Palm Springs, CA

Guide to Palm Springs: Where to Stay, What to Eat, and More

Hungry Hong Kong

California is famous for its stunning coastline and picture perfect beaches, but if you're looking for a different side of the golden state head to Palm Springs. Immerse in nature, delve into mouthwatering local eats, and find a variety of accommodation and shopping at the heart of the Palm Desert.  Take your family, loved one, or group of friends for a fun and easy going trip to one of California's most stylish and picturesque destinations.  

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Where to Eat:

  • Del Rey

Step into a stylish desert oasis and delve into a Spanish inspired menu of tapas and hand crafted cocktails.  The intimate eatery is centred around a 12 seat oak bar, invitingly romantic booths, and a cozy patio complete with a fire pit and desert night skies.   Highlights of the menu include the creamy Manchego Bomba, addictive Patatas Bravas, and the delicate pan seared sole.  Order a "Floating Hat" tequila based cocktail for your date and finish by sharing the indulgent Molten Chocolate Cake.

  • Birba 

Mouthwatering pizzas, a buzzing outdoor patio, and meticulously mixed cocktails make for the perfect evening under the stars.  The prosciutto and honey topped signature Birba pizza is a must try and you can't go wrong with Nonna's Meatballs or the classic yet mouthwatering Spaghetti Pomodoro.   

  • The Heyday

Heyday's Smash Burger is our favourite Palm Springs guilty pleasure.  Using humane and grass fed Harris Farm Beef for the patties this classic burger is no frills yet undeniably addictive.   The meat is perfectly charred and juicy, sandwiched between Martin's potato rolls, and your only decision is if you want a single or double.  Each burger is lovingly adorned with cheese, caramelised onions, shredded lettuce, and lashings of their special sauce.  Pair with the crinkle cut fries for the best taste.

  • Norma's

If you're Palm Springs trip is with the girls you'll want to stop by Norma's stylish patio for a long brunch session.  The vibrant orange accented space will go perfectly with your mimosas and their Eggs Benedict served upon artichoke hearts will be a favourite order all around.  Satisfy your sweet cravings with the Brioche French Toast and there are plenty of organic based salads if that's the path you are looking to take.  Spend hours or a quick breakfast, but you'll want to go for the experience as much as the elevated American breakfast fare.

  • Crazy Coyote Tacos

You can't go to Palm Springs without at stop at this casual taco joint.  The tacos are giant, soft and brimming with meat, cheese, and creamy avocado.  You can choose between steak, chicken, or fish but the portion size and indulgent flavours are what will impress. Pair with their spicy house salsa and eat in the car before heading home.  

What to Do:

  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs boasts the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world, and it's a must for those on a sightseeing tour of the area.  The 10 minute journey gives the visitor breathtaking views of Chino Canyon and San Jacinto State Park and transports you to the Mountain Station where you can dine or just take photos at the picturesque observations decks.  There are also plenty of hiking and camping opportunities in the area for families looking to immerse in nature during their trip.

  • Cabazon Dinosaurs 

This is the perfect sight for families or just a fun photo opportunity.  Dinny the Dinosaur and Mr. Rex are steel and concrete life size dinosaurs which adorn the side of the road.   Visitors can climb the 150ft Brontosaurus for free and there's a museum and gift shop where you'll find many more dinosaurs statues and memorabilia.  A popular desert attraction since the 60's and still a firm favourite with children who visit the area.

  • Living Desert Zoo & Gardens

Get up close and personal with meerkats, desert foxes, and giraffes at the unique and innovative Living Desert Zoo.  The attraction sits in 100 acres of the palm dessert and is home to a large variety of wildlife as well as 1,400 species of desert plants.   Children can learn about how the animals live and adapt in the climate and there are even lizards, turtles, bats, and owls who come out at different hours of the day.  You can sign up for one of the family programs where your kids can gain knowledge about wildlife, conservation, and even camp overnight for an exciting experience.  

  • Desert Hills Premium Outlets

No trip is complete without retail therapy and this popular outlet mall is just 20 minutes outside the city center.  You'll find Bottega Veneta, YSL, and Prada as proud residents of the upscale outdoor mall and there are also plenty of relaxed dining options for you to rest between working out your credit card.  

  • Tahquitz Canyon:

Hike the 2 miles round trip to see Tahquitz Falls, a 60ft waterfall set in the beautiful canyon. Owned by the Agua Caliente Band of the Cahuilla Indians  there is a well marked map that will point out other interesting features of the trail including a sacred rock art and natural shelters.  There's a $12 fee to access the trail but this ensures the hike is well maintained and manageable for beginners looking to enjoy the scenery.  A refreshing way to enjoy good weather and views in the Palm Springs area.

Where to Stay:

  • Ace Hotel & Swim Club

Hip, artsy, and vintage are three words we would use to describe Ace Hotel & Swim Club.  The rooms and restaurant are reliably retro chic and the enticing pool is an ideal spot to sunbathe or enjoy cocktails beneath the palms.  Highlights include in room spa treatments, a dog park, free bike rental, and outdoor fireplaces.   We are sure you'll get an Intagram worthy shot or two during your stay.

  • The Saguaro Palm Springs

The Saguaro is all about the bustling crown shaped pool which serves at the centrepiece for the stylish property.   The colourful boutique hotel boasts candy coloured accents, pool facing balconies, and plenty of fashionable guests lazing beneath the canary yellow umbrellas. Affordable price points attract a younger crowd but you can't beat the ultra cool in house restaurants and optimal city centre location.

  • Korakia Pensione

Dating back to the 1920's this nostalgic and romantic hotel is perfect for a luxury weekend trip.  Guests will be instantly drawn to the elegant Moroccan and Mediterranean inspired decor and eclectic collection of furniture hand picked by the owner.  Saltwater pools, outdoor fireplaces, tranquil yoga classes, and indulgent massages will have you spoilt and relaxed throughout your stay.  The property is 13+ so more suitable for couples looking for a quiet escape.

  • Two Bunch Palms

Indulge in mineral rich spring baths, boutique hotel rooms, and personal service at Two Bunch Palms.  This is the place to book if your are looking for calm and rejuvenation.  The water in their springs are famous for mood enhancing qualities and therapeutic benefits and are set in a romantic grotto beneath a cluster of swaying palm trees.   The rustic and cozy design makes you feel right at home and you won't want to miss a few treatments from the stress relieving spa menu.  

  • Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

Families looking to stay against the mountainous and palm tree filled Palm Springs backdrop will love the five star facilities at Omni Rancho Las Palmas.  The luxury property features a child friendly waterpark, lazy river, fun filled waterslides, and plenty of fountains and sprinklers to keep children of all ages busy and happy.  Parents can find relaxation at the full service spa, cliffside hot tub, and evenings beside a cozy fire pit.  Boasting over 400 rooms you'll find the ideal room category to accommodate your group and four restaurants means you'll have all you need and more right on the property.

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We are a full time travelling family, world schooling our kids one trip at a time. Check out our articles to find the best street food, world class Michelin star restaurants, five star resorts, far flung beaches, and tips on travelling with kids and homeschooling.

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