TRAVEL // A GIRLS TRIP TO PALM SPRINGS


Palm Springs is the ultimate girls trip destination! The town is like a colorful oasis in the middle of the desert- complete with gorgeous hotels, world class restaurants and fun pool parties. It's the perfect spot to spend a long weekend sipping cocktails, snapping colorful photos and scouting the mid-century modern architecture with your girlfriends. The location in the desert makes the town feel extra relaxing, and it's also pretty small, so it's easy to see and do a lot in a weekend.

If you're planning a trip to Palm Springs bookmark this guide for where to stay, what to do and the best places to eat and drink in this happy town!


ABOUT PALM SPRINGS
Since the 1920's Palm Springs has been a playground for the wealthy and for celebrities. Hollywood stars such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elizabeth Taylor were popular frequent visitors. Over time Palm Springs started attracting health and wellness minded people for its dry heat, spas and naturally beauty. Now, the town is booming with a vibrant gay scene, luxury hotels, world-class dining and cute shops. Palm Springs offers a plethora of outdoor activities and boasts a huge collection of colorful buildings and unique mid-century modern architecture.

WHY VISIT NOW
Palm Springs has seen a sort of renaissance the past few years. It used to be a place for older celebrities and retirees, but it's recently become younger, hipper and quirkier. New hotels and restaurants have opened and the town has played host to many high profile events, including the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and Comic Con Palm Springs.

The best time to visit is during the winter and spring months due to more manageable temperatures. The weather can be incredibly hot in the summer (it hit 115 degrees when I was there in August!). The extreme heat can make it harder to enjoy outdoor activities so keep that in mind.


GETTING THERE
Palm Springs is set in the Coachella Valley at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains. It's a two-hour drive from LA or San Diego and is also accessible by plane (there are short flights from LA). Once you're in town it's easy to explore on foot or use Ubers to get around.


WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of gorgeous hotels to choose from in Palm Springs. We stayed at The Parker and absolutely loved it. Can't recommend it enough! The hotel is situated on beautiful grounds with winding pathways that lead to two pools, a lemonade stand bar, a fire pit and a croquet court. The interior was stunning and filled with quirky Jonathan Adler decor (he led the hotel's interior design work). There are a few bars and restaurants on the property and we enjoyed a delicious brunch at Norma's, sampling the lemonade cocktails at the lemonade stand and people watching at the hotel lobby bar. The staff was also A+ and incredibly helpful with any questions or requests thrown their way.



WHAT TO DO

While Palm Springs isn't a place to completely jam-pack your schedule (you're in the desert to relax!) there's no shortage of fun things to do and see. We certainly spent a lot of time around The Parker sipping cocktails, sunning and catching up, but there are some must-do activities. The town is perfect for everyone- whether you want to hike in the mountains, play golf, shop and dine or relax by the pool.

Scout the mid-century architecture
Before heading to Palm Springs, we knew we wanted to spend time admiring the unique architecture of the area. As mentioned, everything is pretty close together, and gorgeous neighborhoods lie right off of the main road in town. We wandered around looking at houses and taking photos in front of colorful doors and desert landscape. My favorite stop was a house with a pastel pink door flanked with aloe plants. The pink door is so popular it even has it's own hashtag and account on Instagram, #thatpinkdoor! If you'd prefer a more structured architecture tour, I've heard great things about Palm Springs Modern Tours.


Visit the Saguaro Hotel
The Saguaro is a colorful Palm Springs landmark hotel brightly painted all shades of the rainbow! It's such a happy place and the perfect spot to spend an afternoon with your girls. You can attend one of the hotel's popular pool parties- complete with a DJ and every pool float imaginable, or if that's not your scene visit for cocktails and to snap some photos in front of the colorful facade.

Take the aerial tramway
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the largest rotating tramway in the world. The almost 13 minute ride takes you near the top of San Jacinto Peak where the air can sometimes be up to 40 degrees cooler than on the ground! Once at the top you can hike around the mountain, snowshoe if there's snow on the ground or simply soak in the views from California's second highest mountain range.


WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Norma's at The Parker was my favorite brunch spot. The menu is so creative and whimsical, just like the hotel's decor!

Lemonade Stand Bar situated on the estate of The Parker was a fun spot to sip lemony cocktails and have small bites while admiring the hotel's grounds.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar is a sleek, "industrial chic" option just off the main road in town. The menu features inventive farm to table dishes and craft cocktails.

King's Highway is the restaurant in the Ace Hotel. The decor feels like you're in a roadside diner but the menu is elevated and creative Mexican fare.

El Jefe is a great inexpensive taco spot inside The Saguaro. If you swing by to admire the hotel's colorful architecture, stop here for tacos and margaritas after.

Have you ever been to Palm Springs? What are your favorite things to do in this colorful town?

*Photos one three six and eight by the lovely and talented local photographer Brianna Broyles

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