72 Hours in Palm Springs Guide
I get a lot of questions on how to travel healthy and choose/find restaurants when taking a trip or vacation. Therefore I always try to put together a guide for each of the cities I visit.
This time around it was a weekend trip to Palm Springs! My mom retired to, and now lives in Tucson, AZ so we try to link up for girls trips by meeting in the middle. October is the perfect time to visit the desert and surrounding areas of Palm Springs. I equally love Palm Desert, Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley but this post is just about Palm Springs proper. I’ve got the goods on where to eat, relax/sleep and hike. ENJOY!
We stayed in an Airbnb so brought our own ingredients to make smoothies in the morning. Although the first two lunch places I recommend have great breakfast options and amazing juice and smoothie menus. If you are craving a croissant, Peninsula Bakery is amazing and everything is baked from scratch with good ingredients. For an incredible sit down and fancy brunch, check out The Holiday House.
Palm Greens Cafe. This place has a menu packed full of nourishing ingredients - whole wheat, quinoa, veggies galore, hummus, free-range chicken, etc. It’s a sit down restaurant but also has prepackaged salad samplers (with their delicious yam salad).
Nature’s Health Food and Cafe. Taking up one side of a health food store, this small cafe packs an extensive menu of vegan food. Skip the fake meats and order one of the big salads, the Azteca Plate or the veggie wrap. The shakes and juices are stellar too. If you have time, browse the store, it’s pricey but has some goods that make great healthy snacks.
The Barn Kitchen at the Sparrow Lodge. LOVED this place. They host Saturday night dinners outside at a communal table but we were too late on reservations, so we came the next day for lunch. Thank goodness we did, the menu was amazing as was the scenery. Tucked away in the back of the lodge it was a nice respite from the sun and hustle bustle of downtown. Every ingredient is sourced fresh and made in house. We enjoyed the little gem salad with green goddess dressing and chicken plus the hummus which was homemade and delicious. We heard chatter from other patrons that the avocado toast was to die for. We also ordered the fresh baked cookies and they were baked to order! So amazing. Go here!
Counter Reformation at the Parker Hotel. A tucked away gem. It’s just a bar with 20 seats, but this Jonathon Adler designed hotel doesn’t skimp on the beautiful touches and atmosphere.
The best part is that there was no wait at 7pm on a Saturday night, we got a seat right away, and the food and wine menu was KILLER. I enjoyed a glass of white wine that was from an organic winery. The menu consisted of “small bites” although we ordered two and were stuffed. We had the short ribs as well as the prawns that came with a side salad and the most amazing dressing. Everything was absolutely delicious and made with fresh and organic ingredients.
Azucar. The decor in this place alone is enough to put you in the mood to relax and enjoy good food. The octopus and guacamole then steps it up to another level. There are tables but as you can tell, I prefer to always eat at the bar for easier conversation between two people and a more mellow evening.
If we didn’t do an Airbnb, I would have stayed in one of these places. I’ve been to the Ace Hotel twice before and will choose between one of these for next time:
The Sparrow Lodge. Expensive on the weekends but deals during the week. This place is build like a lodge in the mountains in the middle of the desert and is done really well. The ground are beautiful, the food is good and the rooms are spacious. I would splurge and stay here. The pool scene was amazing too.
Arrive Hotel. We stopped here for the coffee for mom (which was the best coffee according to her), and stayed for the scenery. The pool area was beautiful with floaties to choose from for maximum chill, and connected to an indoor/outdoor poolside restaurant with healthy bites. Mom got friendly with the manager who showed us the ground which were lovely too. The price is also moderate if you were looking for a smaller but equally cool option to the Ace.
If you aren’t visiting in the summer months between May and September, then the weather allows you to explore the beautiful landscape of the desert on some hikes all within a 10 minute drive of the city center. Here are the ones we did:
Araby Trail: A 4-mile loop with a really scenic mountain trail and views of Bob Hope’s mansion. There was nice easy parking and clear signs marked for the trail. Although we bypassed the actual trail entrance, hiked up the paved street for a little more work on our buns and squeezed through the gate at the top. Not advised, but mom and I like to break the rules ;)
Museum Trail: Accessed via the parking lot right behind the Palm Springs Museum in town. This hike is a 2 mile steep climb right up the side of the mountain to the very top for stunning views of the city. Wear shoes with grips, there are some twist and turns that require holding on to a few rocks.