Planning a trip to Palm Springs? Keep reading My Ultimate Palm Springs Travel Guide where I’ve rounded up all of my Palm Springs travel advice including where to stay, where to eat, where to shop, and what to do as well as some awesome things to do and see just a short drive from Palm Springs!
My Ultimate Palm Springs Travel Guide
I’ve recently received a few emails from friends asking for Palm Springs recommendations, so obviously I’m not doing my job on this blog! To remedy that, I’ve rounded up all of my Palm Springs travel advice into one post and made My Ultimate Palm Springs Travel Guide! I’ll try to update it throughout the year, so if you have any questions about something, be sure to leave a comment!
Where to Stay in Palm Springs
I prefer the Korakia Pensione. If you’re going on a romantic trip or a girl’s weekend with just one or two ladies and want a quiet, relaxing time, this is the place. It’s where I stay almost every time. The Mister and I even got engaged here!
The hotel has a bed and breakfast, Mediterranean/Moroccan vibe that is romantically lit up at night with candles and fires around the property. The salt water pools are heated, they show romantic movies on a wall on the rear of the property, the complimentary breakfast is delicious … wait, no, it’s terrible, please don’t stay here!
If you’re looking to blow all your money on the hotel, stay at The Parker. It’s gorgeous, it’s pricey, and the guests are all snobs, but you’ll get all your Instagram photos for the year!
If you’re looking for a fun, party hotel, stay at the The Ace Hotel. I’ve never stayed there, I’ve only used the photo booth outside their bar at 1 in the morning, but I’ve heard good things. I just haven’t stayed there because I prefer a quiet, relaxing weekend and this is a hipster, party pool.
Your other party pool hotel option is The Saguaro which is … ok. It’s a super photogenic hotel with it’s rainbow paint job! I would stay there again on a girl’s weekend, but I would only go knowing that I might have to complain that my room smells, that my room is missing amenities, and knowing that all of the carpets are gross. If you decide to stay here and you have the cash, spend the extra money for one of the nicer rooms.
2021 Update: The Saguaro has updated their motel, but I cannot personally review it since I have not been yet.
I haven’t stayed at Las Serenas Villas, but I did stop by their “in-house” restaurant, Azucar, which you have to pass through the pool area to get to, and it looks really nice. I just didn’t love the fact that the pool is basically open to the public because their restaurant and bar is open to the public.
If you have a larger group or party, I recommend checking out some of the Airbnbs in the area which can be more cost effective than renting several hotel rooms. My friend and I stayed at this rental and it was perfect. Super quiet with a kitchen and a private pool.
Similar to the Korakia is Sparrow’s Lodge. I can’t personally recommend it just yet, I’ve been wanting to stay here, but it looks good! Have you stayed there? Let me know!
Another option is The Colony Palms. This place looks similar to the Korakia with quiet, relaxing, 1950s movie star vacation vibes.
Where to Eat in Palm Springs
Azucar at Las Serenas Villas is a fun spot! They have a great table for 8 guests in their Frida Kahlo alcove! I stopped by for a little happy hour meal with a cocktail and burger and it was excellent!
Sherman’s Deli and Bakery is a Palm Springs institution! Go for the deli food, but be sure to check out all the cakes and desserts!
Frank in Bun is a cute little quirky place that is perfect for lunch! Tasty hot dogs and hot dog wallpaper!
2021 Update: This cute little place has closed, but be sure to check their website to see if they open in a new location.
The Tonga Hut is a good time tiki bar with good drinks. Splurge and get a Scorpion Bowl!
And I really enjoyed The Draughtsman for food/drinks. The design is industrial pub bar, but that’s my thing, so I love it!
The El Jefe at the Saguaro also had good food.
And the cakes at Jake’s are worth leaving a little room for dessert!
Norma’s at The Parker is good for food, but pricey. If you’re not staying at the Parker, but want to peek into the lobby, Norma’s gives you a good excuse!
King’s Highway at the Ace Hotel is a great spot for breakfast or lunch. Especially if you like craft cocktails with breakfast or lunch!
Other spots that I have not yet tried include:
What to Do in Palm Springs
This one is a no-brainer. Relax! Sit by the pool! Read a magazine! Drink a cocktail!
But when I travel I like to go see things, experience a city, etc. So here are a few of my favorite things to do in Palm Springs:
Take a self-guided tour to 28 of the Most Instagrammable Spots in Palm Springs including the Moorten Botanical Garden and City Hall!
Or, take a self-guided Door Tour of all the colorful, fun Midcentury Modern doors in the Twin Palms Estates area including #thatpinkdoor and the party lions! You can download my free Palm Springs Dour Tour map of where all the doors are located.
Book a Wind Turbine Farm Tour! I haven’t done one yet, I simply drove out on a road near some of the windmills, but it looks like a fun tour!
Another fun thing to do is to take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of the mountain and take a little hike. We did this years ago and had a great time! Just remember, however hot it is by the pool, it’s going to be cooler up at the top! We went from bathing suits to jackets!
Check out the amazing art installation called Robolights outside of a private home.
And a few other things I hope to try soon include:
Where to Shop in Palm Springs
The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five for a fun collection of modern and vintage pieces. Not to mention the pink walls on the house. My favorite shop there? Candice Held, the designer of the fun hot dog wallpaper at Frank in Bun!
Gypsyland is also a great shop! I stopped by to get a photo with this poodle, but ended up getting an awesome MCM lamp for only $35!
- Desert Hills Premium Outlets. Lots of shops! Get a Date Shake if you need a break. Or if you’re from out-of-state, stop at In n Out for the best burger ever!
- Sunny Dunes Antique Mall and a few surrounding antique stores and thrift shops.
- Palm Springs Vintage Market on the first Sunday of the month.
- The Frippary
Nearby Excursions from Palm Springs
Salvation Mountain and Salton Sea. If you really want to visit Salvation Mountain, my advice is to get up early and go in the morning, then come back and relax by the pool and cool down in the afternoon.
The 1 hour drive out to Joshua Tree could be fun for a Sound Bath at the Integratron if you’re into that sort of thing.
Or take a trip to visit the Dinosaurs in Cabazon!
What did I miss? If you have a Palm Springs favorite that I didn’t cover, let me know!
Looking for more Palm Springs info? Check out my other posts here for more inspiration: