Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Monday, 14 August 2017

What To Do In Palm Springs - Palm Springs Travel Guide

Palm Springs windfarm

Dress online here /

Hello hello! I thought it was about time I started putting some America posts together from my dream California road trip. Now, please excuse me because I’m doing this a little back to front. I wanted to start with San Fran and work down the coast and blog about them all in the exact order I did them, but for various reasons, I’m starting with Palm Springs. You can read my full guide to a West Coast California road trip if you haven’t already. So, let’s talk about Palm Springs, what to do in Palm Springs and also, where to eat in Palm Springs!
Palm Springs cycling

Top online here and here / Denim skirt online here and here.

I’ve always wanted to visit Palm Springs, mainly for Coachella, I guess that’s what has made Palm Springs famous over the last few years, with millennials at least. If I’m gonna be entirely honest, I’m a little, okay, very, heartbroken that I haven’t visited Palm Springs for Coachella yet. I say yet, because every year I pray it’s gonna happen and surely 2018 has to be my year for Coachella? Now I've visited Palm Springs and seen it in all it's glory, I want to go to Coachella even more, just as an excuse to re-visit Palm Springs. Palm Springs did something to me, I fell in love with it's slow, relaxed way of life and definitely left my heart there.

the wind farms in palm springs

I headed to Palm Springs with absolutely no expectations and I think that’s the best way to be, it means you’ll be totally surprised. Let’s just say, Palm Springs blew me away and was by far one of my favourite stops on our West Coast road trip. Palm Springs is quaint and relaxing but the bars still get quite loud on an evening, it's as if people relax by the pools in the day (it's too hot to do much else really) and then palm Springs comes alive on an evening, when everyone chats over good food and good drinks, you don't really get bad food in Palm Springs in my opinion. I would just say that it feels like a constant sauna in June so make sure you have air con. Here’s my guide to visiting Palm Springs.

Time: Some people pass through Palm Springs, some people stay over. I’d definitely recommend at least one night in Palm Springs, we had three nights and I certainly don’t regret it. It gave us enough time to do everything without feeling stressed or on edge. I'd recommend driving from LA.

car hire in america

Skirt online here /

Getting To Palm Springs: As you’ll know if you read my blog post about how to plan the best California road trip, we drove down to Palm Springs from LA. It made sense to do this because driving is way cheaper and more convenient than catching planes and public transport around California. We hired our car through Hertz and it was expensive but it still wasn’t as expensive as doing it any other way. On arrival, you’ll be greeted by wind farms and the beautiful desert, I have to say, I felt instantly zen when I arrived in Palm Springs. It was the perfect trip out of LA, which I found a little too over the top, Palm Springs is definitely more me. I've seen a lot of people saying on travel guides that they love a quiet weekend in Palm Springs, as nice mini vacation out of LA. Watch my LA vlog here. 

avanti hotel palm springs
avanti hotel palm springs

Where To Stay: There are some epic, luxury hotels in Palm Springs which one day I must try out. Palm Springs is definitely known for luxury. We ended up staying at the cute, family run Avanti hotel in Palm Springs. It’s dog friendly which means they have their resident dogs roaming around, making it super cute if you like fluffy friends. It was clean, comfortable and in perfect distance from everywhere and mainly, the owner made our stay so special. I've never had such good service, it felt like a family home and we were his family. He gave us maps and guidebooks, looked after us, even put on a happy hour! There's such a lovely, communal feel at the hotel and I love how small and boutique it is. It was such a lovely, warm hotel to stay at plus, you’re surrounded by mountains in the pool. This is living proof for me that a hotel doesn’t have to be ‘Instagrammable’ to be good, it was so relaxing, comfortable and the pool is open 24 hours making it perfect if you fancy a dip at midnight. The owners are so great and want you to enjoy and explore as much as possible. I definitely watched the stars in the jacuzzi at 1am and it was a memory I'll never forget. I can’t recommend this gorgeous hotel enough, we both left feeling so sad as we fell in love with the kindness we received at the hotel.

Getting Around Palm Springs: Palm Springs is really quite small, I was shocked actually at how lovely and small it is. You can definitely walk around it but in June it was way too hot to walk, we’re talking 50+ degrees every day and it just felt like a constant sauna. It isn't like going to Turkey or Spain in 50 degree heat, you're in a desert. We chose to quickly drive around using Google Maps, but you can hire bikes from places like my hotel Avanti or, there’s the Buzz Trolley which is a free trolley service in Palm Springs from 11am til 1am. They also have Uber in Palm Springs! It’s surreal riding an Uber in the middle of the desert. Use Uber Promo code EMTALKS10 for a free ride.

Where To Eat In Palm Springs: Palm Springs may be small but it’s mighty. They’re famous for their epic eateries in Palm Springs and after doing lots of research, this is one of the things I was most excited about, the food!

Palm Springs high streettruss and twine palm springs
cocktails in palm springs

cocktails palm springs

food at truss and twine

Truss & Twine: We fell in love with Truss and Twine, a lovely, local cocktail bar. The cocktails blew me away, they all have a story behind them and the bar staff tell the stories so well, they're really passionate and it makes the place so professional. Don’t assume and think this place is only good for cocktails though, the food is some of the best we’ve ever had, ever. Owned by Micheal, it’s the epitome of Palm Springs sophisticated desert vibe and is Michael’s second concept. (We didn’t get to try his place next door - Workshop Kitchen + Bar, for dinner but next time would love to, it was rammed full and everyone speaks so highly of it). Truss & Twine on first impressions was a little dark for me, I’m not really a fan of dark places but it worked and I totally get it, it's so different to anything else in Palm Springs. It was easily one of the busiest bars in Palm Springs and only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. For me, it’s the luxury cocktails and the desert-inspired menu that won me over. I tried foods I've never even dreamt of trying before, from the freshest oysters to the best truffles. They use ingredients from the Coachella Valley and anyone who loves seriously good food will appreciate this place. It's high class and delicious. I can't wait to go back.

Kings Highway - Inside Ace Hotel: We had breakfast inside Kings Highway, a busy little roadside diner homed by award winning chef Carlos Salgado. It used to be a Denny's but now it celebrates the bohemian spirit of Coachella. They use locally sourced ingredients and it's definitely one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had, imagine pressed juices, delicious eggs, the best sourdough going and all the breakfast potatoes. Plus, this place is super Instagram worthy.

Cheekys - Sadly we couldn’t get in here, even though Palm Springs seemed like a bit of a ghost town throughout the day, it seems the whole world appeared for brunch art Cheekys! They’re praised for their farm to table cuisine and you must try get a table.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar - Whilst we didn’t get to eat here, if this is anything like Truss & Twine I know it’s amazing. It's owned by the same people and seems like the best dinner spot.

Arrive Palm Springs - We had one of the best breakfasts here, sat outside (with lots of air con). I went for an acai bowl and fresh orange, it was divine. The freshest juiciest orange juice I've ever had and I'm a sucker for a good acai bowl.  I can’t recommend this place enough and would love to try it for dinner too as the menu looked epic.

ice cream and shoppe
ice cream and shoppe palm springs

Shop the dress online here and here.

Ice Cream & Shoppe - Easily the prettiest gift shop I've ever come across and they serve ice cream too. Sadly, mine lasted ten seconds outside before melting but this place is really cute.

palm springs
palm springs

Shop the dress online here / shoes online here.

Best Things To Do In Palm Springs: There are definitely a lot of interesting things you can do in Palm Springs, or you can just food crawl your way around and enjoy the pool.

Golf - I don't play golf (unless it’s a bit of fun at a driving range or crazy golf) but it’s worth noting that Palm Springs is famous for it’s golf! I’ve been told you can’t miss a round of golf at Taquitz Creek Golf Resort. It’s been named as one of the best places to play for any golf lovers.

Moorten Botanical Gardens - I didn’t go in here as they tried to charge me to take a camera in but if Cacti are your thing, this is the home to 3000 examples of them and has been open since 1939. Hello cactus!

Palm Springs aerial tramway
palm springs

Palm Springs hiking
animals in palm springs

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - I’d highly recommend doing this. It’s the worlds largest roaming tramcar (I nearly therew up) with glass all around it and it takes you up the sheer cliffs of the Chino Canyon. You have a 10 minute ride at the 2,643 ft valley station and get to the top of the baton at 8,516ft! There are over 50 miles of hiking trails at the top and it’s a lot cooler up there so you can enjoy hiking.

Desert X Mirage -
We got here awn sadly it was closed bt I;ve seen photos and it looks epic. This is basically an art instillation in the middle of the desert made using mirrors.

that pink door palm springs

Dress - online here.

That Pink Door - The famous door in Palm Springs, it felt a little weird posing outside someones house, thats for sure! But it's worth driving around Palm Springs and looking at all the gorgeous houses.

cactus bikini

Bikini top, online here.

Joshua Tree National Park - Just a short drive away is Joshua Tree National Park. We loved it so much we ended up staying over for a night here but the Mojave and the Colorado desert ecosystems come together in Joshua Tree, imagine perfect stars in the sky, complete silence, rattle snakes, a variety of plants and animals. It’s a really beautiful and vast wilderness worth exploring.

Shopping - We headed to a designer outlet mall just nearby and it was EPIC.

Relax - Don't forget to just relax in Palm Springs, cycle around, wander around, drink some cocktails or fresh juices, sample the delicious, fresh food and see it as a lovely break. I found it so relaxing. Don't forget to go find all the windmills too!

Find out more at Visit Palm Springs. 

Watch my USA Roadtrip vlogs below.

So there we have it, Palm Springs isn't good just when Coachella is on, actually, it's probably better when you have it all to yourself! It's a wonderful, different place, it's relaxing, peaceful but also, fun. There's so much to do in surrounding areas and it's like nothing you'll ever see in your life! I'm desperate to go back! I miss you Palm Springs and your fun yet laid-back ways!

You might also like:

How to plan the best California road trip 
Barcelona travel guide 
New York travel guide
Miami travel guide 

Lots of love, Em x

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