It’s not hard to understand the allure of Palm Springs, a city nestled in the heart of the California desert and known for its midcentury architecture, kidney-shaped pools, piano bars and boutique hotels. BRIKA Co-Founder Kena recently returned from a trip to the once-fabled Rat Pack hot spot – below are her highlights.
Tram up San Jacinto Mountains via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. As the steepest vertical cable rise in the U.S. (and second steepest in the world!), the nearly 6,000 foot ascent is just as thrilling as the destination. Even though you’ll board the tram in desert heat that can top the 120 degree range, you’ll want to pack warmly for when you reach the summit – from mid-November to April, you can even explore the snowy surroundings via snowshoe or cross-country ski.
Traverse the Joshua Tree National Park. Dedicate a day to driving through this 794,000-acre park, stopping for hikes along the way to scramble around the giant boulders that populate the region. Boasting a landscape that feels downright interplanetary, you’ll never run out of photo opps, especially in the spring, when flowers shoot out of the Joshua trees and ocotillo cactus.
Explore the Palm Springs Art Museum. What was once a mid-century bank building now houses a permanent collection of works by Henry Moore, Ed Ruscha and Mark di Suvero alongside temporary exhibitions featuring painting, sculpture photography and glass art from the past century.
Take a tour of the mid-century modern architecture. Witness the best of Palm Springs’ modernist architecture, preserved from the heyday of ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s hedonism. Includes design feats by an impressive array of architects and homes of Hollywood stars. You can even do a self-guided tour!
Situated in the Saguaro hotel, El Jefe (pronounced “Heff-eh” – don’t make the same pronunciation blunder we did!) serves up tasty Mexican-inspired fare like tacos and ceviche. Try their namesake pulled pork-topped nachos when you’re feeling indulgent.
Featuring raw detailing like exposed brick walls and high ceilings, Workshop Kitchen + Bar’s menu boasts high-end offerings like wagyu beef carpaccio, grilled octopus and mesquite duck breast.
Located in the Parker, an iconic Palm Springs hotel, this fancy diner specializes in indulgent comfort food and all-day breakfasts with a wide array of Eggs Bennys.
Part of the Ace Hotel, both the mouthwatering menu with a focus on fresh ingredients and the funky, eclectic take on diner décor make King’s Highway an essential stop on your culinary tour of Palm Springs. Try their date shake (a local favorite), an indulgent blend of local dates, almond milk and vanilla bean gelato.
A local café chain ideal for getting your caffeine fix with two locations in Palm Springs and one in Rancho Mirage.
Can’t get to the Golden State soon enough? Try these product picks:
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