You know what’s about an hour’s drive of Joshua Tree? Yes, Palm Springs!
Ah, this place made my heart sing happy songs. Bright colors. Retro style. And of course home of that awesome cactarium I was telling you about. Not to mention time seems to pass just a tad bit slower here in this part of the desert. Can you fall in love with a place in just a few hours? My head is nodding yes.
We didn’t really know what to expect, as neither one of us had ever visited this area before. Yet this place was just as vibrant and flamboyant as I imagined. Very animated. Yes, there can be wafts of pretentiousness in the air depending on which streets you wander down, but then again, it is called Hollywood’s hideaway.
To paint a better picture, think stylish hotels, trendy vintage boutiques, and, of course, lots of hot springs and spas. But as long as you have your fancy-pants blinders on, this dreamy desert-fantasy-land is quite enjoyable and serves as a nice escape from reality.
Oh, and if you adore mid-century architecture then you’re guaranteed to fall in love.
What’s funny about Palm Springs is it practically pops up out of nowhere in the desert. You’ll be driving along the road and then POOF! You haven’t just arrived; you’ve traveled back in time and landed in the 60s.
Mad Men, anyone?
While sipping pretty cocktails by the pool did sound nice, because we were only here for just a few hours, we skipped the lounging scene and instead stuck to the plan. Our mission: to find as many bright painted doors as possible.
If you’re familiar with this area then you know your trip wouldn’t be complete without driving past that “famous” pink door.
And we found it located on 1100 Sierra Drive for anyone who is wondering.
That blush pink door sure was pretty, but what really stole my heart were the long-legged palm trees planted in the front yard.
We made a quick stop to The Saguaro — aka the rainbow hotel — to check out that colorful poolside. Is it weird to visit a hotel just to see the pool, especially given the fact that you’re not even a guest there?
Since we were those people, I’m going to vote no.
We were going to grab a bite to eat at Kings Highway but the wait ended up being too long. However, I now know why so many people recommend this place. I’m not sure about the food, but the quirky decor and roadside-diner type of atmosphere made for good vibes. Plus, there is a photo-booth in the back, FYI.
Have you ever heard of Modernism Week? We hadn’t until a coworker brought up the fact that it would be taking place during the time we were visiting. The mission of this week is to celebrate and foster appreciation for mid-century architecture and design.
One of the main events is the Christopher Kennedy Compound Home Tour. After reading about more about it, I discovered this event brings together 20 designers around the nation to design and create unique rooms in the showcase house.
We thought it’d be a fun way to see all the different designs, as well as a behind-the-scenes look inside a Palm Springs home, so we ended up buying tickets. The tickets were well worth the purchase. So many eclectic designs all under one roof. Everything — and I mean everything — was photogenic. One of my favorite parts of the entire house was this deck below. Quirky, right?
In one of the bathrooms, there were about a dozen bottles of champagne chilling on ice. Now, I don’t know about you, but that is one kind of bubble bath I can appreciate.
I’ve got to hand it to Palm Springs. This place sure knows how to deliver that laid-back feel. While we spent the afternoon riding around daydreaming about which homes we’d own — ANY of them, right!? — it was one of the most relaxing times of the entire weekend.
It didn’t take long for us to realize Palm Springs is certainly a unique place to visit. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a town quite like this one. If you’re looking for a ultra chill, sun-filled sabbatical, well, this might just be the perfect match.