We booked our girls trip in Palm Springs because we wanted to feel our skin sun kissed, and let’s be honest, a little crispy, from those rays. What we ended up getting was next-level heat. We experienced a heat wave with highs of 105 farenheit and thankfully our itinerary allowed (mostly) for this kind of heat and we had a pool with our AirBnb house. The following are suggestions for any time of the year in this weirdly sleepy yet simultaneously somewhat trendy area.
Day 1 …
Like on most travel days, we were craving substantial nutrients upon arrival. Thankfully we found a place to deliver on that, right away. Palm Greens Cafe is in a nondescript plaza (like many things in Palm Springs) and is perfect for a casual lunch where you want to load up on your vitamins and minerals. They offer super healthy bowls, salads, wraps and smoothies and juices. The service is pretty relaxed (read: slow) so go in with a true vacation mentality.
Next up we went on a hunt for some quality caffeine, and found that too, at Ernest Coffee. This place is managed by a barista master – don’t know what that means? – check out their blurb on their site – and in addition to really really good coffee, serves drinks like: Turmeric Sour (turmeric, sparkling water, lemon and one more thing that made it extra tasty). They also have a charming outside patio.
Fuel in our bodies and caffeine in our brains, we spent the rest of the afternoon poolside, soaking in the sun (if you don’t already know, Palm Springs is a GREAT place to go if you’re craving the golden stuff).
Once sufficiently sunkissed, we got ourselves all dressed up and headed to the Purple Palm hotel for dinner. This place is worth it. The restaurant, pool area and courtyard are all part of one space and the decor is super charming with soft lighting, wild beautifully manicured gardens and a cozy restaurant interior. I would recommend for either a romantic dinner or girls trip dinner. The food was top notch as well. Make reservations in advance.
Day 2 …
This is where the days start to blur (due to extreme heat I think, not substances!). We spent most of the day at the pool, but I believe we made a stop to PSA Organica. Although it claims to be a medical centre, they will show you around and offer you (legal!) cannabis to anyone who wants it. This place is INTERESTING. The waiting room has chips and lollypops on the tables (ha!ha!), the washroom smells like Christmas, and it should be pointed out, the staff are really professional and easy-breezy and no pressure was felt to buy. A cool visit – even if only one of you in the group wants to partake – make sure everyone goes for the experience.
Because this was a girls trip, more time was spent getting ready for dinner (it’s part of the fun!) and off we headed to Workshop Kitchen + Bar. This restaurant is in an old movie theatre building creating a very unique and kind of mysterious feel to it. Overall, the decor is mostly modern but they left a few random parts untouched and it creates an interesting vibe. The service, food and cocktails were all impeccable.
Day 3 …
We booked ourselves the ultimate girls day well before taking off for this trip: brunch followed by spa. The destination: The Parker Palm Springs hotel. To be completely honest, I have mixed feelings about this place. The decor was incredible and the brunch food super delicious. The spa just so-so and the overall service, across the board throughout the entire hotel – not very good at all. We weren’t guests of the hotel but we were spending close to 2k easily between our treatments and brunch, yet we were treated like we were school children needing to be wrangled in. It should be noted we were sober and dressed really well so there was no apparent issue except the fact that it seems the hotel does not prioritize friendly or accommodating service. I’ve travelled the world staying at luxury hotels so I know the difference. I would recommend going for brunch only, but not worth an entire days stay.
Day 4 …
We were especially excited for this last full day in Palm Springs. The famous Joshua Tree National Park was in our plans, and even though the heat wave made for some extra water drinking, it delivered on our expectations. Our Airbnb welcome binder recommended we stop at Joshua Tree Coffee Co. right before entering the park, and I second this recommendation. All they do is coffee and they do it really well. Make sure to have had breakfast already or bring a breakfast because they don’t serve food.
On your way out, visit the same plaza with Joshua Tree Coffee Co. and get a slice of one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a long time, Pie for the People. If you think you’ll be looping around the other way, this pizza is so tasty that I recommend you get some on your way in and eat it later.
For the actual sightseeing and hiking, the staff at the visitor centre are really helpful in helping you decide on a custom itinerary.
Once back at the Airbnb, we decided to make one last stop. We took the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway at sunset. Although it was beautiful to crawl up the steep cliffs of Chino Mountain, it was a little too touristy for my liking. Recommended for kids, or if you’re into the touristy thing, otherwise not.