we just got home from a wonderful 4 days in palm springs. this was our first somewhat lengthy trip with the kiddo, and i wasn’t sure how he’d handle it. luckily he was a complete trooper and did amazing in the 110 degree + heat. we decided to rent a full size crib for the stay through desert baby rentals, and it could not have been easier. highly recommended! palm springs in the off season is pretty great, because it’s fairly empty. we felt like we had the town to ourselves, and that was awesome. what i really love about palm springs is that there are places that are way stylish and super rad for adults like us (the aging not-quite-hipster/music geek/cocktail enthusiast/plant nerd/total foodie/design geek type), and yet still totally accommodating to toddlers. this is not a common thing, in life. everywhere that we went we were met with genuine kindness and a mighty fine cocktail. we can’t wait to go back. here’s my fave raves from the valley below.
- i’ll start off with the ace hotel, because it’s probably the most well known for being hip and yet totally family friendly, and it deserves it’s great reputation. we had breakfast at the awesome kings highway diner and were really impressed with the food. it was healthy, tasty and surprisingly affordable (and you can’t beat that old school denny’s look). we had the great pleasure of spending the day swimming at the ace and it was so, so fun. the staff is sweet as pie and it seemed like every time we started to think, “do we need another drink?” someone would pop up to ask if we wanted anything. the “vibe” at the ace is laid back, but the service doesn’t suffer at all. the pool is surprisingly unpretentious and way kid friendly. i never felt self-conscious about having a toddler there, or felt like i was in some kind of kiddie pool world. it was the perfect mix. they also make the most amazing pina coladas which i will continue dream about for all eternity.
2. next up is the moorten botanical garden. this place is really a wonder, located pretty much right downtown palm springs. while we wouldn’t want the toddler to run through on his own, he loved being carried through the little paths of enormous cactus and seeing all of the plant life. the greenhouse is such a little sanctuary of gorgeous natural light, and the spanish style private residence on site is a thing of beauty. even in the 112 degree heat it was worth walking through.
3. next is the parker hotel, which we all like to refer to as heaven on earth. we had brunch at norma’s twice, and were blown away by how the staff remembered even our names the next time that we came in, from the valet parkers to the wait staff. the food was honestly amazing, from the farm fresh eggs to the baked goods to the fully epic cocktails. they give you a sample of their daily smoothie and offer it with booze, and each time it is insanely good. we got to spend some time after our meals walking around the grounds and were all totally over the moon for the place. the landscaping is so lush and there are all of these little hideaways where you can sit and have drinks, or lay in a hammock, or play croquet. my son had the best time ever running around and checking out all of the little hiding spots. they have two pools, one for families and one for adults only, and they somehow maintain this balance of being luxurious yet totally comfortable and again, unpretentious. sadly the stunning lobby and those famous front doors were under construction while we were there, but it was still a complete design marvel to all of us. little nods to mid-century design,1960’s fellini-esque italy, a hint of southern plantation charm and a smack of morocco all somehow blend together perfectly. we can’t wait to stay there.
4. a big part of why we wanted to stay in palm springs was the mid-century architecture. there are companies that give tours, or plenty of maps (and even an app) to do self-guided tours. it was a good break from the heat to drive around and check out places like the kaufmann house, elvis’ honeymoon hideaway and the movie colony neighborhood with its ultra chic mansions and the highly weird kenny irwin jr. home (which is like an enormous acid trip). the movie colony neighborhood also features ruth hardy park, which is a fantastic park for kids. they have a really cool play area that works for little and big kids, and tons of lawn area for kids to run free in.
5. last but not least is pappy and harriets in pioneertown. my husband has been wanting to visit this place for over a decade, and making the trek up to pioneertown was completely worth it. the space is big and there was plenty of room for my son to run around inside and out. the food is delicious, the drinks and strong and the staff is so, so nice. we heart pappy and harriets.