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2 Nights in Palm Springs, CA

I love to travel and explore the world. In order to squeeze in as many cities as possible in one lifetime I often don't return to places that I have already visited. However, I have recently noticed that there are three places on this planet I seem to return to again and again and again: Palm Springs, Santa Fe, and Sedona. As much as I love the sea, the desert landscapes equally attract me and I find myself in its midst more often than not. Now that we live in San Diego, we can easily escape to Palm Springs to shop on Palm Canyon Drive, eat great meals, spend time in nature on long hikes, appreciate the mid-century architecture that lines the streets, and simply relax. Below I share with you what I think is the perfect itinerary for two nights in this desert oasis.


1-Start your day with a great hike

Head over to Tahquitz Canyon and hike the rather simple 1.9-mile loop to the fifty-foot waterfall. There is a swimming hole, albeit a rather chilly one, but if you like a cold plunge then wear your swimsuit. The trail is lined with massive boulders in multiple shades of earth that will remind you how small you are in this vast earth of ours. The colors of the rocks and vegetation are stunning and the sound of the stream trickling by is beyond soothing. Be prepared to pay $15 per person and to show the cashier that you have ample water in your backpack to keep you hydrated during the dry, desert heat.

2- Replenish your calories over a long lunch

Pomme Frite is an adorable bistro on the main street that offers traditional French and Belgian dishes. We loved the quaint atmosphere and the plethora of options that accommodated all of our cravings and dietary preferences.

pros: charming bistro with a great lunch menu offering authentic French and Belgian cuisine

cons: none

must order: the beet salad and caprese sandwich

3 -Check into your Vrbo home, swim, relax

For personal reasons, I stopped using Airbnb a few months ago. Since then I have been using Vrbo (pronounced ver-bow). There are always loads of rental options in the Palm Springs area. For our recent visit, our family of five loved this 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home. The house is well-appointed with artistic touches and close to the main strip. We had plenty of space to spread out and also enjoyed sharing the communal spaces together.

pros: immaculate, chic decor, wonderful host, great location, large pool and jacuzzi

cons: `thin towels for showers and pool, no coffee, no microwave

4- Head out for a decadent dinner

After some swim time and well-deserved R & R, spoil yourself with a decadent dinner.

Mr. Lyons Steakhouse brings a steak-centric sophisticated supper club scene to the heart of the desert. I absolutely adore the romantically dimmed lighting and the banquette seating - along with the endless selection of decadent side dishes.

pros: super sexy decor, great people-watching

cons: slow service

must order: roasted cauliflower, old-fashioned cocktail, parker house rolls, truffle mac & cheese

5- Wrap up the day with a movie night in your rental with a huge bowl of ice cream in hand

Cozy up on the couch and gather with your loved ones to watch a movie together. We chose black comedy for our genre and laughed our butts off to The Dictator.

DAY TWO: 1- Begin your day with a bountiful breakfast

I can't imagine a more colorful way to start your day than at The Pink Cabana which offers a unique Moroccan meets Alice in Wonderland motif. The breakfast menu is small yet offers all the basics you'll need to start your day.

pros: pretty setting, great customer service, extra fresh ingredients are used

cons: in Palm Desert - about a 25-minute drive from Palm Springs (but worth the drive)

must order: the apple french toast and avocado toast topped with a poached egg are divine

2- Put on your tennis shoes and take a hike

Walk off those breakfast calories on the Murray Canyon Trail to Seven Sisters Falls, a stunning two-mile in-and-out, well-shaded and interactive trek along a creek that leads to a small, yet lovely waterfall. This hike requires rock scrambling and crossing over water. I changed into my water shoes at the first crossing and just walked right through the stream as others struggled not to get their feet wet in their sneakers. This is a great trail offering gorgeous vistas. We even saw a tarantula!

3- Lay on those calories over a lazy lunch

Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar may seem like an odd choice but the kitchen actually whips up some really good lunch dishes!

pros: spacious outdoor space, large selection of menu options, lively patio

cons: there was a twenty-five-minute wait on a Monday afternoon, and appetizers must be ordered at the counter before a waiter can begin servicing your table (weird arrangement)

must order: the corn queso dip, mahi mahi tuna tacos, and the vegetable bowl were all perfectly prepared

4- Walk along Palm Canyon Drive

Whether you like large chains like Sephora, Free People, and H&M, or prefer less ubiquitous mom-and-pop shops, the main street of Palm Springs has plenty of options to satisfy your shopping needs. You can walk the strip in approximately an hour and it's definitely worth exploring the various shops. Those of you who have loyally been following my journey know that I can never walk by a candy shop without entering. Lolli and Pops is like a Saks for candy - high-end, aesthetically laid out, expensive, and leaving you wishing you could buy everything in it.

5- Dip in the pool and soak in the spa

After a full day of eating, hiking, and shopping, a late afternoon dip in the pool is a perfect way to escape the desert heat when the sun is at its strongest. We took a three-hour reprieve in our rental each day to rest and relax in our rental.

6- Dine over delicious dinner dishes

The Tropicale was packed on a Monday evening, rightfully so. The dark interior is illuminated by neon lighting in the mid-century designed space that feels festive as soon as you walk through its doors.

pros: well executed asian inspired menu items, tons of creative cocktails, and a fun vibe cons: portions are small for the price tag (small bowl of edamame beans $17) must order: the kobe beef skewers, firecracker shrimp, and tofu vegetable bowl were all so good

7- Cozy up on the couch and watch another flick with your friends or family

I opted out of ice cream on our second movie night and instead munched on the peanut butter cup popcorn, gummy bears, and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds that I loaded up on at Lolli and Pops earlier in the day.

We opted for another comedy with Sacha Baron Cohen. I must say, his flicks kept us laughing past the movie end time.


The time has come to check out of our rental and head back to reality but first, we headed to one of my favorites - Norma's at The Parker Hotel for one final fantastic meal to satisfy our appetites as we got ready to make the drive back home.

pros: the warm and inviting interior of this hotel is superior, no detail is overlooked and the collection of artifacts and pottery is museum-worthy - and they also serve great breakfast items.

cons: the gorgeous decor comes with a high price tag- french toast costs $32 must order: the housemade donuts and the huevos rancheros that are served over a cheese quesadilla will leave you wanting seconds

Each time we visit Palm Springs we discover new trails, new restaurants, and new things we love about this colorful desert town. We'll be back yet again, I have no doubt.


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