Palm Springs Travel Guide: What To Do In Downtown Palm Springs

Frank Sinatra had it figured out—Palm Springs is where we should all have a second home. Just saying Palm Springs brings forth images of old Hollywood glam, stunning mid-century architecture, and relaxed Southern California vacation style.

True, SoCal is the land of the road trip because we've got everything from mountains to ocean to Mexico within a day's drive. Even so, sometimes the travel bug gets the best of us and we want to go farther and more exotic, which means we forget what is right under our noses, like, say, spa days, date shakes, desert hikes, prime brunching, and all the other gems Palm Springs provides. 

Why Downtown Palm Springs?

To be honest, the whole of the Coachella valley has a lot to offer (casinos, hiking, spas, outlet shopping), but we will always love downtown Palm Springs for being ground zero. If we had all the means in the world, we'd own an modern house in the Las Palmas neighborhood

Before You Go

Where To Stay

Haute Hipster: Ace Hotel 
When you want to be at an all-day pool party but still out of the center of downtown.

Ground Zero: The Colony Palms 
Stay here if you want to be feet from downtown and in the mix.

Escape It All:Kokaria Pensione 
Where to stay when you want to make sure no one can find you. 

Glam Lodge: Sparrows Lodge
STAY in a glam lodge.

Home Away From Home: The Horizon Hotel
STAY at your own (very chic) home.

Laidback Luxe: The Parker 
STAY in old Hollywood glam style.

What To Cook

Cinnamon Walnut Date Shake - The date shake as is classic Southern California as In 'N Out burgers so you have to try at least one when you're there. This version is a healthier, smoothie version that we make on the regular. 

Fly by Too Palms - Wasim Muklashy

Once You're There

Where to Breakfast

EAT French Press and croissants in an old-school diner setting: Kings Highway Diner 

EAT fancy, fancy lobster omelets and bellinis: Norma's 

EAT bacon flight breakfasts: Cheeky's 

Where to Lunch and Dinner

EAT crusty wood-burning oven pizzas: Birba 

EAT tacos and tequila: El Jefe 

EAT Top Chef-quality tapas: Tinto 

EAT avant garde dining in a desert setting: Workshop Palm Springs 

Where to Date Shake

EAT a desert classic: date shake at Palm Springs Fudge & Chocolates

What to Explore

At Least Once You Need To...

Day Trips

We're of the opinion you should stay put in Palm Springs so you get some quality relaxation time. However, you could also take a quick day trip to: 

More Palm Springs On Salt & Wind

For even more on Palm Springs, check out: 

Parker Lemonade Stand by Jason Kristofer

Opening photo by Laura Austin, palms by Wasim Muklashy, and Lemonade Stand by Jason Kristofer

Published July 2016