The Vada Guide to Palm Springs, California

By on 19 July, 2016 Filed in Food, Travel

Nestled in the Coachella Valley area lies the desert haven that is Palm Springs. From the famous festival to casinos, to sipping cocktails poolside, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Here we give you the lowdown on this Californian delight.

The Basics

Palm Springs International Airport is located a mere 7 minutes from the heart of Palm Springs, serving flights to Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, New York, and connects to major destinations around the world.

In addition to Palm Springs International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport is a two-hour drive and also offers access to Palm Springs.

Currently, Uber and Lyft are not permitted to pick up or drop passengers off at the airport.

If you want to escape from the pace of the city, Palm Springs is the convenient and perfect getaway, a desert oasis just two hours from the heart of Hollywood. We drove on the Interstate 10 which connected us directly to Palm Springs.

Both Greyhound and Sunset Limited provide bus and train access, so if you’re without a car, be sure to check the schedules and purchase tickets through the site.

Accommodation

There is no shortage of accommodation in Palm Springs which plays host to the Palm Springs Film Festival, The Idyllwild Jazz Festival, Pride, HITS Coachella Desert Circuit Horse Show, The BNP Paribas Open and of course Coachella.

We stayed at the V Palm Springs located on East Palm Canyon Drive and conveniently located less than one mile from the city center.

The V Palm Springs is in the middle of a $15 million dollar facelift and when opened (this September) will boast 140 rooms, many offering spectacular views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Upon arrival, friendly reception staff will greet you with a welcome bag that includes popcorn and water.

v-palm-springs-model-room

Newly revamped rooms are spacious and contemporary with bathroom amenities by Malin + Goetz.  Chill poolside on one of the many loungers, or take a dip in the V-shaped pool. Unwind after a long day in the large jacuzzi.

Elixir Bar and grill is a must! Sip on a refreshing cocktail made from the freshest ingredients. Eat from the Asian fusion options on the menu.

The hotel offers complimentary bicycles to explore. A shuttle bus stop is located directly outside the hotel to take guests downtown.

Room rates start at $143.00 per night.

V Palm Springs, 333 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Attractions

There’s plenty to do in Palm Springs aside from relaxing by the pool. You can ride the aerial tramway to Mount San Jacinto or go on an adventure in the Joshua Tree National Park. If you fancy golfing, there is no shortage of courses, or you could take in a show and fun at the many casinos

For culture, there is the Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens, or learn about the history of flight at the Air museums of flying.

Food and Drink

Palm Springs has a diverse selection of restaurants, bars and clubs. We ate at the new Eight4Nine. The casual upscale Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge is the latest addition to the vibrant Uptown Design District. Located in a 1950s building that once housed the Palm Springs post office, the restaurant’s creative culinary menu features a celebration of West Coast Modern American Cuisine which focuses on both presentation and flavour.

Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge Photo Shoot

The Edge Steakhouse (inside The Ritz Carlton) offers envious views of the desert, set 650 feet above the desert floor and gives new meaning to cliff-side dining. The Edge serves prime steak, seafood and fine wine. They’re only open at the weekends, but if you’re in town for the weekend and looking for a fine dining experience, The Edge ticks the boxes.

If you talk to anyone, Cheeky’s serves the best breakfast in town. The wait time for a table can vary from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, but it’s worth the wait. The bacon flight comes highly recommended, and if bacon isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of options including cinnamon rolls, cheesy custard scrambled eggs, and french toast topped with anything from plum to tangerine.

Fisherman’s has been a local favourite and voted #1 Best Seafood restaurant for the past 15 years. If you’re after a casual lunch combo, a great assortment of seafood dishes, or fish and chips, Fisherman’s serves fresh and high-quality seafood.

Bill’s Pizza is a definite must stop in the desert. Pizzas come with light and crispy crust, and are topped with creative and fresh ingredients. The prices are reasonable, the environment is fun and casual. Open seven days a week, Bill’s stays open until 10pm from Thursday  to Saturday.

Head to the Purple Room for dinner and a supper club vibe taking you back to the days of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Indulge in the three-course meal while being serenaded to Rat Pack songs, if you’re lucky you might catch a celebrity sighting. From Tuesday to Thursday the entertainment is complimentary, during the weekend, the main stage is ticketed entertainment. Visit the website for show information. Note: Purple Room is taking a summer break and will reopen in September.

Simply named, Bar, this is the number one hot spot and situated in the heart of Palm Springs. Bar serves over 50 choices of whiskey, as well as all your classic drinks. It comes complete with a food menu and an outdoor area where you can play ping pong or corn hole. Bar is open until 2am at the weekends.

The Amigo Room is inside the Ace Hotel and is a 70’s bar. Live bands and DJ’s perform. If you’re in town on Monday night, check out Bella da Ball who hosts a weekly trivia night/pub quiz. The Amigo Room emphasizes its micro distileries and fresh ingredients.

Shopping

Head to the Desert Hills Outlet Mall and save big dollars on designer labels. If you’re in search of art, The Art Place features art galleries. El Paseo Shopping Avenue has over 200 shops and boutiques selling jewelry, clothing, home interiors and art

The COD Alumni Street Fair is where to find locally farmer and organic produce. Stalls also sell clothing, jewelry, pottery, leather and art. The street fair is open air and makes for a great start to the day.

Art and Culture

Tour the Sunnylands Visitor Center & Gardens, including the 20-minute film on Sunnylands. Sunnylands is a high-level retreat center, historic house, education center, and art gardens with tours and information on art, architecture, history, philanthropy, landscape, and sustainability. Sunnylands was the estate of Ambassador Walter and Leonore Annenberg who entertained Presidents, royalty, political figures, and cultural icons in this mid-century modern home.

Moorten Botanical Gardens is an internationally famous living museum with over 3,000 examples of desert cacti and other desert plants. This garden has been there since 1939.

More information

Share your holiday moments and take part in the conversation at @Palmspringsca or with #visitpalmsprings.

For more information, visit Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism for their assistance.

Jazz Tangcay

As a Brit, I'll say anything. Some things I love; Meryl Streep, Italians and Starbucks.

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