A Weekend Getaway to Palm Springs!
UPDATE: I originally posted this article on May of 2012, and while my love obsession with Palm Springs hasn’t wavered, I have discovered a few new favorites for Hotel & Restaurants. These additions are highlighted in pink.
if you don’t golf, you aren’t retired and you are not an active member of the gay community, then Palm Springs might not immediately top your weekend vaca list.
|Viceroy Main Pool|
*Best Boutique Hotel –
**New Favorite – The Parker – Unique, sexy, posh design with secret gardens and a top notch spa. Now this place is a true adult oasis. And completely dog friendly.
Best Resort – JW Marriot, a gorgeous property with everything you could ever want in a hotel from private tennis instructors to a man-made lake with ferry rides. A picturesque mountain backdrop makes even the most simply decorated rooms feel luxurious. I should also mention that there is a pretty epic (in Palm Springs standards) nightclub in this hotel… making it a perfect bachelorette party destination.
Best Family Hotel – Rancho Las Palmas. Just as nice as the JW, but do not stay here if you aren’t totting children. There’s a huge family pool with slides that keeps kids squealing from 7am until dark.
- Thursday street fair – there is something for everything at this weekly festival. I love the local artists, the jewelry, the free samples of everything from beef jerky to local strawberries. BUT what keeps me coming back is the Calipop kettlecorn. Honestly, I didn’t even know I liked kettle corn until I stumbled across their booth. The perfect mixture of sweet and salty, freshly cooked right in front of your eyes. There are two kettlecorn stands, make sure you go to Calipop over the organic guys (who are also good, but no comparison!)
- Aerial Tram – amazing views and great hiking. There is a small restaurant at the top, but it is too pricy for the low quality food they churn out. I suggest bringing a picnic instead (perhaps some kettle corn from the fair if you have any left!).
- Boutique Shopping downtown and the Cabazon OutletsRent a cabana at the Riviera hotel pool & let the pina coladas free flow
- Casino – a few great casinos call the desert their home. Agua Caliente just underwent a multi million dollar facelift but you’ll have an equally good time visiting Morongo.
- Knotts Soak City – Okay I know what you’re thinking, water parks are for children. But the summer heat can be borderline unbearable. Plus it’s fun to channel your inner kid every once and awhile! ATV rentals and mini golf also fall into this category.
- Kaiser Grill – The food is fresh, delicious, and never disappoints. My favorites for lunch are the homemade hummus, cranberry turkey club and the caeser salad.
- The Falls – Go here for a delicious steak dinner and fabulous martini list. Sitting outside on the balcony is a must. Save room for the fried dough balls dessert and three dipping sauces.
- The Purple Palm – Pricey, but well worth it. Situated in the Colony Palm Hotel the outdoor seating is right along the edge of the tranquil pool. The portions are small, so plan on sharing an appetizer or two before your entrees. The dates stuffed with serrano ham and blue cheese are lightly drizzled with honey and surprisingly hearty instead of sweet. I also suggest the marinated artichoke hearts, the beat salad and the grilled caeser. What makes this upscale trendy spot my favorite in Palm Springs is one particular dessert: the brioche bread pudding creme brulee. Don’t ask, just order it and thank me later.
- The brunch buffet at the JW Marriot is also a favorite indulgence of mine – featuring fresh fruit, cheeses, an array of honeys, hams, raw bar, omelet station, pastries and the usual waffles and pancakes. The patio seating overlooks the man made lake, where you can watch the swans and ducks lazily float by.
- Yogurt on Tap – I have done my tour of yogurt and ice cream spots, literally scouring the streets of LA, hunting out the best – and I can say, hands down, this is the best yogurt in the world. A do it yourself bar with every candy, fruit, syrup and sauce you could ever dream of immediately gives Yogurt on Tap 5 stars in my book. But the real magic is in the rich and creamy variety of flavors they offer. I mix half banana half carbo-lite peanut butter with locally produced toffee, mixed nuts, banana, mochi, peanut butter sauce and warm dark chocolate. De-licious.
- New fav! Mister Parkers – Inside the Parker Hotel. Sink into the shadows at this posh and creative restaurant. Excellent wine list, and you really cannot go wrong with the Seabass. Only open Wed-Sun.
- New fav! Copleys on Palm Canyon – The patio is melt-your-heart romantic and the food is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.