Palm Springs is the perfect place to spend a long weekend, whether you’re looking for poolside lounging, nature, great food, or a combination of all three. We recently spent four days in the desert town and had the pleasure of staying at the Avalon Palm Springs (Read more about that here.) Here’s our list of must-dos in Palm Springs and all of our tips:
Joshua Tree State Park:
First thing’s first, Palm Springs is a wonderful city that is easily navigable by foot or by bike, especially if you’re situated at The Avalon. Meaning, you won’t need a car. But, you’ll want to be sure to have a car for one of the days you’re there so that you can drive an hour away and visit the stunning Joshua Tree State Park. For a minimal entry price ($20 per car), you’re able to navigate acres and acres of desert and natural beauty.
You can literally spend 12 hours at the Park and not see everything, and there are trails for every level. We did the novice trails, but there are also mountain climbers and serious hikers in your midst. Our advice is to get there early and pack a picnic and plenty of water. Check out a few of the trails and make sure to see the famous Joshua Trees, which only grow in this one area of the world. Also, be sure to stick around for the spectacular sunsets.
Brunch at Cheeky’s:
If there’s one meal that you absolutely must have while in Palm Springs, it’s brunch at Cheeky’s. This local institution doesn’t take reservations, so get ready to wait in line. But keep in mind, it’s well worth the wait. The food is all fresh and delicious and the atmosphere is so California. Make sure to start with their bacon flights. Yes, you read that right. They will give you a plate of five different bacons to share, and we reveled in tasting each one. The jalapeno-flavored one was to die for. We then had scrambled eggs, an amazing turkey sandwich and the kale salad with some rose and mimosas, of course. We even disobeyed our no-carb rule and had some sweet potato tater tots that were so delicious and worth the extra few miles on the treadmill. Now, as if that wasn’t enough decadence, once the meal ended we looked over to the coffee area of the restaurant where fresh pastries were laid out, and bought a giant chocolate chip cookie to share. While we felt like we needed to be rolled out of Cheeky’s, every last calorie was worth it.
Bike Around Town:
Whether your hotel provides bikes to use, like our’s did, or you go to one of the many bike rental shops around town, rent bikes for at least a day. It’s one of the best ways to experience Palm Springs, and go through the beautiful Palm Tree lined roads and check out the modern architecture. You’ll also be able to pull into cute cafes and grab coffee or Palm Springs’s famous date shakes (so good!)
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway:
This is truly one of the most unique parts of Palm Springs. Set at the mountain base, the Aerial Tramway goes to the tippy top of the mountain while rotating 360 degrees so you’re sure to get views of the entire landscape. The ride takes ten minutes to get to the top, and once you’re there, the views are magnificent. There’s also a cafe and restaurant at the top. There are great photo ops at the top and beautiful views every which way. Just be sure to bring a jacket, since it’s much cooler at the top.
Moorten’s Cactus Museum:
When you think of Palm Springs, cactuses come to mind, and Moorten’s is the perfect little cactus museum to take in the different species and even do some shopping. For a small fee, you can enter this cactus museum of sorts and see all sorts of succulents and cactuses, which are displayed in the most beautiful manner (and make great backdrops for photos).
There’s even a greenhouse with rare cacti — seriously rare ones that don’t even look like plants. After perusing the cacterium, we did some shopping, bringing back some cactuses and succulents to take a piece of Palm Springs back to New York. They are on my window ledge as I type this!
Palm Springs Style Guide: