visit Palm Springs: vegan dining, the rainbow hotel and what to do
This post is sponsored by Palm Springs but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Winter is the prime time to visit Palm Springs and with all that’s new and wonderful (stylish hotels, hip restaurants, chic shops and boutiques) this iconic town is better than ever. Palm Springs is vibrant, full of history and culture – and on a total upswing. There is no other place in the world like it. There are so many great places to put on your itinerary, but here’s a quick highlight of my favorites:
Chef Tanya’s Kitchen
If you are looking for vegan food in the valley, listen up! Tucked away in a spot you will most certainly never stumble upon is Chef Tanya’s Kitchen. It is the best vegan food I’ve EVER tasted anywhere – I’m not lyin’. You certainly do not have to be vegan to enjoy the homemade seitan sandwiches, cashew crack cheese and daily soups that will turn non-soup-lovers (like my husband) into soup fiends.
This little organic juice and mostly-raw food bar is amazingly delicious and a real God-send to downtown. I love popping in here for lunch or just a juice on-the-go. It is in the La Plaza with FARM, which used to be my favorite brunch spot before I went vegan (so crazy good, best brunch in town, even better than Cheeky’s, but neither are vegan-friendly).
It may be winter, but it’s still warm here in Palm Springs. If you’re visiting on a particularly sunny day, make sure to swing by Kreem. Kreem sells some of the best ice cream in the valley for both vegans and non-vegans. My favorite is Ube (purple yam with marshmallows) but my kids also love the vegan Pina Colada and Chocolate Cacao Nib. Incredible!
Palm Greens Café
Everything on the menu at Palm Greens Café can be made vegan and it is all delicious! You’ll find dishes from all over the globe and they are particularly known for their breakfast menu. Not only are the dishes vegan, but also health-conscious, which cannot be said for some chain vegan spots. I highly suggest coming by for brunch!
This is an in-the-know ultra hip bar not just everyone knows about. It isn’t exactly a vegan food destination, but they do have great french fries :), even better is Paul’s Black Manhattan and wine selects. If you’re looking for a low-key, classy local bar away from loud touristy crowds, Paul Bar/Food is it!
There are many awesome boutique hotels and resorts to stay at in Palm Springs. A few of my favorites: Colony Palms Hotel, L’Horizon Resort & Spa and Parker Palm Springs. My one true favorite, though:
When you look through Instagram for #PalmSprings, you’re likely to see the infamous rainbow hotel as much as the windmills. The Saguaro, which is painted in every cheery color under the sun, embodies the true spirit of Palm Springs. It has a fun, party atmosphere while still being super family-friendly – and can be a tricky balance.
Wintertime in Palm Springs is magical and my list for “what to do in Palm Springs” is truly long. Clearly, there is plenty of poolside fun, resort activities and night life in Palm Springs – Oscar’s Cabaret, a world-class celebrity female impersonation dinner-show being a favorite. Palm Springs is much more than a fun-time at nighttime town though, offering plenty of outdoor activities, sporting (well hello, golf) shopping and unique things like taking a “Palm Springs Door Tour”. Honestly, if you do nothing but cruise around downtown and then take in a sunset, you’re good to go!
take a hike
With weather like this, you should definitely be outside. During the summer, we’re often confined to poolside spaces, but during the late fall-early spring, hiking should be on your itinerary. My favorite (family friendly) hikes are in Indian Canyons (who doesn’t want to hike through a real desert oasis) Araby Trail (to see the valley views + Bob Hope’s house) and Tahquitz Canyon (waterfall + don’t miss the indigenous rock art).
shop for antiques
Palm Springs has some amazing shopping from big (cool) chains now downtown to some of the best mid-century antique shops ever. …and if you’re an art lover, you’ll drain your bank account on your stay because Palm Springs has SO many art galleries filled with incredible artwork. One of the reasons we moved here is for the mid-century architecture and history. While you can take in this culture just by driving down the street, you can also take a piece of it home with you at the antique shops! My favorite is Antiques Gallery of Palm Springs where you can find genuine mid-century genie bottles and a vintage caftan in one trip.
view the art
The Palm Springs Art Museum is an incredible location for culture and art education. I am pretty much obsessed with a current exhibit -> UNSETTLED: Art on the New Frontier. This exhibition “looks to the future while also honoring the past” throughout a “super region” that runs from the top of Alaska, through the North American West, and all the way down to Central America. You just have to view it.
You will also find wall murals all over the city, some where you would least expect them, like this one behind a parking lot. They are great places to stop and take a fun travel selfie (or introspective portrait of your 5 year old)!
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Here is something super unique – build a snowman, have a snowball fight and catch snowflakes on your tongue in Palm Springs. If you’re headed up, don’t forget to dress like you’re headed to big bear. Temperatures are always around 40 degrees less than the valley up there; don’t forget your sleds!
horseback riding at Smoke Tree Stables
If you’re not in the hiking mood, I suggest checking out Smoke Tree Stables which is located near the Indian Canyons. Take a guided ride for an hour or the longer through the most breathtaking landscapes Palm Springs has to offer.
What will you do on your next trip to Palm Springs?
For more ideas on what to do, where to stay, where to eat and upcoming events, check out the Visit Palm Springs page!