The day after Christmas I hopped on a plane to escape the cold Boston weather (and I mean cold, the next day was when that cold snap with single digit temps kicked in and lasted for 2 weeks!) and headed west to California for a Palm Springs getaway.
First stop was LA for some tacos, quick view of the beach, and to pick up a rental car so I could drive out to the desert and finally check Palm Springs off my travel bucket list.
I didn’t really know what to expect, other than some pretty incredible architecture, and of course the pink door, which I think actually made the trip that much better. I had done a little bit of research going into it, picking out the restaurants I knew we had to check out and picking out the couple of activities I knew we couldn’t miss, but the itinerary was very loose and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I’ll do a more in depth guide with all of my recs at some point soon but for now I thought I’d share my tips for planning a Palm Springs getaway so you can hopefully enjoy your trip as much as I did!
- Pick a boutique hotel – they are so much better than the big chains, the decor is amazing and the small boutique feel really enhances the whole experience of the trip.
- Eat your meals at hotels – there are so many amazing hotels in Palm Springs, and they’re more like art and decor galleries than hotels. I think I probably said “we definitely have to come back and stay here next time” at least 10 times because there are just so many incredible hotels to explore.
- Plan to not plan – this was probably the most relaxing trip I’ve ever taken, and I think it’s because I just truly went with the flow. Some days we stayed at the hotel pool until 2:00, other days, we went out and explored for a little while and then went back to take a nap. I got the feeling that Palm Springs is all about the leisure of a trip, so take advantage of that vibe!
- Mix it up – there is so much to do, so don’t be afraid to mix it up a little bit and hop in the car and drive to a different hotel to explore or hop on some bikes and head into town.
- Make reservations – if there are restaurants you really want to check out or if you’re not okay with eating at the bar, pick your dinner spots and make a reservation, things fill up quickly!
- Pick a hotel with complementary bikes – it’s the best way to get out and see all the amazing architecture throughout the city.
- Go in the fall/winter/early spring – Summers in Palm Springs are absolutely brutal, 110 and windy does not sound appealing to me. But I don’t particularly love the heat, so if that’s your jam, you do you.
- Fly into Palm Springs – my one regret about the trip was flying into LAX and driving out to the desert, it was a beautiful drive but gosh I had forgotten how bad California traffic is, so save yourself the time and pain and just fly right into Palm Springs!
We were there for 5 days and I’m already plotting when I can get back, it is such an incredible place and really is the best spot to get away, unplug, and truly unwind.