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Unwind in Palm Springs: The Ideal Weekend Escape

Palm Springs weekend getaway

ENJOY A PALM SPRINGS WEEKEND GETAWAY

We spent the weekend in Palm Springs, and I had forgotten how wonderful it was. It had been a long while since our last trip. It’s a two-hour drive from San Diego, provided there is no traffic. We acted like tourists and did some of the spectacular attractions Palm Springs is known for, ate at wonderful restaurants, and stayed at a resort hotel.  I love going to Palm Springs as it offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.  There truly is something for everyone to enjoy on a Palm Springs weekend getaway.  

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians originally inhabited Palm Springs. Spanish settlers later explored the area in the 1770s. In the early 20th century, Palm Springs became a popular resort destination for Hollywood and Los Angeles celebrities seeking a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Palm Springs saw significant growth during the mid-20th century, with modernist architecture that defines its landscape. The city is known for its vibrant arts scene, luxury resorts, and as a haven for mid-century modern design enthusiasts.

THE TOP ATTRACTIONS IN PALM SPRINGS

No weekend visit to Palm Springs will allow you to enjoy everything the city offers.   Over the years that we have been going there, there are some places that we love revisiting and sharing with friends.

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

The Living Desert Zoo is a must-see in Palm Springs. It has unique wildlife and absolutely beautiful gardens and desert landscapes. We spent a few hours meandering around the zoo.  If you plan to visit this attraction frequently, I’d suggest you look at buying a membership. It includes great perks and helps you support their mission.

Palm Springs weekend getaway

My favorite attraction was the feeding station for the giraffes. The zoo has built these platforms, so you are at the head height of the giraffes. And for a few dollars, you can feed the giraffes. This was loved by kids and adults. We found ourselves lingering on this platform for quite a while as we looked in amazement at this beautiful site.

There are great food/snack options and plenty of shady areas to keep you cool in the heat.  The Living Desert also boasts an impressive collection of botanical gardens, including the stunning Mojave Garden and the Cahuilla Ethnobotanical Garden

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

I also highly recommend you make time for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This stunning Tram takes you from the base of the mountain to the peak with incredible views of the Palm Springs Valley. The tram itself gives you a 360-degree view of the sights, as it turns fully around as you go up and down the mountain. Make sure you make a reservation, as it can be booked quickly. Also, be sure to get there early enough to not miss your allotted tram ride up the mountain.

Palm Springs weekend getaway

Once you’re up at the top, there are incredible hiking trails to enjoy. And if you’re not into that kind of exploring, the restaurant and bar at the top of the mountain reminds me of a ski chalet with expansive viewing decks and places to relax and unwind. When you’re ready, you can descend the mountain on the tram once again.

Temalpakh Farm

Another great attraction that might not be as well known is the Temalpah Farm. The farm’s mission is to grow organic food from the soil using sustainable techniques.  The farm has 50 acres of land and grows vegetables like chard, kale, celery, butternut squash, and dates.

Palm Springs weekend getaway

The best way to learn about Temalpakh Farms is through their educational tour.  It starts at 7 Feathers Landing, where you have a 360-degree view of the farm.  Walking through the farm, you can see the produce grown, and learn about their sustainability initiatives.  

The farm store sells its produce, and you can also support their initiatives by CSA Farm Box.  Please be sure to check the hours and availability, as the tours do not run when it is very hot.

Palm Springs weekend getaway dining options

There is no shortage of restaurants in the greater Palm Springs area. Whether you are looking for a cozy restaurant owned by a local, Michelin star or Top Chef-run restaurant, your options will be endless. A good time to visit would be while they are having their Restaurant Week. This annual event has breakfast, lunch, and brunch 3-course meals at great deals. Be assured that your Palm Springs weekend getaway will have plenty of great food choices.

BRUNCH 101

Brunch 101 in Palm Springs is a neighborhood gem! The moment you walk in, the cozy vibe and friendly staff make you feel right at home. Everything is freshly made, to order, and you can taste the quality of the ingredients. One of their signature items is the red chilaquiles – fresh tortilla chips covered in spicy red salsa, crema, cilantro, onion & queso fresco topped with 2 eggs and pickled onion.   If this is going to be a boozy brunch, then getting the bottomless mimosas or mimosa flight is a must. 

Palm Springs weekend getaway

SHOREBIRD

Since we are patiently waiting for the new Shorebird Restaurant in San Diego to open, I’d highly recommend it for lunch or dinner.  The seafood dishes are fresh and flavorful, especially the sushi rolls – a must-try! The staff is friendly and attentive, and all the dishes we ordered were a result of their excellent recommendations.  You can always pair your meal with a glass of wine from their curated wine menu and you’re in for a treat.

Palm Springs weekend getaway

COPLEY'S ON PALM CANYON

Having dinner at Copley’s on Palm Canyon is an elegant way to end the day and a great way to combine fine dining with history.  The restaurant is located in the former guesthouse of Cary Grant, and almost all of the seating is in the charming courtyard area.  It’s an ideal spot for a romantic dinner or a relaxing evening under the stars. Chef Copley has an impressive culinary background and he combines classic techniques with innovative flavors.  Be sure to listen for the daily specials before deciding what to order.

Palm Springs weekend getaway

WHERE TO STAY IN PALM SPRINGS

Palm Springs is renowned for its hotels that range from:

  • Mid-century modern architecture like the iconic Parker Palm Springs
  • Unique boutique experiences like the Sparrows Lodge
  • Wellness Retreats like the Two Bunch Palms
  • Casinos Resorts like Aqua Caliente
  • Hollywood History like The Avalon Hotel

Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage

Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage is a luxurious award-winning hotel in Rancho Mirage. In addition to having a modern casino, five star spa and restaurants, they have an incredible outdoor pool that calls for you to relax. The pool has cabanas that can be rented for the day, a poolside bar, and stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.

Whether you are headed here to see a concert in their theatre, for business, or for relaxation, the resort will not disappoint. The rooms are comfortable with modern amenities and stylish décor. I confess we spent more time enjoying the resort than in our room.

The hotel received the prestigious Forbes five-star rating for the fourth time in 2023.  

Palm Springs weekend getaway

If you are looking for a location other than a Palm Springs weekend getaway, a stay in Temecula or Mission Bay are two other great options.

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