How to Spend the Perfect Palm Springs Weekend Getaway
Head out for a couple of days off in this jewel of the desert.
If you feel like swapping the bright lights of Los Angeles for the stars in the desert, a Palm Springs weekend getaway is the natural choice. It’s just a 100-mile (160-kilometer) journey east, which will take you less than two hours to drive. And you can still feel like a movie star at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January. Anyway, once here, you’ll be greeted by an array of spas, galleries and restaurants to complement the mid-modern architecture and palm trees. The city is particularly popular from November through March, when (Los) Angelenos escape the heaving city for this desert oasis, its nature trails making for a fun and worthwhile activity in the mild winter weather. And our plethora of Plum Guide homes make for a luxury setting in which to unwind after a lengthy trek. You deserve it. Probably.
Embark on nature trails
Remember all those weeks ago when you planned your Palm Springs weekend getaway – how fun those nature trails seemed? Well, now you’re exhausted in the middle of the arid terrain of inner California. Still having fun? Hopefully, you are. Anyway, that’s all a future-you, because you wouldn’t be reading this while on your hike. So, think carefully about whether those knees are still up to it. If you are a keen walker, you’ll love the Ancient Lake Cahuilla Overlook, with its awe-inspiring views of a vast valley framed by rocky ridges. Take on the Bear Creek Nature Trail to see the mountains, and try the Big Morongo Canyon Marsh Trail Loop for something a little…wetter. Don’t worry, it has a raised wooden platform for you to walk on. Speaking of water, bring enough of the wet stuff for your voyage into the Indian Canyons Hiking Trails and enjoy a picnic in the shade of a palm tree on the Murray Canyon Trail. The Palm Springs Museum Trail is another great choice, and a wonderful example of a misnomer, because the only thing it has to do with museums is its departure point. After that, you’ll be climbing up rocks on one of the city’s most arduous trails. It’s all worth it for the views of the Coachella Valley from the top (which you can, of course, find on Google for much less exertion).
Hit up the spas
The city is also known for its spas, which make for a perfect follow-up to those arduous hikes. The Spa at the Andreas has top-notch massage options right in the heart of the city. Enjoy lunch at the Oasis Buffet of the Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs, and place your bets on the slot machines (to almost certainly lose everything but maybe, just maybe, win something). Otherwise, you can choose between the Studio M Salon and Spa, the Estrella Spa and multiple other wellness spots to rest those weary limbs after all that hiking.
It's all happening at the zoo
If you’re with your family (or just alone – who decided that only kids can enjoy looking at animals?), the Living Desert Zoo is an ideal stop. It has an interactive style, allowing your little ones (or you) to feed the giraffes and other animals. Stroll between the spiky plants and trees of the arid botanic garden to see the coyote melon and coastal agave among other flora. Then, leave your little ones in the zoo and head off for a few rounds of golf at the Ironwood Country Club or the Bighorn Golf Club.
Dine in style
Everyone's gotta eat, right? And you're no exception. And, since this is your lovely Palm Springs weekend getaway, we wanted to suggest some of the nicest and most exclusive restaurants in the city. You could take your seat in the outside section of the old-world European-style Miro’s Restaurant, before tucking into some of its Mediterranean delicacies. For something a little more…French-specific…try Le Vallauris (just don’t try to pronounce it). Copleys on Palm Canyon has more of an American style. If you’re with your kids (who are ruining everything as usual), then try some of the family spots, such as La Perlia Mexican Food, Bill’s Pizza and Elmer’s Restaurant. They may not be as fancy as the aforementioned dining establishments, but they’re a lot of fun, and mighty popular. Just like you.