Palm Springs has top-notch hotels and resorts, restaurants, shopping, and the best mid-century architecture in the state—all surrounded by a stunning landscape. There is great weather for most of the year (although summer can be hot), and best of all, the city is just a few hours from Los Angeles (depending on traffic) and San Diego.
Check into the recently opened Les Cactus, a whimsical boutique hotel with 27 bungalow-style guest rooms. In the Warm Sands neighborhood, the 1930’s property is ideal for anyone looking for a sophisticated ambiance without unnecessary contact or crowds.
Already dubbed the “Instagram hotel” because of its chic aesthetic, entering the hotel feels like walking into a photoshoot. The lobby, rooms, and outdoor space feature gorgeous furniture and décor from some of the top names in design, including Gucci Garden, Serena and Lilly, CB2, and Zia Tile.
From the interior to the exterior—which has a pool and hot tub surrounded by pink and green striped lounge chairs, pink flower trees, and a dog topiary—it’s clear that LA-based hotelier and designer Matthew Kurtz was intentional about every single detail.
Head to the main street, Palm Canyon Drive, for lunch at Trio Restaurant 83 Cheerfully decorated, this bright orange-accented restaurant is a local favorite, with a patio ideal for people watching. Whether you are craving a juicy burger or a fresh salad, you will find something to please you here.
After your meal, don’t miss paying a visit to the great furniture boutiques that the Uptown Design District is famous for. Whether you are looking for vintage pieces, a set of dining chairs you won’t find anywhere else, or home accessories to bring back with you, this stretch is a must for interior design geeks—or indeed anyone who loves an original piece.
Next up is Trina Turk. This popular women’s clothing brand has a flagship store filled with apparel, swimwear, shoes, and accessories, as well as the “Mr Turk” men’s line. Turk, who is a local, stocks many interesting finds that are not carried at other locations, including decorative accessories, linens, pool floats, and coffee table books.
The Frippery is another eclectic Palm Springs spot, full of colorful second-hand clothing, as well as new items handmade from vintage fabrics. And if you have ever wanted to buy a caftan, you will find your dream one here.
Palm Springs has plenty of options for dinner, but the award-winning Copleys On Palm Canyon 86 is truly spectacular. Located on Cary Grant’s former estate, it has a chic, old Hollywood feel.
The large outdoor area is perfect for dining comfortably and safely. Start with a cocktail or glass of wine: the menu changes seasonally, but whether you want steak, fish, duck, lobster, or a plant-based dish, you will find something to indulge your taste buds.
With French specialties including crepes, french toast, and Croque Madames, you will have no problem saying oui to brunch at Farm 77 a downtown café with outdoor seating that feels like a beautiful European garden. Just keep in mind that they don’t take reservations for brunch, so you will need to add your name to a list. There are plenty of great shops nearby to distract you until you get a text telling you your table is ready.
Palm Springs is known for its architecture, so do not miss out on a walking tour with Palm Springs Mod Squad. They offer two COVID-safe, socially distanced tours of architecture and interiors. Participants follow the Mod Squad van from the safety of their own cars while the tour guide conducts the tour via cell phone.
The “Essential Palm Springs Tour” focuses on six of the area’s most renowned architects, while the “Interior Tour” takes you inside several mid-century homes. Other tours will resume in the future. All tours need to be booked in advance.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, sit down for a meal at Roly China Fusion (reservations advised). This dim sum restaurant has both rooftop and poolside dining. The menu features everything from traditional dishes like mongolian beef to newer creations like miso-glazed seabass, as well as vegan options.
If you’d rather dine on your own right now, the restaurant is currently collaborating with Tommi Rose’s to offer a “Drag & Dine Delivery” service. On Friday and Saturday nights, get your food delivered by a drag queen with the option to add a short performance or even a twenty-minute show. If you’re missing shows and live entertainment right now, this is a fun way to get your fix.