I recently traveled to Palm Springs with a few girlfriends of mine. I had the best time escaping the fog and soaking in the sun. The flight is so short (55 mins) from San Francisco that you barely have time to pull out a magazine and read. I highly recommend escaping to Palm Springs, if you get the chance. We kept it pretty lowkey on our trip but I wanted to share a few highlights.
WHERE TO STAY:
Ace Hotel - I had always heard that, if you wanted to find the cool kids, you could find them at the Ace Hotel. We booked the Ace partially due to that and partially due to the fact that I've always wanted to stay at a Ace Hotel. The decor was what I was expecting, a hipster's paradise. There was macrame everywhere, nods to the 50s and a few kitchy things thrown in here and there. We had a lovely time at the hotel. The people watching was everything (and more!) that we wanted it to be. It was nice to be staying where all of the action was because when you get tired you just walk up to your room. I particularly liked how the room had a king bed and two twins, making for the perfect accommodations for 4 people. Next time (I'll be back in Oct.) I would request that we be on the ground floor because those units have fire pits and pretty outdoor seating. Overall a great experience. Also, don't forget that Monday nights are drag queen bingo nights (his little lady right here won)!
The Parker Palm Springs - I got to stay here a while back and have been dreaming of it ever since. If you're looking to upgrade your PS experience, this is the place. It's designed by Jonathan Adler so naturally I fell in love at first sight. Yes, everything is pricey but you're paying to feel like a celebrity even if it's just for the weekend. The grounds are gorgeous. There are all of these little hidden courtyards making it feel very secluded and private. If you can't come here to stay, see below for brunching details.
WHAT TO DO:
Tahquitz Canyon Hike
While this hike is under 3 miles, in 95 degrees, it feels plenty far. After peeling yourself off the lounge chair, this hike is a good stretch for the legs. I would recommend going as early as possible in order to avoid frying. You can walk to the trailhead from the Ace but it is about an extra 1.5 miles each way. The trail follows a charming little stream and leads to an idyllic oasis where there is a waterfall. If your feet are toasty upon reaching the waterfall, cool them off in the stream. My friends loved this hike and thought it was just the perfect thing to do.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK :
Birba - A tasty place downtown with farm fresh dishes. We loved the prosciutto and melon appetizer and the four seasons pizza. It was a fun crowd and a great location outside.
Parker Palm Springs - Twice in one list, it must be good! Although it's a little pricey, I highly recommend visiting the Parker for brunch on the terrace under the bright orange awnings. The food is delicious and then you'll have an excuse to poke around the grounds.