The colorful town of Palm Springs is a quick two-hour drive east of Los Angeles in the Palm Desert. It has been a favorite getaway for celebrities since movie studios came to California in the early 1900s, and Palm Springs still exudes that old Hollywood glamour.
The architecture is unique, the clothing is bright, and the hotels are indulgent. From sprawling swimming pool parties to private al fresco fine dining — there is something for everyone in Palm Springs.
Where To Stay
Budget Hotels (less than $150/night)
The Riviera is decorated in preppy prints and Slim Aarons photographs, and it boasts a spa that covers over 11,000 square feet on the property. After spending a day lounging by the pool or being pampered at the spa, take a seat at Gypsy Rose for dinner and enjoy a cocktail surrounded by oversized lights and bohemian touches.
Guests of the 7 Springs Hotel can admire beautiful mountain views while floating in the pool or grilling a BBQ dinner with friends. Although the property isn’t large, it is a quick walk to downtown Palm Springs for car-free exploring during your stay.
Mid-range Hotels ($150-300 night)
One of the most iconic and oft-photographed properties in Palm Springs is the colorful Saguaro Hotel. The rainbow-colored day beds, all day food service, and delicious frozen drinks mean that you’ll never have to leave poolside. If you’re looking for activity, try one of their on-site yoga classes or take a hotel bike for a spin around the neighborhood.
Although the Renaissance isn’t a brand exclusive to Palm Springs, this particular Marriott namesake is unlike any other. The hotel has sprawling outdoor space filled with fire pits, swimming pools, and dining options to take in the desert skyline and enjoy the weather.
Treat Yo’self Hotels ($300-500 night)
If you can splurge a little bit, the Ace Hotel is a new favorite of the young and hip for the property’s laid back Californian vibe. Enjoy craft cocktails in a hammock around the pool while rubbing elbows with the almost-famous, then retreat back to your room with your own private patio and fireplace for a night cap.
The lodge is a restored compound that was originally built in the 1950s as a vacation getaway for the Hollywood elite. These days, Sparrows Lodge is still a favorite retreat for guests looking for a bit more quiet and privacy than other area hotels offer. The hotel’s restaurant, The Barn Kitchen, is a beautifully rustic dining area that opens up into a communal courtyard with a firepit and pool.
The Art Museum is located in the heart of Palm Springs and was originally founded in the 1930s. Since opening, their focus has shifted from a broad spectrum of topics to an emphasis on art, photography, and architecture. Many of the exhibits are personal collections provided by Palm Springs’ wealthy residents.
Don’t let the flat, desert location fool you. Palm Springs is nestled between multiple mountain ranges and is a quick drive away from Joshua Tree. Ascend the Palm Springs Tramway to take in the scenic views of the landscape from two and half miles above the desert.
Looking for a little bit of adventure during your stay? Cliffhanger Guides is based right outside of Palm Springs in Joshua Tree and offers fully guided rock climbing excursions in the surrounding area. If climbing is on your bucket list, make sure that you venture out to Palm Springs in the cooler months — Cliffhanger only operates October through April every year.
Palm Springs is famous for mid-century modern architecture dating back to the 1920s. On your way into town, stop by the Palm Springs Visitors Center to pick up a map or download the PS MODCOM app to create your own architecture tour around town of the aptly named Desert Modernism homes. Don’t forget to drive by the Insta-famous Pink Door on your drive!
The Frippery is a well-known vintage boutique located along North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs’ main shopping street. Their assortment is an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories inspired by the glamorous resort lifestyle of Palm Springs’ past.
The Wil Stiles storefront is located just a block away from The Frippery and is famous for a fun and eclectic mix of merchandise inspired by the colors of Palm Springs. Stop in for a selection of designer labels for men and women, as well as an exclusive line of colorful tailored shirts for your favorite men in your life.
If you need a respite from the bright clothing and accessories in the native Palm Springs boutiques, duck into Elizabeth & Prince for a beautiful and minimalist change. Inspired by the modernity of similar New York City shops, Elizabeth & Prince is home to a variety of designer clothing, accessories, and homegoods brands.
Cheap and Cheerful
Jake’s is a local favorite for its mix of delicious gourmet food, casual outdoor dining, and friendly staff. The Palm Springs institution serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, which includes everything from comfort-food favorites like egg sandwiches and a turkey BLT to splurge-worthy seared ahi tuna and New York strip steak.
Brunch at Cheeky’s is a must-do, but be prepared to wait in line when you arrive. The popular spot has a menu that changes weekly, but it always includes delicious and creative brunch fare. Think bacon flights, breakfast chilaquiles, and seasonal cinnamon rolls.
Birba is managed by the same team behind Cheeky’s and boasts a similarly rotating menu of new meals to indulge in each week. Patrons of Birba can enjoy craft cocktails and eclectic dinner options while seated outside on their pretty patio surrounded by greenery and white lights.
King’s Highway exudes a Californian laid back vibe. The hip outpost is housed in the Ace Hotel & Swim Club and includes a comfortable outdoor dining space where guests can dine around the Ace’s pool. Whether you visit King’s for lunch or after dinner drinks, there will be no shortage of people watching at the trendy property.
Tucked inside the lobby of the ultra-chic Parker Hotel is Mini Bar. The tiny 6-seater mirrored bar offers guests unique craft cocktails alongside delicious appetizers. The hotel is a celebrity favorite, so be sure to keep an eye on the mirrored walls as guests walk through the lobby and you sip on your Japaneese Old Fashioned or Dr. Strangelove cocktail.
The name says it all. Bar has an extensive whiskey menu, exclusive cocktails, and a diverse beer menu of California local brews and imports. Relax after a day of exploring Palm Springs in their casual outdoor space decorated with local graffiti, picnic tables, and a game of ping pong.
As another experience hidden away in the Parker Hotel, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any more splurge-worthy dining experience. The space is dark and seductive, designed with rich leather banquets, deep jewel tones, and velvet curtains. Reserve a table to indulge in foie gras and steak au poivre while rubbing elbows with celebrities and listening to a live piano performance.
In 2004, Copley’s Restaurant opened its doors in a building once owned by Cary Grant. Guests can enjoy a prime grilled beef filet while experiencing some Old Hollywood magic dining al fresco with stunning mountain views.