48 Hours In Palm Springs
1:30pm—Check in at The Parker
The Parker is the kind of place one envisions the darlings of Hollywood’s golden era spending their days off, lounging by the pool in oversized shades and headscarves with a strong cocktail in hand.
It is, in three words, a California classic, and about as close to Alice’s wonderland as you can get. Think sprawling gardens, a giant chess set, tasteful pops of bright colour and countless curiosities to explore. In the evenings, a firepit shrouded by palm trees is set alight which creates a truly magical setting under the stars.
If travelling in a group—families or two couples—make a request to get neighbouring villas that can be connected by a gate in the backyard.
It's a fairly long drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, so we recommend spending your first afternoon holding down the court by the pool with a spiked lemonade and light bites from the kitchen. You know you deserve it.
6:00pm—Aperitif at Mini Bar
This little corner of The Parker is a treat. Hidden behind bright blue sliding doors you'll find a pocket-sized bar—but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in grandeur; from the gold swivel chairs to the tropical wallpaper to the wall-to-wall selection of premium pours.
7:30pm—Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Any food lover worth their salt knows that a trip to Palm Springs is only half-baked if you don’t make a stop at Workshop. Housed in a former movie theatre, this New American restaurant serves up creative farm-to-table concepts.
Opt for the awe of Workshop’s stunning industrial-chic indoor space or dine under the desert sky in their chic outdoor area.
9:30pm—Truss & Twine
This sleek contemporary bar is the perfect spot to cap off the night. A stone’s throw from Workshop, Truss & Twine specialises in both classic and creative cocktails across four core concepts—Golden Age, Prohibition, Tiki and Dark Ages.
9:00am—Horse riding through the Indian canyon
Beat the heat and go for an early morning horse riding session through the Indian Canyon. Geared towards beginners, even if you’ve never ridden before, you can rest assure you’re in safe hands and in for a cruisy ride through otherworldly landscapes. Choose from a quick one-hour trail ride, which takes you along the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains, or do the Murray Canyon haul ride which takes you along streams and native Palm Groves from Andreas Canyon to Murray and back.
For a more intimate or romantic experience, an additional fee of US$50 gets you a private guided ride. Reservations for this are a must.
11:30—Brunch at Chi Chi
Housed in the Avalon Hotel, Chi Chi keeps things light both in its decor and on its menu, with many dishes making the most of fresh, seasonal California produce. Whether you're in the mood for a tuna poke bowl or a Mediterranean platter to share, or you're nursing a hangover with a hearty fried chicken sandwich, it's all here.
A "something for everyone" restaurant is a tricky one to master, and often a recipe for disaster, but it's safe to say that Chi Chi's chef Jason Moffitt has it in spades.
2:00pm—Palm Springs Art Museum
Don’t let the size and location fool you—this mid-sized museum has the repertoire to rival some of the world’s top urban museums.
Housed in a classic mid-century building, the Palm Springs Art Museum houses an impressive selection of works. You’ll find paintings and sculptures by the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Rauschenberg, Henry Moore and Helen Frankenthaler to name a few—many of which were either loaned or donated by the area's affluent residents.
The museum also has a satellite location in Palm Desert, and an architecture and design centre in downtown Palm Springs.
7:30pm—Dinner at Sandfish
Sushi and whisky are a promising combination, and that's exactly what the focus is on at Sandfish. A relative newcomer to Palm Springs, Sandfish brings together Scandinavian and Japanese design to create a cozy communal space for diners to enjoy good food and good times.
9:30pm—Night cap and jazz at Dead or Alive
Fine wine, cold beer and live jazz—this quirky desert dive is arguably the coolest bar in Palm Springs.
9:00am—Breakfast at Norma's
Brunch is big at Norma's, The Parker's colourful al fresco dining outlet that overlooks acres of palm trees. If you're in a savoury mood, look to Norma's classic and creative egg dishes (including a section of the menu dedicated to various renditions of eggs benedict) or a light but no-less-indulgent lobster and mango salad.
Those with a sweet tooth are not left wanting. Elevated breakfast favourites include banana macadamia pancakes and Nutella packed flapjacks to name a few.
Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are available and equally appetising.
11:00am—Moorten Botanical Garden
A sucker for succulents? Make this your last stop in Palm Springs before heading back to the City of Angels. Moorten Botanical Garden dates back to the 1930s and is home to over 30,000 species of desert plants from around the world. It’s truly a sight to behold and—if you must—a great place to get a few shots in for the ‘gram.
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