48 Hours in Palm Springs, California with Kaylee Price
When your 9 to 5 starts to take its toll, take a cue from Vancouver-living travel and lifestyle blogger Kaylee Price who quit her union job to follow her wanderlust dreams, now being documented on KaylChip, a site she created to provide mentorship to new creativepreneurs, travel guides for female millennials, and personal stories of travel and self discovery. Ahead, Kaylee takes us through her recent mini vacation to Palm Springs, the popular chill spot for Coachella goers that exudes a harmonious balance of vintage and new.
"I’ve been travelling to Palm Springs ever since I was a little girl. It is a short two-hour flight from Vancouver, and the perfect place to escape the rain. Westjet and Air Canada both fly direct, so it is so easy to get there! I love taking the 8:30am Westjet flight, because I'm landed and holding an In-N-Out animal style grilled cheese by 11:30am. My trips there look a lot different now than they did when I was in water wings. Instead of hunting for the perfect pool to cannonball into, I’m constantly searching for the best brunch spots, trendy boutiques, and shaded cabanas to sip anything with a grapefruit slice hanging on the glass.
Palm Springs has always been a popular destination for Hollywood’s elite since the days of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. That vibrant, old school vibe still exists today. The city has preserved the mid-century architecture. The same hotels and restaurants that were frequented by the rich and famous in the 50’s and 60’s are still alive and thriving, just with a modern twist. In the last 10 years, Palm Springs has completely re-invented itself. Popular LA and world-renowned chefs have opened restaurants, and boutique hotels like the Kimpton, Saguaro and Ace have turned the area into a millennial’s nirvana. Old school steakhouses are now complemented by modern farm to table restaurants with killer cocktail lists and insta-worthy decor. It’s the perfect balance of old meets new."
Beauty Packing List
- OUAI Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray
- OUAI Wave Spray
- OUAI Treatment Masque
- OUAI Dry Texture Foam
- Sisley L'Integral Eye & Lip Contour Cream
- Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask
- Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Spray SPF 30
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
- Nala Care Free-From Deodorant in Lemon Myrtle & Geranium
- Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation SPF 15
- Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
Fashion Packing List
- Bohemia Florence Shopper Basket (round straw bag)
- Will and Bear Harvey Amber Straw Hat
- Ray Ban Clubmaster Classic Sunglasses in Tortoise
- Ted Baker Low V Neck Swimsuit
- Zara head scarf
- A good book (currently reading and loving: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin)
I pack everything in my Heys Vantage 26’’ Smart Access Carry-On Suitcase. It is the perfect size, because it can hold alllll my bikini’s, outfits, and the numerous pairs of shoes I inevitably stuff into it, yet still small enough to carry on.
ARRIVE Hotel Pool
Booking the Trip
When it comes to booking Palm Springs, I always check Google Flights. The great thing about Google Flights is that it will show you the very best deals across the entire internet, even if it means booking two separate fares each way versus a round-trip ticket. I usually find the flights through them, and then head to the actual airline website to book. I find it’s always better to book directly with an airline versus a third party, so that if any changes need to be made, you’re not calling a million different people trying to figure out who can help you.
I love looking on Pinterest and Instagram before a trip. I searched “Palm Springs” on both platforms, and not only did I get great recommendations for things to do, but I also came away with tons of photo ideas for the ‘gram & my blog. Visitgreaterpalmsprings.com is a great resource for first timers.
Where to Stay
I love staying at ARRIVE, my favourite boutique hotel in Palm Springs. Not only is it central, but it has a young, hip energy to it. With two delicious onsite restaurants, an ice cream shop, customs coffee and a pool surrounded by ping pong tables and bocce, you have no reason to leave! There is yoga in the morning, pool parties in the afternoon and “dive-in” movies by the pool at night. To give you a sense of the vibe there, you check-in at their onsite pool bar ;-) I’ll take a margarita and my room key, please!
Exploring neighborhoods in Palm Springs
Dressing the Part
Palm Springs is in the desert and landlocked, meaning it is HOT pretty much all year. If you are travelling in the spring and summer, I suggest packing a ton of flowy dresses, bikinis, cover ups, sandals, and a few evening outfits for dinners. In the fall and winter, things cool down at night, so don’t forget to pack a few light jackets and a pair of pants. There are some great hikes and outdoor activities, so bring some athletic wear as well (and if you’re like me, just stare at it in your suitcase all weekend and shamefully unpack it when you get home). It’s very casual in Palm Springs, so feel free to leave the stilettos at home.
Customs Coffee Shop at ARRIVE
Walking is a great way to explore Downtown Palm Springs. For anything outside walking distance, Uber and Lyft cars are available and usually show up within 2-5 minutes. Most hotels have free bike rentals too. Bike riding is the perfect way to explore the architecture in the nearby neighbourhoods and snap a few photos of the famous multi-coloured doors.
Strolling Saguaro Hotel
Tip for First-Timers
Palm Springs is not like LA or Scottsdale when it comes to nightlife. It shuts down pretty early. Don’t expect a big party scene as part of Palm Springs’ charm is its unwavering ability to relax even the most high strung individuals. I can actually feel my blood pressure lower as soon as I step off the plane into the open air airport (seriously, it’s one of the prettiest airports in the world!). If a party is what you’re after, consider visiting during Coachella or Stagecoach Music Festival in April.
10AM Breakfast at Colony Palms Purple Palm Restaurant- Set in the Palm Springs Movie Colony, visiting this charming poolside restaurant is such a fun way to start the day. Try the Rio Rita, a blood orange marg with tequila, blood orange puree, lime juice and ghost pepper. Brunch favourites include the BLTA Croissant or Blackened fish tacos. Take a sneaky dip in the pool before you leave!
1PM Lunch at Chef Tanya’s Kitchen- Vegan heaven! Chef Tanya’s Kitchen is a gourmet vegan restaurant serving up jam-packed sandwiches, flavourful salads and homemade soups. Whether you’re plant based or not, this spot is definitely worth visiting! Try the Chupacabra “Chicken” sandwich or Modern Hippie Veggie Sandwich. This is a great light lunch to enjoy before getting pampered at the Palm Springs Yacht Club at the Parker Hotel.
Colony Palms Hotel
2PM Hot Stone Massage at Palm Springs Yacht Club at the Parker Hotel- Make sure you take time to wander around the hotel grounds afterwards! Yes, this is the hotel you’ve seen splashed all over your insta feed, and for good reason! The decor is amazing. Grab a drink at the adult lemonade stand or a light snack at Norma’s.
Colony Palms poolside
4PM I love the boutiques on North Palm Canyon Drive and the Shops at Thirteen Forty Five. My favorite shops are Thick as Thieves (amazing decor and dainty jewelry) and the Frippery, the famous vintage spot in Downtown Palm Springs. (If you visit the Frippery, pop next door to Jake’s if you are craving something sweet!)
ARRIVE poolside at dusk
7PM Dinner at BIRBA- Set in a gorgeous courtyard complete with twinkly lights and fire-pits, BIRBA is owned by the restaurant group responsible for some of the most popular restaurants in town (Cheeky’s, BIRBA and Mr. Lyon’s). I always opt for a fire roasted pizza and an aperol spritz to enjoy under the stars in the desert heat. Great atmosphere, even better food.
The Amigo Room at ACE Hotel
9PM Grab a drink at The Amigo Room at the ACE Hotel. It’s quite the contrast from the normal, bright and colourful venues in Palm Springs. The Amigo Room is dark and intimate, with incredible cocktails and a great playlist.
Thick As Thieves shop
11AM Breakfast at Cheeky’s- Cheeky’s is a Palm Springs institution. Get there early to put your name down as there is always a wait (they don’t take reservations). To pass the time, go across the street and grab a coffee at Koffi, one of the best coffee shops in town. The menu changes weekly, so ask the waiter for recommendations that week! As a vegetarian, I love the spicy bloody mary and avocado toast, but they are famous for their bacon flights!
Hiking Indian Canyons
12:30PM Hike through Indian Canyons, a gorgeous hike through a desert oasis (fee required, about 2 hours. Easy to moderate hike. Bring lots of water!!)
Lunch at Colony Palms
2PM Lunch at El Jefe, the Mexican restaurant attached to The Saguaro. Grab some tacos and margs before wandering over to their pool.
Poolside at the Ritz Carlton
4PM Check out the pool at the Saguaro for awhile and snap some colourful photos of the rainbow studded doors. Then pop over to the Ace Hotel or the Riviera for the rest of the afternoon.
5PM Grab a drink at the Kimpton rooftop pool (right downtown) or at the Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz has incredible views overlooking Greater Palm Springs (about a 10 minute drive from downtown). Justin Bieber celebrated his 21st birthday here. If it’s good enough for the Biebs, it’s good enough for me.
Palm Springs Golf Course
8PM Dinner at Mr. Lyon’s, a modern steakhouse with a vintage vibe. The food is excellent. I’m a vegetarian, and even though it’s a steakhouse, they have some incredible plant-based options like the Grilled Summer Squash and Vegetable Wellington. Make sure you grab a drink after dinner in the Seymour Speakeasy. Ask the waiter where the curtain is as it’s hidden!
Drinks at the Ritz Carlton
10PM Pop by Bootlegger Tiki for a fruity cocktail complete with mini umbrellas and flowers before heading up to Melvyn’s for a nightcap. Melvyn’s has been around for decades, and is the bar where Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra frequented to get their drink on (it’s still popular among celebs!). Enjoy a dirty martini, live music and amazing people-watching.
Recover with In-N-Out before heading out of town the next day!
Have an extra day? Joshua Tree National Park is only an hour drive from Palm Springs and worth a visit!