Beyond the Stars: Seeing, Shopping, Staying, Dining, and Doing in Palm Springs, California
Hollywood’s celebs past and present aren’t the only stars in this desert oasis. While many visitors come to Palm Springs to see where celebs ate, slept, and soaked up the Californian sun, these sightseeing experiences barely scratch the surface of the full range of seeing, shopping, staying, dining, and doing in Palm Springs. With the Caliente Tropics Hotel or any other posh Palm Springs hotel as your home base, you’re ready to experience Palm Springs’ unique attractions firsthand.
What to See
The desert landscape surrounding Palm Springs has proven inspirational to many artists. During a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum (several blocks from the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel), you’ll be greeted by a potpourri of paintings of the American West, Native American art, and works from contemporary artists. But there’s more art than what the museum’s four walls alone can hold.
Marvels of mid-century design and architecture punctuate Palm Springs proper. The unusual design of the 1959 Bank of America building (588 South Palm Canyon Drive) bears the stamp of its creator. Rudi Baumfeld borrows from the design principles espoused by the period’s leading modernist authority Le Corbusier. Similarly, the Tramway Gas Station, today the Palm Springs visitors’ center, is a soaring 1960s-era structure — the work of architects Albert Frey and Robson Chambers.
Where to Shop
Palm Springs is loaded with more chic shopping destinations than could possibly fit in this space. But here are two can’t-miss stops:
Palm Canyon Galleria (457 North Palm Canyon Drive) resounds with a vivacious, vintage voice. This 1940s-era shopping arena is home to some eclectic treasure troves, such as Bon Vivant’s collection of 20th-century glassware.
At designer Trina Turk’s gallery (891 North Palm Canyon Drive), found vintage treasures blend seamlessly with her line of specially designed clothing and home goods; it’s worth a stop just to see the unique juxtaposition of her wares.
Where to Stay
Palm Springs turns into one happening place around the time of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival each year. Crowds of 80,000 people descend on Indio, 30 minutes south of Palm Springs, come festival time, which makes finding last-minute hotel rooms in Palm Springs next to impossible.
Aside from this affair, Palm Springs is home to some pretty posh places to stay during your SoCal sojourn. The Parker Palm Springs and Viceroy Palm Springs make luxurious yet affordable accommodations.
Where to Dine
While you can’t pack this in your suitcase, don’t leave your appetite back home. Palm Springs brims with dining establishments offering a unique mix of cuisines in one area.
Sherman’s Deli & Bakery (401 East Tahquitz Canyon Way) is reminiscent of a New York deli, complete with pastries and cakes. Sip on espresso in the airy ambiance of the Koffi Palm Springs South (1700 South Camino Real). Take a short trip to neighboring Cathedral City to explore Mexican fare at its finest — such as tortillas and chile rellenos — at La Tablita (68369 East Palm Canyon Drive).
Been Here and Done All That?
So what’s left? Well, that’s where you come in. If you’ve vacationed in Palm Springs, share your can’t-miss experiences by posting in the comments below.
Author Bio: Michael Vyskocil is a travel writer who enjoys writing about unique people, places, and things to do in locales across the country. His tourism and travel-industry marketing experience includes writing for Hipmunk where he is working on Hipmunk’s City Love Project. Michael’s tourism career spans more than seven years in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, at visitor destinations such as the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, and the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum.
Image via Flickr by Counse