If you’ve read our Coachella guide, you may already be a little familiar with Palm Springs but it’s just so good, it deserves its own, exclusive post.
Although Palm Springs has a rich and long history, it was in the early 20th century that Palm Springs became a fashionable, mostly spa destination, and took prominence as a location favoured by the rich and famous. As a city in the Sonoran Desert in Southern California, that’s hot year round, with little to no rain and just a short trip away from Los Angeles, it’s no wonder it was and still is so vastly popular.
It’s not just the climate that’s the appealing factor, though the geographical hot springs also make for an attractive spa destination, the city is noteworthy for its architecture too. Between the late 30s and 50s, the city experienced quite a boom in developments. Each property and hotel is unique and striking but all with a modernist feel; in fact the cities properties haven’t changed vastly at all to this day. When visiting, you too will marvel at just how retrograde it feels. And it isn’t just the property affected either, you’ll frequently spot Cadillac convertibles around town.
Additionally because of the historical settings and rich and famous residents; which included Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe and more recently Leonardo DiCaprio, Barbara Streisand and Sia; Palm Springs is a hot spot for one of a kind pieces, antiques, collectables and vintage clothing. The area is full of thrift stores, vintage boutiques, sale houses and galleries. If you’re willing to go on a trawl, you’re sure to pick up some hidden gems. Some of the most popular boutiques include: The Frippery, The Fine Art of Design and Antique Galleries of Palm Springs. For a greater list of the mecca vintage shopping available, be sure to check out Visit Greater Palm Springs and Sammy D Vintage who shares her insight on how to spot a piece worth grabbing. Her blog provides a wealth of information on how to shop preloved.
If art is more your thing, because of the combined historical significance and striking mountainous backdrops it is a city that attracts a wealth of art and has long been a muse for artists like David Hockney; although you’re unlikely to find a gem of his in one of the local stores (though you never know!), you’re likely to fall in love with local artwork and wares that have been inspired by such a beautiful area. To get a true feel for the history, architecture and art that surround the city, the museums and wealth of galleries are certainly worth a visit.
Predominantly a visit to Palm Springs will be centred on taking time out and relaxing at one of the many incredible resorts, hotels and spas but unequivocally there is much more to inspire, intrigue and excite you. In addition to the incredible Coachella festival and wealth of stores and galleries, hiking is a Palm Springs essential. The aerial tramway will give you the opportunity to combine a little history, sightseeing (from 2 and a ½ miles up) and a good hike in the wilderness- be prepared for quite an extreme in temperatures though.
All in all, Palm Springs really has it all.
If you’re looking to visit- hire a car from LA and drive down to save a few pretty pennies (to send on those vintage goodies) by avoiding flying directly into Palm Springs, it’s only a 2 hour drive, plus you can see the huge wind farm that powers the entire city and Coachella valley and pay a visit to the incredible outlets! The image of the pool in the article is of the Colt’s Lodge