A Style- and Design-Filled Weekend in Greater Palm Springs
We celebrate great style and design in Greater Palm Springs – from the designs of luminary architects of the midcentury, who created desert homes for the biggest celebrities of the time, to vintage and new fashions perfect for our vibrant resort locale, to innovative artists, designers and makers who draw inspiration from the area. We’ve curated a weekend in Greater Palm Springs that is perfect for anyone looking for a stylish getaway packed with fashion, art, architecture and design.
If you fly into Palm Springs, your first welcome to the area is the Palm Springs International Airport. Designed by architect Donald Wexler in the mid-‘60s, the airport has open-air areas perfect for enjoying the desert weather. If you’re driving into town, you’ll be welcomed by the now-iconic windmills and mountain vistas.
You’ll want to head to your hotel or rental home to drop off those bags because there is so much you’ll want to do and see! Having so many stylish hotels in Greater Palm Springs can make it a little tough to select the perfect spot, but luckily, most hotels and resorts in the area have restaurants and spas that are open to non-guests, so you can plan your trip accordingly and experience a number of different properties.
Some stylish spots to consider:
Holiday House // A new offering by the team behind Sparrows Lodge, in a midcentury Herbert Berns-designed structure that has been updated by interior designer Mark D. Sikes (who is also the designer of fashion line MDS Stripes).
Holiday House Palm Springs // Photo by Jaime Kowal
The Parker Palm Springs // A Jonathan Adler-designed resort with sprawling grounds, beautiful pools and an excellent spa.
ARRIVE // One of the newest hotels in town, ARRIVE is a contemporary property inspired by midcentury design, but with modern and tech-forward conveniences.
L’Horizon Resort & Spa // A midcentury property designed by William Cody that now features multiple bungalows on a beautiful estate-like property, as well as a restaurant and spa.
L'Horizon Resort & Spa // Photo by Jeff Mindell
Korakia Pensione // A boutique hotel with Moroccan and Mediterranean design and lots of beautiful spaces for exploring and relaxing.
Sparrows Lodge // A rustic-chic boutique hotel in south Palm Springs, with the bar located inside a 1950s barn.
The Lautner Compound // A beautiful four-room midcentury boutique hotel in Desert Hot Springs that was originally designed by architect John Lautner, as well as an adjacent 1957 bungalow called The Ranch House, which is available for rental.
The Lautner Compound // Photo by Bethany Nauert
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage // A luxury resort in Rancho Mirage, with beautiful grounds and excellent service.
Colony Palms Hotel // A boutique hotel with Spanish and Moroccan influences, designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.
La Serena Villas // A beautiful new boutique hotel in Palm Springs (in renovated 1930s structures); each room has a private patio and outdoor bathtub.
La Serena Villas // courtesy of hotel
You might also choose to stay in a vacation rental home while you’re in the area, and there are a number of chic options such as the West Elm House in Palm Springs (available through ACME House Co.), Polo Villas in La Quinta, which includes 11 contemporary homes that can be rented individually or in multiples as a compound (available through the McLean Company), and even former celebrity homes like Frank Sinatra’s midcentury Palm Springs abode, designed by E. Stewart Williams, and Merv Griffin’s sprawling La Quinta equestrian estate (both available through Beau Monde Villas by Natural Retreats).
Sinatra Twin Palms Estate // Photo by Jeff Mindell
Since part of the fun of visiting Greater Palm Springs is looking the part, let’s kick off the weekend with a little shopping for some fun attire. Trina Turk and Mr Turk are a great place to start, with colorful patterns and prints in clothing and swimwear. They also have a great selection of housewares, gift items and even fun pool floats.
Trina Turk Palm Springs // Photo by Jaime Kowal
Next door is Wil Stiles, which offers women’s and men’s clothing (also much of which are colorful and resort-inspired!). They have a great collection of in-house designed men’s shirts in tons of different prints, plus tons of sunglasses in case you left yours at home or just fancy a new pair.
A little further north on Palm Canyon Drive is The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five, with multiple stores housed in a midcentury building designed by E. Stewart Williams. One of the newest shops is Respect the Chief, featuring unique hand-made jewelry, and Towne Palm Springs has recently expanded their offerings to include a curated selection of menswear, including Japanese denim, in addition to vintage furniture, décor and accessories. You won’t want to miss Soukie Modern’s new larger space in The Shops, with stylish Soukie Bags created from vintage Moroccan textiles, as well as home goods like rugs, pillows, throws and candles. Daydreamer LA’s boutique in The Shops features the super-soft tees the brand is known for, as well as some denim, hats and accessories. Candice Held specializes in dresses made from silk scarves, and the boutique also stocks vintage sunglasses that are perfect for completing your vacation look. Lindy California features a great selection of vintage jewelry, as well as housewares and art. Also within the shops are more spaces offering original art, vintage and new housewares and décor, furniture and more – be sure to allow some time to explore!
Soukie Modern in The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five // Photo by Camron Carrier
Heading the other direction on Palm Canyon Drive, you’ll want to stop at Elizabeth & Prince. This stylish new boutique offers women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, including brands like Ulla Johnson, Rag & Bone, James Perse and Jerome Dreyfuss. Next door is H2O Closet, specializing in skin care, bath and body items and hair care, plus they carry a nice selection of candles.
Elizabeth & Prince Palm Springs // Photo by Shawn Holoubek
You’re probably getting hungry and/or thirsty, and luckily you’re now right next to Truss & Twine – a recent addition to Uptown Palm Springs focusing on classic cocktails, innovative small plates, charcuterie and cheese, in an industrial-chic space reminiscent of its sister restaurant, the very popular Workshop Kitchen + Bar (the two sit adjacent in the historic 1920s El Paseo Building), which you will also want to visit!
Workshop Kitchen + Bar // Photo by Christine Arnold
After a bite and a cocktail, you may want to head back to your hotel or rental home to change into some of your new garb before heading out to dinner. If you plan ahead of time, you can snag a seat at Holiday House’s new Friday Night Fried Chicken Dinner (call 760-320-8866 for reservations). This prix fixe dinner is served family-style on the patio, so you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful surroundings while interacting with other guests and perhaps making a few new friends!
Other delicious dinner options in stylish settings that you’ll want to check out over the weekend include the new Azucar restaurant at La Serena Villas (with a rooftop deck), Mr. Lyons Steakhouse (and stop for a cocktail at Seymour’s before or after dinner), The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge in Palm Desert (and look for Chef Engin Onural’s new restaurant Sandfish, opening soon in Uptown Palm Springs), the Purple Palm at Colony Palms Hotel, the new Citrus & Palm restaurant at the Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Birba in Palm Springs and Reservoir at ARRIVE Palm Springs. We also can’t wait for the new restaurants 4 Saints and Juniper Table to open soon at Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs and AC3 at Hotel Paseo!
Purple Palm restaurant at Colony Palms Hotel // Photo by Jaime Kowal
Start the day off with a delicious brunch! Some favorite spots include Norma’s at the Parker Palm Springs, Wilma & Frieda in Palm Desert, Cheeky’s in Uptown Palm Springs, Reservoir at ARRIVE Palm Springs, La Quinta Baking Company in La Quinta, King’s Highway at Ace Hotel & Swim Club and Twenty6 at La Quinta Resort & Club.
Reservoir at ARRIVE Palm Springs // Photo by Camron Carrier
Plan in advance to secure tickets to the historic Annenberg Estate tour at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage. This beautiful 1960s home designed by A. Quincy Jones is a time capsule to the era, featuring exquisite furnishings and art. Tickets are in high demand for the home tour, so plan ahead!
Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands // courtesy of Sunnylands
Not far from Sunnylands is the El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert. All along one street, you will find a large concentration of retail shops, including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, Anthropologie, Kate Spade, J. Crew and many more. Elizabeth & Prince, Trina Turk and Candice Held all have El Paseo outposts as well. You can drool over fine jewelry at Leeds & Son and The Jewelry Bar, and we love visiting the art galleries on or near El Paseo, including J. Willott Gallery, Imago Galleries, Heather James Fine Art, Melissa Morgan Fine Art and Hohmann Fine Art.
Saturday is also a great day to hunt for vintage treasures, including furniture, housewares, décor, art, fashion, jewelry and more. You can check out our Ultimate Guide to Vintage Shopping in Greater Palm Springs for a full run-down!
The Fine Art of Design // Photo by Nichole Gawalis
Other shopping spots you won’t want to miss include Thick As Thieves (cool home décor, gifts and a small selection of clothing), BKB Design (ceramics, home décor, jewelry), Christopher Kennedy (home décor, art, gifts) and H3K Home (home décor, furniture, gifts, pet items).
A fun evening spot to visit is Counter Reformation at the Parker Palm Springs, specializing in wine, cheese and small plates. You can also sip a cocktail by the vintage fireplace in the hotel lobby.
Sparrows Lodge offers a family-style prix fixe steak dinner on Saturday nights, which is a hot ticket so you’ll need to reserve your spot well in advance! (Sample menu here; for reservations call 760-327-2300).
Sparrows Lodge // Photo by Jaime Kowal
There are a few more brunch options available only on Sundays, including the Champagne Brunch Buffet at Las Casuelas Nuevas in Rancho Mirage, Champagne Brunch at Le Vallauris and the special Sunday Brunch menu at Workshop Kitchen + Bar in Palm Springs.
Workshop Kitchen + Bar brunch // Photo by Christine Arnold
If you happen to be in town during the first Sunday of the month, October through May, you’ll also want to check out the Palm Springs Vintage Market.
Palm Springs Vintage Market // Photo by Nichole Gawalis
To view some great Palm Springs area midcentury modern architecture and gain insight from local experts, we suggest setting up an architecture tour through Palm Springs Modern Tours, The Modern Tour or the Palm Springs Mod Squad. This is another activity we suggest arranging ahead of time to be sure you can make it happen during your trip!
For a lunch break, we suggest either location of Evzin Mediterranean Cuisine (the original in Palm Desert or the new location in Palm Springs), or try brunch/lunch at Holiday House (lunch is offered daily but brunch is just available Saturdays and Sundays).
You definitely won’t want to miss the Palm Springs Art Museum, which has three locations: the main museum in Palm Springs, the Galen and Faye Sarkowski Sculpture Garden at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, and the Architecture and Design Center in Palm Springs. At the main location you can experience the Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969 exhibition (through January 15, 2018), presented as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, which is an initiative of The Getty. This exhibition includes a stunning interactive work by Carlos Cruz-Diez called “Chromosaturation.”
"Chromosaturation" by Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Palm Springs Art Museum // Photo by Lance Gerber
Both the main museum and the Architecture and Design Center have great stores selling books, gifts, housewares and more. The Architecture and Design Center has a beautiful exhibition right now called Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi: A Search for Living Architecture (through January 7, 2018), and tours of Albert Frey’s architectural masterpiece, Frey House II (which was bequeathed to the museum upon his death) are also available from the A+D Center (they must be arranged in advance with The Modern Tour).
Living Architecture at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center // Photo by Lance Gerber
Another favorite spot for books is Just Fabulous in Uptown Palm Springs, where they have an excellent collection of fashion, art, architecture and design books, as well as great gift items. After perusing some books, you may want to pick up an iced coffee at Koffi (two doors down from Just Fabulous), or a little further down the road at Ernest Coffee or Customs Coffee. If you’re in the mood for something a little stronger, a cocktail at Bootlegger Tiki is a great idea, or grab an excellent glass of wine at Dead or Alive. And if you’re a craft beer lover, you definitely don’t want to miss Draughtsman. We also recommend making time for an ice cream stop (or two!) during the weekend! We love Ice Cream & Shop(pe) at ARRIVE, where you can also shop for cute pool floats and gift items while you enjoy homemade ice cream and sorbet.
Ernest Coffee // Photo by Jaime Kowal
If you’re a fan of Instagram-able moments like mural walls and colorful midcentury doors, you’ll also want to check out our guide to the best Instagram spots in Greater Palm Springs!
Midcentury home in Indian Canyons // Photo by Bethany Nauert
We hope you have a fun and stylish weekend in Greater Palm Springs!