Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Palm Springs Weekend -- The Guide

We spent 2 days and 1 night in Palm Springs this weekend.  
It was fabulous.
We could not have asked for a better time.
Here is what we did.
(click on pictures to enlarge)

It all started with the drive.
If you can, take the back road into Palm Springs. 
It's the old, twisty -turny, give my mom heart palpitations, breathtaking drive down the mountain.
It's called the Pines to Palms Highway and with a name like that, you just have to drive it at least once in your life.
It may take a little longer, but it is most assuredly worth it.

It is just such an awe inspiring way to enter the desert.  
The views are stunning.
If you are coming from the San Diego or Temecula area, this route is easy.  Just get on the 79 and go east.  
If you are coming from the LA or Orange County area, you might take the drive up the mountain to Idyllwild, continue on through the town and then head down to Palm Springs.
Like I said, it takes more time, but consider the journey part of the destination.


You'll arrive in Palm Springs refreshed and relaxed and ready to eat lunch here.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club has a great restaurant: The King's Highway.  
Even if you can't score a room here for the weekend, you can still enjoy their great food.

We highly recommend the bloody marys, the BLTs, burgers, fries, and eggs and hash browns.
It was so good we ate there twice.  On the way in and on the way out.


 Dessert looked good too.

After lunch, take a walk around the hotel and admire the attention paid to every detail.
Don't forget to visit the photo booth.  See our strips here.

Head to your hotel next.  
We stayed at the Del Marcos, right downtown.  We liked it a lot.
We booked the Errol Flynn suite and it is the best room in the house.
We like boutique hotels.  They are especially nice in Palm Springs where so many really emphasize that mid-century look we love.  It is also nice to be within walking distance to town and right up next to the mountain.
There are many to chose from.  Go here for more recommendations. 


After check-in, it is time to hit the pool.  Relax away a few hours on a raft or under an umbrella.

After relaxing, a little shopping is in order.  
At the south end of Palm Canyon Drive, we found a fantastic thrift store called Revivals.  They have multiple stores.  You can find all their locations here.  The Palm Springs location is supposed to be the best.
We scored quite a few finds, including this pitcher for $5.

In the same shopping center as Revivals, is a used book store that is worth going to.  But be prepared to be tempted by a lot of books.  I could have spent a small fortune in there.  Or a large one.
These were just 2 of the treasures I walked away with.

We also enjoyed Swank and Vintage Oasis
Vintage Oasis has an amazing collection of vintage signage.  I would love that ice cream sandwich sign in my backyard.


His furniture, pottery and lighting is pretty spectacular too.
I would kill for that fireplace in my living room.

Staying downtown made it easy to walk back to our hotel, head down to the pool again, play a game of shuffleboard and watch the shadows turn the mountains blue.

There are many options for dinner downtown on Palm Canyon.
The prosciutto pizza with arugula from Kalura Trattoria is very good.
After dinner, lay on your balcony (we were lucky enough to have one) or by the pool and watch shooting stars.

In the morning, wake up early to watch the sun coming over the palm trees, 

and turn the mountains golden.

You can take a nap by the pool later. 
Right now is the perfect time to take a bike ride and explore.
We did the city wide loop.  
It was the perfect ride.

Almost no one is out, so the streets are quiet and the sun is still gentle.  The loop takes you through a neighborhood of modern homes that will leave you inspired and perhaps a bit jealous.
We found out later it also takes you past Sinatra's house, as well as Liberace and Elvis.  
Next time we'll get a map.

Many of the downtown hotels have bikes available for their guests.  Find out ahead of time and if yours doesn't, bring one from home.
Or go here to rent one.

Along your route back to the hotel, you can stop for coffee and a light breakfast here.
Yes there is a Starbucks a bit farther down Palm Canyon, but why not live a bit more like a local while you are here?

The pasties are made in house and are terrific.  I had the bagel sandwich--2 thumbs up.
But the best part is the grassy courtyard behind koffi where you can sip your coffee and gaze up at that beautiful mountain.


 A short ride back to the hotel allows you plenty more time to lounge under the umbrella before check out time.

And after you check out, you'll still have time to hit the stores on North Palm Canyon before heading home.
NOPO is a cluster of great vintage and new shops selling home furnishings, art and clothing.
I loved the Trina Turk home store and  the vintage store Dazzles

Dazzles is the most artfully arranged vintage shop I have ever been to.  His jewelry cases will make you swoon.
In NOPO you can also visit the Design Within Reach Annex (outlet store), the SHAG gallery and many other little shops full of mid century delights.

By now the sun is getting lower and the wind is picking up.  If you are anything like us, you might need to think of heading home soon.  The grandparents are waiting.
So we stopped for iced coffee and a snack to refuel for the drive home.  (meal #2 at ACE)

We took the long way home to enjoy the setting sun and mountain vistas,

and to make the trip last just a bit longer.

I'll have lots more posts about our trip in the next few days.  Check back in for more specific details about many of the places and things mentioned here.
Love from,


Katie @ minivan diva said...

I love the pic of the bike shop. I'm so glad you two were able to escape for a night. : )

Lillian said...

Great Post, and some, amazing pictures. I was thinking the pitcher of kitchen utensils and the jewelery
would look perfect in my kitchen....all those colors.I am so glad you both had such a fun time.

Hello, I'm Emily Clare. said...

So glad you enjoyed your trip! That's my old home town. I'd love to escape to the Ace for a night or two...

Megan B. said...

Wow- you have given me some SERIOUS palm springs envy. I may have to be heading out to the desert soon ( Temecula/Hemet area) but may have to detour for a personal day...

And that fireplace is SCREAMING for my living room. No fireplace in the Pacific Northwest? Tragic.

Terrie said...

I used your picture of the blue and yellow and orange flowers on my desktop. I just love it! Oh did I tell you? I am addicted to your blog. :)