Here we are again, talking about California – who is surprised?! You guys already know by now that Adam and I love spending time in CA which is probably more surprising to us than anyone else. He adores San Francisco and has family outside of the city in Tiburon, I have a bestie in Sacramento and we both adore Napa/Sonoma so we spend a fair amount of time in Northern California. But we finally ventured more South and made it out to Palm Springs for our babymoon and wow…I’m so glad we did! What a stunning, vibrant and unique community. Not to mention it’s oozing with old Hollywood class.
We were originally supposed to go to Paris for our babymoon. This was something we had planned on doing for several years (it took us a while to get pregnant so we had time to plan this stuff), but because of the ongoing pandemic and risks of cancelled flights around the exact time we were needing to travel, we decided to change course last minute and after considering so many different places we landed on Palm Springs! And actually this was a double whammy trip since not only were we enjoying a babymoon, but we were also celebrating our five year wedding anniversary. And it was a fantastic place to celebrate both at the same time.
But even if you’re traveling to Palm Springs for no reason at all, I hope this travel guide is still helpful for you. It deserves a spot on your short list of where to jet off to next!
Where We Stayed : The Colony Palms Hotel and Bungalows
Oh. My. Goodness. I had followed this property on Instagram for such a long time, along with their sister property in Palm Beach, Florida, but nothing could beat seeing it in person. It was just absolutely stunning from the King room with a claw foot soaking tub to the palm print details everywhere to the fire pit to the glistening pool and poolside restaurant, The Colony Club.
I will actually say that before going, my number one choice of where to stay was the Parker Palm Springs but it wasn’t available for the dates we were going to be there. However, we actually visited the property (as you’ll see) to have brunch at their on-site restaurant, Norma’s, which is apparently a PS icon. And I have to say, while it was so beautiful and so unique, I immediately knew it wasn’t my vibe and I was so glad we wound up at The Colony Palms! Honorable mention for another hotel I looked at and loved is Holiday House. So, while I would definitely recommend The Colony Palms, I don’t think you could go too wrong at the Parker or at Holiday House.
We ate most breakfasts at our own hotel, but we did have brunch one Saturday at Norma’s and on our last day in town we ate breakfast at Farm. The only problem was that had we gone to Farm any earlier in the trip, I doubt you would have found us anywhere else because it was amazing! It is very French Provencal and not only is the aesthetic absolutely on point, but the food is incredible. Try the citron crepe and watermelon lemonade!
Ok now let’s talk through these. 1 – The Colony Club was an obvious dinner spot for our first night in town since it was our hotel’s restaurant. It is elegant, well designed and so delicious. Do not skip on the carrot cake! 2 – If you take one suggestion from this list, please make sure it’s Melvyn’s. Melvyn’s is the former haunt of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack and you can book the same table that Frank regularly sat at with Ava Gardner (Adam booked it so that’s where we got to sit!). This place is exactly what you’d expect from a staple of old Hollywood’s playground. Pure class. 3 – Tommy Bahama’s restaurant in Palm Desert was actually not on our original list, but after a long day of shopping on El Paseo we were too hungry to go all the way back to the hotel to change clothes and go to our originally planned destination so we just went ahead and tried Tommy Bahama. And I have to say, wow that was not a mistake. Definitely worth it if you happen to be in the area. Make sure to get the coconut shrimp! 4 – La Quinta Cliffhouse is on just about every list of suggestions on the internet for where to eat in the Palm Springs area and if you’re asking for my honest opinion, I really don’t know why it’s so highly suggested. When I read that it was built into a cliffside, I pictured amazing views and a beautiful patio overlooking the valley. In reality, it was a tiny (carpeted!!! like nasty stained carpet!) patio with no view whatsoever right off an interstate. I think it’s set up to be a nicer restaurant? But to me it felt like a bar and grill. It could be that I’m too high maintenance, but it’s not like I’d go again if I make it back to PS. 5 – Ok seriously listen up…Birba was a home run. Loved it to pieces. The ambience is perfection and it was amazing food, we ate every single bite of our starter, our pizza and our tiramisu. After Melvyn’s, Birba seriously deserves to be on your list!
I’d also just like to write a note of appreciation to Palm Springs – and maybe the whole of California if this is the case everywhere else – for normalizing non-alcoholic beer and wine options on menus! My lifestyle pre-pregnancy was very much one of enjoying a drink with dinner and it’s nice to not feel like pregnancy is a “condition.” I mean, water is great and I try to get my hundred ounces every day…but it has been 5 long months of water at a dinner table and I gotta say the lack of pizzazz is not awesome. So to have a non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc with my coconut shrimp and a non-alcoholic beer with my pizza was just such a joy!
It’s so weird to see what felt like such a packed trip condensed into just a few bullet points, and there are more things to do in Palm Springs that we didn’t get around to (a ride on the tram, a mountain hike, touring the famous residential colorful doors, the art museum, etc), but I loved our itinerary and in my obviously biased opinion it would be worth replicating.
Our hotel was right off of Palm Canyon so it was really easy to take bikes out and do a bit of exploring. Palm Canyon Drive is the main drag of Palm Springs, it’s a long stretch of shopping, restaurants, art galleries, jewelers, antiques, bars, etc. If you’re looking for quintessential, mid-century modern pieces to emulate that Palm Springs vibe in your own home, this is the place to go hunt for those things. And if you’re more in the mood for upscale shopping, head to El Paseo which is just about a half hour’s drive from downtown Palm Springs.
As far as golfing goes, you’re never short on options in Palm Springs. There are golf resorts literally everywhere – it is such a hot spot. Adam chose Indian Canyons (public course) and I’m so impressed at his choice. It’s consistently ranked as one of the top courses and WOW was it stunning! We got there early for breakfast and a little time to warm up on the driving range and then had a tee time of 11 am. Most beautiful 18 holes I’ve played. Ok, I haven’t played that many haha but I had so much fun!
It was so hard to leave sunny California and the desert sun to come back home to Winter in full swing, but I suppose every vacation must come to an end at some point. Until next time, California…
Be on the lookout for a separate blog post detailing my outfits from this trip – I’ll provide links to everything I can or find similar options. And, of course, I’ll be sharing our maternity shoot soon! I got our gallery back today and…speechless. I’m just speechless. And I can’t wait to share!