Palm Springs Travel Guide

From an East Coast gal's perspective.
Mark my words people. If I hit the lottery I will move to California & buy a house in Palm Springs but for now we’ll just have to go for mini vacations (once a year **still convincing my husband**). We went to Palm Springs for 5 days and we crammed A LOT in! I’m going to give a brief travel guide based off what we did!

Where to stay:

We stayed at the CUTEST Airbnb I have ever seen. Trust me, there is plenty of AMAZING hotels in the area but there’s something SO nice about having a place to your own & a pool to your own. This Airbnb, was absolutely perfect for us & was even built by someone who worked for the Alexander’s (basically the biggest builders in Palm Springs and the ones who are behind so many infamous Palm Spring architecture).  We did rent a car to get around because we had some road trips planned but our AirBnB came with bikes, which honestly if you just stay in Palm Springs bikes are the way to go!

Here are some other AIRBNB contenders:

The Dome home

Earthy Modernist Pool Home with Private Casita

Mid Century Modern Home with Pool

Other hotels we visited & for sure would recommend:

The Saguaro: AKA the rainbow hotel that you see ALL over Instagram, it’s even prettier in person. Plus they have an amazing Mexican restaurant, El Jefe, on site!


The Ace Hotel: This place is so retro in a good way and has TWO pools which looked like an absolute BLAST. Plus it’s home to King’s Highway Diner.


Korakia Pensione: when you walk in here you literally feel like you’re in some boho dream land. Everything about this place is to die for. No pictures will do it justice If we go back, there’s a good chance I’ll be staying here.


Parker: Another contender for where we’d stay if we went back. Designed by Jonathan Adler you’re not going to want to skip at least visiting this spot. EVERYTHING is beautiful from the white wall with the orange door when you walk into the hotel to the infamous Drug wall. It truly is beautifully designed and worth checking out!


Las Serena Villas: another aesthetically pleasing place, that has fun pops of colors & is all around just gorgeous. There’s a super cute restaurant here too called, Azucar.

What to do:


Moorten Botanical Gardens: One of my favorite places in the entire world. If you have an instagram, you’ve most likely seen this spot. It’s an amazing cactitarium (yes that’s a thing) & for sure worth checking out. Admission is super cheap and worth every single penny.

Cabazon Dinosaurs: Apparently, this is in the a Pee Wee Herman movie but since I’ve never seen one you’ll have to take Max’s word for it. Awesome for kids and adults who want a cool photo op!


Windmills: Fact: it’s windy AF here so be prepared. This was by far one of my favorite things we did on the trip. These windmills surround Palm Springs & besides being an awesome photo spot are just as cool to stop and look at. You can’t miss them 😉
Salvation Mountain: This rainbow mountain is ALL over social media & Kesha’s ‘Praying’ video. It’s not in Palm Springs but if you have a car I’d go check it out for fun. I will say the drive there is very interesting to say the least & this mountain is in the middle of NOWHERE. You’ll literally see a sign that says leaving civilization when you’re almost there & it truly does feel like that. But there’s a super cool Palm Tree farm on the way there and the Salton Sea! All totally worth stopping at. It was creepily quiet at the mountain but again amazing for pictures and so cool to mark off my bucket list!


Pioneertown: Real life WESTWORLD. Seriously, this spot makes you feel like your in an old Western movie. Probably because so many Old Western movies were filmed here. They got frontier stables, saloons, and jails; inside, they housed ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and motels (from the outside) in reality it’s just an old movie set but ALSO home to our favorite restaurant we went to on our trip. And guys, this is not something to be taken lightly because we ate out a lot during our short stay but Pappy and Harriet’s was our favorite.


Joshua Tree: Okay, Joshua Tree is anything but underwhelming. Cholla cactus garden is the one spot we decided was a must go. We first stopped at Skull Rock (it’s a rock in the shape of a skull, pretty cool huh?) and then we headed to Cholla Cactus Garden at sunset. For someone who loves cacti I was absolutely terrified of one of these suckers touching me. Apparently, if you get pricked they burrow their way WAY into your skin. Terrifying right? But more beautiful than terrifying and if you’re headed to Joshua Tree 10/10 would recommend going here. Oh & if you’re heading out that way make sure you stop at Hoof & Horn boutique it is AMAZING.


Door Tour: Now Palm Springs does have actual door tours but if you’re like me & have ADD and cannot sit through any tour. I recommend doing a self guide one! We checked out the famous Pink Door. The Pink Door can be found at 1100 Sierra Way. The house with the lions is about three doors down. Legit the best street ever!


Hotel California: Go see the sign & snap a pic so you can post it on Instagram with a super witty & original caption like “living up at the Hotel California.”


Do nothing at all: what’s the point of having a pool if you can’t just lounge by it all day 🙂
Villagefest: A street fair hosted every Thursday night in Palms Springs! So many little vendors all set up shop along the main street in Palm Springs. Definitely check this out if you’re there! We were lucky enough to have arrived on a Thursday and this was so much fun to walk around our first night in Palm Springs!


Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: We did not do this but I’ve heard AMAZING things & it’s definitely on my list to do next time we visit!!


Where to Eat:

Eight4nine: this restaurant was beyond aestically pleasing and their decor was SO cool. Also they had old fashion movies playing outside where you can dine as well! I loved this place! This is where I got my first ever Poke Bowl & I’ve been hooked ever since.
King’s Highway: A must go! It’s an Old Denny’s diner converted into a super cool laid back spot! I got overnight oats for breakfast & it was delicious.


Jake’s: I fell in love with this spot. It’s named after their dog (like NEED I SAY MORE?). Their dog is a Westie so they have pictures of westies everywhere. UGH. Plus I loved our meal & the atmosphere and the dessert which was ginormous we took home & ate periodically throughout the rest of our vacation.


Norma’s: okay so I know I said Pappy & Harriet’s was my favorite but this was my favorite too! Such a cute vibe & the food was INSANE! We went for brunch & the french toast was as big as Max’s face!


Pappy & Harriet’s: OUR OTHER FAVORITE SPOT! It’s basically just a hole in the wall but amazing BBQ/ American food but at night they have live music! And even have had Robert Plant played here. It’s such a cool laid back vibe you won’t want to miss it!


Cheeky’s: Honestly we got in here out of pure luck. There’s usually a line wrapped around the block but we hit this on our way to the airport and waited only a few minutes to be sat. And believe me the tots were well worth the wait!


Birba: I loved the vibes at this place but we went for pizza. East Coasters never order pizza in CA, you’ll be disappointed haha but such a cute spot to grab drinks at night!




Hope you all enjoyed the little travel guide I made! Hopefully, we can add more to it when we retire here in 2082.

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