City Guide: Palm Springs
You've made it through the hustle of Thanksgiving prep, and then the hustle that is Thanksgiving dinner with all the varied characters and family dynamics that entails. Now it's time you gave yourself a relaxing vacation in a tranquil desert landscape. The ANY MAG presents you with our Palm Springs city guide to get you back in the zone.
PARKER PALM SPRINGS With interior spaces designed completely by Jonathan Adler, the Parker Palm Springs is filled with his signature witty charm, from the impeccable bedroom decor to the little birdie salt shakers at the restaurant tables. Also, don't miss a chance to lounge in a hammock nestled between two palm trees on the grounds, because this is what vacation is made for.
THE ACE HOTEL always styles their spaces with the exact perfect level of bohemian cool to blend seamlessly with the environment. In Palm Springs the Ace is a converted mid century desert-modern, with an outdoor swimming pool that becomes quite the scene on weekends. Spend a day of your visit lounging by the pool with one of their signature Desert Facial Cocktails as you take in the weekend SWIM CLUB scene: tunes played by a pool-side DJ, and pop-up shops and events which change weekly. Don't forget to book yourself a massage at their in house FEEL GOOD SPA for all that hard work. If you get hungry, grab a bite at the hotel restaurant, THE KINGS HIGHWAY (from the team behind New York's cult favorite Five Leaves) which serves up surpassingly good upscale diner food, like a tuna melt made with grilled albacore tuna, sumac, caper aioli, and taleggio; and buttermilk fried jidori chicken served with celery root mashed potatoes.
PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAM gets you to the top of the San Jacinto mountains while taking in spectacular views of Chino Canyon. Dress to hike one of the 54 options in MT. SAN JACINTO STATE PARK at the top.
JOSHUA TREE is not optional. This national park (about an hour from Palm Springs) is so special because it houses two distinct desert eco-systems, the Mojave and the Colorado, created by different elevations. As you drive through the park you'll be struck by the arid cactus landscape spotted with palm trees which then turns into one populated by the Dr. Suess-esque Joshua trees.
MID CENTURY HOUSE TOUR Palm Springs is known for it's mid-century architecture, and it's worth spending an afternoon driving through and seeing some famous houses like ELVIS' HONEYMOON HIDEAWAY up close. Our big tip: save your $5 for the PS MOD map (available at the PALM SPRINGS VISITOR CENTER KIOSK) to create your own self guided tour, and skip paying for their app. It's glitchy and the app's map is useless. You'll be much happier with a physical copy.
SOUND BATH If you want to immerse yourself in the sort of vibes that made Palm Spring the place it is today, you need to head to the INTEGRATRON for a sound bath. The modernist wooden dome, created from the floor plan given to the original 1950s architect by an alien (or so he said), is believed to have mystical acoustic capabilities. For the price of admission you lay on a mat as crystal singing bowls heal you. In all seriousness, people who've tried it describe it as transformative.
EAT & DRINK
CHEEKY'S menu is so seasonally focused, their menu changes weekly. Located in the revitalized Uptown Design District, this is the place to go for the kind of breakfast and brunch fare that's better than anything you'd make at home. Thankfully, their Breakfast Quesadilla is a permanent fixture on the menu; if they sold bottles of the sauce that comes on the side, we'd have to pack an empty suitcase when we visited to haul back our load.
EL JEFE AT THE SEGAURO If you're a tequila drinker, this is the spot. With over 100 tequilas and mezcals to choose from, this Mexico City inspired menu comes from the James Beard award winning chef Jose Garces. It's also housed in a warm wood paneled room that feels masculine and modern, and is the perfect place to slowly sip some aged tequila. Our one suggestion is if you're craving tacos, go with a group to ensure multiple orders, as the three per order cannot be mixed and matched, and we all like variety with our tacos.
MATCHBOX If you're a die hard New York pizza type, Matchbox may take some getting used to, but their California style pizzas, while lighter and less greasy, are still quite good. The Prosciutto and Black Mission Fig goes especially well eaten in Palm Springs' desert air.