Palm Springs Travel Guide

August 2018 // By Natalie Jean 

So this travel guide was a long time coming. I can't believe that summer is over! We were in Palm Springs earlier this season and I miss it every day. I think it is truly one of my top "happy places." 

Over the last couple of years, Palm Springs, CA has changed from an area filled with retirees and golf courses to a hip spot that draws people in from all over the country, even the world! Mark and I love it, not only because we honeymooned here 3 years ago but because of all the wonderful things to experience here. Its so relaxing, and just a drive away from some great spots! We made a list of our favorite spots and wanted to share them with you to make your next trip a breeze! (and yes, this is me telling you that you need to visit at some point in your life, non-negotiable.)

Like all of our travel guides, this will be broken up into a few categories to make it easy to navigate through. And as always, if you have any questions about our trip or other suggestions of places to visit in and around Palm Springs, CA leave them in the comments below!

To Eat:
King's Highway: We love it here! On this trip, I had a buffalo cauliflower sandwich and it was AMAZING. They have a cute little entry, bar, photo booth, and great menu selection. The location is also great because its connected to the ACE Hotel so if you're already staying here, you just need to walk downstairs for something to eat!

Frankinbun: We went here on a whim because we saw that it was on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives". I LOVED it! They have a variety of hot dogs and sausage sandwiches and a VEGAN DOG! It was so tasty.

Rooster and The Pig (we weren't able to eat here because of the length of our trip but we've only seen good things!) - Vietnamese American Cuisine

The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge: We honeymooned here and its amazing! They have a new kitchen/restaurant that is very cozy yet delicious. Call ahead to make sure there's room!

Lulu California Bistro: We went here while on our honeymoon and had the tastiest food! The atmosphere is so fun and eccentric too.

There are so many great places to get coffee in Palm Springs! I love getting to try out new cafes and roasters, etc.

One place that we loved was Ernest Coffee! This place was so cute and the coffee and mixed drinks were delicious.

Another spot that has great coffee is Customs Coffee. We loved that area it was in too, next to Arrive Hotel and Ice Cream & Shop(pe).

There is also a coffee chain called Koffi Coffee and Joshua Tree Coffee Company if you wander into Joshua Tree!

Most restaurants offer coffee and dessert as well if you're not too into the third wave coffee scene. We also packed an aeropress and some coffee beans to make in our AirBnb, too!
(We also visited San Diego for the day and found James Coffee Co. which I highly recommend!)

To Do/Visit:
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: This is such a cool experience, especially at sunset! We rode this twice, once on our honeymoon and once this past trip. The first time, we rode up at sunset and saw gorgeous views of the mountain and valley and the city of Palm Springs as the golden rays illuminated everything. Then we had a really delicious and fancy dinner in their restaurant at the top!

The second time we went was mid-day and we walked around on the trail for a little bit which was also really cool! It gets chilly though, so bring a sweater or at least wear jeans.

Art exhibits: Different times of the year, Palm Springs has different art gallery openings and featured designers on display. You'll have to do some research before you visit to see if the time you're there has anything special!

Retro Doors/Homes: Just driving around the more residential area of Palm Springs is fun! Seeing all the artsy and unique home designs

Pappy + Harriets: If you don't mind a short drive outside of Palm Springs, you should check this place out. Great food and fun atmosphere with concerts in the evenings (check their calendar to make sure they're open and to get your tickets ahead of time). I really wanted to go on our most recent visit but we just didn't have the time. Bummer! We will get there the next time we visit, for sure.

Palm Canyon Drive: There are so many great shops, galleries, and restaurants along Palm Canyon Drive! Definitely make some time one afternoon to walk around. Who knows what you'll find!

Moorten Botanical Garden: One of my favorite spots!! This place definitely has "instagram potential" as its been tagged multiple times, but if you're a plant lover you need to stop here. Mark and I liked it to so much when we stopped by in 2015 that we made it a stop on our trip back in June as well. I even brought home a little cactus friend :)

If you've ever been to Palm Springs, CA and have other places that you loved and recommend, drop them in the comments below. In addition, if you're in the mood to drive, we recommend seeing Joshua Tree National Park (go to the information center to get some really helpful tips before you hike), Salvation Mountain, Cabazon Dinosaurs (from PeeWee's Big Adventure), and the town of Joshua Tree. Check out the Crochet Museum, some of the vintage shops downtown, and the farmer's markets!

If you had the chance to visit Palm Springs, where on my list would you go? :) 


  1. I've always wanted to go to palm springs!

    1. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it :) Its one of my favorite places!

  2. Looks like an amazing trip! All the food looked delicious!

  3. This is so fun! I've never been to Palm Springs but I have family in San Diego. If I ever make it back out there, I'd like to try Frankinburn, Customs Coffee and Palm Canyon Drive! Looks like so much fun!

  4. I've never been to Palm Springs, but my husband is from Los Angeles. I'd love to try all those restaurants you mentioned. I love eating at local places when I travel!


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