area (and I'm sure by now they're used to lots of visitors).
Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium - Oh my! I could seriously go on and on about how much I loved visiting Moorten's! Lucky me, my best friend's wedding was held in this gorgeous space and we got to spend lots of time here during our PS weekend. I actually have plans to do an entire post on Moorten's, but for now just know that visiting here is an absolute must!
Moorten's is home to the very first cactarium and has every kind of cactus you could ever dream of! This gorgeous greenhouse is by far the most popular stop in the garden, but don't forget to take a walk around the entire grounds to see their full botanical garden, desert turtles and garden shop!
Take a stroll - PS is surrounded by beautiful mountains, palm trees and a desert landscape, so don't forget to park the car, go for a stroll through and just take it all in. Oh, and it gets really hot there too, so bring your sunnies, sunscreen and stand in the shade when possible! ;)
Palm Springs Art Museum + Architecture and Design Center - Whenever we travel, Scott and I love to check out the local art museum (we explored de Young in San Francisco on our honeymoon!). We've heard great things about the collection at the PS art museum (lot's of odes to Modernism there), and while we didn't have time for the main building -- we did stop in at the architecture and design center downtown to see their current exhibit, MetaModern, and check out the beautiful old bank building the center currently sits in. If you love artchitecture, design and have a little time -- definitely check out both art-filled buildings!
STAY -- While Scott and I choose to stay in an AirBnB for this trip, PS has some amazing boutique hotel options! All of them are incredibly picturesque, so you really can't go wrong with which one you choose!
Ace Hotel & Swim Club - The Ace is super hip and a fun place to check out! During our trip to PS, we ended up here a few times -- first for a late night coffee and photobooth pictures, then for the after party of my best friend's wedding (which fell on the same night as their Halloween party -- and as you can imagine, it was a bit of a wild night!) and then finally for brunch the next day! Scott and I stayed at the Ace in Portland and loved it! Definitely want to stay here next time!
The Saguaro - We have a Saguaro in Scottsdale and I love their ultra-colorful vibe! Knowing this hotel is a bit of a party place back home, I can only imagine it's a bit of the same in PS. They usually have delicious restaurants, though, so it's for sure worth checking out!
The Parker - If you love Jonathan Adler, than you're going to love this hotel! I'll admit, though -- it's quite fancy (but also so, so beautiful!).
AirBnB - With the rise of boutique hotels, there has also been an uptick in hip AirBnB's that cater to the Midcentury Modern aesthetic and laid back desert vibe in PS. I've heard great things about The Amado, but there are tons of amazing homes, apartments, rooms, etc. to rent in the area!
Want to know what was the best part of our PS getaway? Celebrating this guys 28th birthday! Birthdays are big in our home, so it felt extra special to be celebrating in such a beautiful, fun and unique place with my equally unique, fun and handsome guy! AWH!
And that's it -- well, for now! I hope you guys enjoyed this travel guide -- I had a lot of fun putting it together! If you did, let me know and I'll keep making them! Also, if you're wondering if PS is really "that cool" like everyone on Instagram makes it out to be -- it is, it really is!
If you've been to Palm Springs before and have any suggestions that I missed, I would love to hear them (gotta start planning my next trip!). Thanks in advance for sharing!