Perfect Weekend Getaway in Palm Springs
Palm Springs served as the perfect girl friend getaway. Extending the weekend just 2 days gave my best friend and I 96 hours to play. Starting Thursday pretty early, we needed something to do before we could check into our hotel and decided to hike. With the help of my AllTrails app and the recommendations from the NYT Travel Show we headed toward Indian Canyons. Unfortunately the area was closed due to damage from the rain, but a ranger informed us of an open area called Tahquitz Canyon. For a small fee we hiked the Tahquitz Canyon Loop Trail. It took us a couple hours to take our time around the 1.7 mile loop. Surprisingly, being that we were in the desert, the hike was a waterfall hike complete with heavy streams and stream crossings. The hike was beautiful, but hot. Make sure you bring water. In fact when paying the entrance fee I read a sign saying it was required.
When we got hungry we got back in our car (yes we had a car which I highly recommend) and drove toward Azucar, a breathtaking lunch spot inside La Serena Villas. We admired the decor while eating fish tacos and lettuce wraps. Once we finished eating it was time to check-in to our hotel, The Saguaro. If you’ve ever spotted the extremely colorful hotel popular on Instagram it’s likely this was the spot. Whatever your favorite color is (yellow, green, pink, blue, orange) you’ll find it here painted on some aspect of the building. Given the option, choose a room facing the pool. You’ll get the pool areas good vibes and clear views of the mountains. After checking in we had about an hour down by the pool before the sun tucked its way behind the mountains (at around 5pm during the end of February.) This gave us just enough time to look up where we wanted to go for dinner.
The Saguaro hotel has a free shuttle service every hour from morning until 9pm so we caught the 6pm and walked 10 minutes from the drop off spot which was outside Brickworks. The walk took us through Village Fest which takes place on Palm Canyon Dr every Thursday night. There were tents selling jewelry, art, food, and there was music (a piano in the middle of the street to be exact.) We might have taken our time if we didn’t plan on attending an 8pm show. At around 6:30pm we sat down at Tropicale where inside had live music and outside had a beautiful decor.
After a delicious dinner at Tropicale we went next door to Copa for a show called Lipstick filled with drag stars and show people. Two performers took turns lip signing in fun costumes and two performers took turns singing their hearts out. The four performers rotated four times bringing the show to a couple hours. If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t say you’d be missing out if you couldn’t make it, but it was an experience and we had fun.
The following day we decided to make it a pool day. We walked down to the pool at 8am to claim one of the hotel’s comfortable orange beds (and take some pictures because well, we’re two millennial girls with Instagram, does that need much explaining?). Then we left for brunch because a girls gotta eat. Sitting in the garden-like patio section at Farm, we each enjoyed their bacon, egg, cheese, avocado, tomato on a croissant. And as if that wasn’t enough food, we split the A La Banane French toast. Why we thought it was a good idea to stuff our faces before putting on a bikini I’ll never know, but what I wouldn’t give to have that meal again right now. Yum.
Returning to the pool we found our orange bed had been commandeered by a reserved sign. Initially disappointed, we decided to ask the bartender about it. He told us the beds were still available for just $50 for the whole day. We thought that was worth it especially after hearing Saturday and Sunday prices could be upwards of $250. We paid and set ourselves up for an awesome pool day filled with music, drinks, and people who mostly looked in their 20s with a few families. We loved the pool scene at The Saguaro.
After soaking up some sun, we got ready for dinner. We had reservations at LuLu for 7:30pm. (In general, I definitely recommend making reservations on weekend nights if you’re looking forward to eating at a particular place.) The thing that stood out to me the most at LuLu was an entire Gluten free menu attached to their regular menu; plus there was a good sized vegetarian section.
It was Friday night and we were ready to go out. Usually I’m an old lady and don’t go out too often, but we figured we should check out the scene at least one night. We started at Village Pub per the recommendation of our hot bartender over at The Saguaro. There was a DJ, dancing, and of course drinks. We learned quickly that there was also about 400 baseball players roaming the bars. It was their last weekend in town after a month long training. After Village Pub we followed the crowd over to Moxie, the bar next door. The vibe was chill, an indoor and outdoor section, and plenty of games to play if you weren’t in the mood to get on the dance floor. What started as a friendly game of jumbo connect four between my friend and I turned into an hour long tournament of everyone wanting to play winner. After a short break, we got pulled into a heated Jenga game. The rest of the night was a mixture of drinks and dance battles until it was time to call it a night.
The next morning came quick and we had 9am reservations to take pilates at Ecore Fitness. The class was $34 for a 50 minute session on a pilates reformer. I left with a great abs and leg workout. Naturally it was time to reward ourselves with brunch. We drove over to a popular place called Cheekys, aware that we would probably have to wait. We waited about 45 minutes, but we didn’t mind because there was an art fair going on across the street where we walked around. Once we sat to eat we were in heaven. There was an outdoor section to eat, our table was closer to the street and had gorgeous views of the mountain, and there was a seasonal menu with the most unique options. My favorite two food items here were the bacon flight (picture 5 flavored pieces of bacon) and the singular corn pancake. Even though we had to be rolled out, it was worth it.
The Saturday forecast had called for light rain all week so we had planned to do things like take the Aerial Tramway and check out the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. The problem was the rain had wiped out the tram until an estimated return date of April and the botanical gardens closed early due to high winds. We decided to take the opportunity to check out one of the other hotels we had considered staying at, Arrive. After sneaking into the pool area by trailing a guest with room key access, we immediately felt grateful that we chose The Saguaro. Although Arrive had a DJ, The Saguaro is much more lively. We walked around the hotel a few times looking for the lobby before security stopped us. Whoops. Apparently there was no lobby. They have a minimalist style hotel where check-in is with the bartender at the restaurant attached to the pool. What they did have though was a really cool ice cream shop. We shared one scoop of vegan Coachella Valley Date ice cream and spent some time looking at all the unique, fun items they had for sale.
Despite having desert before dinner, it was time for food. Although, we weren’t starving and decided to hop around to three places picking on small items. We started at our hotels bar, El Jefe. Since we were mainly drinking tequila as our liquor of choice all weekend, this tequila/taco bar was perfect. Once we got our full El Jefe experience we moved over to Ace Hotel where we sat in their super trendy outdoor section behind The Amigo Room. We ordered the best mezcal drinks I’ve ever had and hot popcorn chicken with ranch. It was perfect.
After my friend and I talked each others ears off per usual, the bartender gave us the name of a speakeasy down the street. The restaurant was called Mr. Lyons, but inside was a “secret” bar called Seymours. It certainly wasn’t like the speakeasy’s in NYC or Boston. It was easy to spot, there’s a website, and there was even an outdoor section, not very secret. But very cool and great cocktails. This is where we ended the night.
Sunday was a relaxed final day. We woke up, packed before check-out, and put everything in the car. We started our day by getting our stretch on at Peace, Love, Yoga where we attended the 10am all-levels community class for $10. It was perfectly recharging after a weekend of moving around. Since we didn’t sweat as much as we did in pilates (plus we had already checked out of our hotel) we went straight to brunch. Jake’s had been recommended a few times to us and we could see why. The wait looked long, but we were lucky to find two seats at the bar. Rumor’s online mention free cinnamon buns to start, but don’t get too excited like I did because this simply is not true. Jake’s did however have the most amazing cinnamon coffee cake on the menu that melts in your mouth. The bartender paired it for us with a Bloody Mary made with lemon vodka, a new combination and one I did not mind at all.
Once stuffed to the brim we drove back to our hotel, changed into our bathing suits in the lobby bathroom, and caught an hour of sun. (At The Saguaro you can access the pool without a room key through the lobby. Something that came in handy because we were unsure if our keys would work after checkout.) An hour was perfect (it was hot that day) before we left to try Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium again. We left ourselves an hour before it closed, but you only need about 30 minutes to walk around unless you plan on spending a good amount of time taking pictures. My favorite part of the gardens is their cactarium; it’s where you see most Instagram photos from Moorteens being taken. Tempted to feed my addition to succulents and purchase the mini ones for a dollar, we instead fed our caffeine addition at Ernest Coffee. Minus the flight delays and staying an extra day at my friends place in Orange County, this coffee stop pretty much concluded our trip.