This past weekend, I rang in my 30th among friends in the magical desert oasis of Palm Springs. Just 2 hours east of LA, this lush, manicured enclave surrounded by sandcastle-like mountains delivered us 3 days of sunshine and citrus bliss. I could not have asked for a more fabulous way to spend this milestone birthday. If this is what being 30 is all about, count me in!
Our first stop was The Parker Palm Springs. This famous hotel is obviously the result of whatever genius conceived of an Alice in Wonderland luxury summer camp. From the adult lemonade stand, to the swinging hammocks, the croquet field to the s’mores pit. I could have spent several days wandering the tall grass paths and taking it all in. Add to that a dash of Jonathan Adler style wherever you look. The cherry on top was breakfast beside Leo Dicaprio and his latest fling (true story!). After one night at the Parker, we met 8 of our friends for a weekend-long bash in a fantastic rental property. We swam, laughed, ate, drank, played games, and picked grapefruits from the heavenly grapefruit trees lining the property.
Norma’s at The Parker Palms Springs (the venue of the infamous Leo sighting) offered a decadent and delicious breakfast including an extensive and creative waffle selection and smoked salmon eggs benedict on fluffy, slightly-sweet pancakes instead of english muffins – so smart! Mister Parker’s at the same hotel came highly recommended, but we opted to hop into town and check out newer restaurant, Workshop Kitchen + Bar, and man were we happy we did! The menu was all small plates, designed for sharing and thank goodness, because I wanted to try every single thing. The farro and calamari salad was a stand-out dish. We also stopped one afternoon for delectable milkshakes at Great Shakes which not only had a million flavor combinations to choose from, but each milkshake came with a tiny donut around the straw – an adorable and delicious touch.
Even if you aren’t a guest of The Parker Palm Springs, a $50 day fee will get you through the doors to enjoy the grounds, the pool and the spa locker room. We played a twilight round of mini golf at Boomers (which has 3 courses as well as go-karts and an arcade). The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was also recommended by people all over town, but we skipped it this time around. Reason enough to go back, I think!
Palm Springs is a bit of an interior design mecca, and there was certainly no shortage of amazing decor shops all over the downtown strip. Shopping wasn’t high on the priority list this weekend, but we did manage to do a little damage at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets followed by a requisite refueling at In N Out.