where to go:
50770 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA 92230
I drove past the dinosaurs on my way to Coachella a few years ago but didn't stop, so I was glad I was able to make it there this time. These dinosaurs are right on the way if you’re driving from LA, so it’s really easy to stop by. There’s a parking lot, so it’s also easy to pull over, hop out, stretch your legs and snap a pic with the dinos. They’re located about 20 minutes outside of Palm Springs.
Ruddy’s General Store
221 S Palm Canyon Dr
Open Thursday-Sunday 10-4
This general store is actually a man’s personal collection of antiques from the 1900’s-1960’s set up to look like a store. It's just a $1 donation to enter and check it out.
Palm Springs Historical Society
221 S Palm Canyon Dr
Open 10-4 daily
Located right next door to Ruddy's General Store, this little museum is free and has different artifacts and information about Palm Springs. My favorite things in there was all of the Lucy and Desi paraphernalia.
Elvis' Honeymoon Hideaway
1350 Ladera Cir, Palm Springs, CA 92262
You probably know how much I love Elvis, so of course I had to stop by the Honeymoon Hideaway where he and Priscilla lived. Tours happen every day at 1:00pm and 3:30pm. It takes about 45 minutes for the tour and costs $35. You can purchase tickets online or walk up to buy a ticket.
Palm Springs Walk of Stars
Palm Canyon Drive
There are stars along the sidewalk for all the celebrities who owned homes in Palm Springs. The stars for Elvis and Frank Sinatra are right next to each other. If you want to find a specific star, there is a website that gives you the exact location for them here.
where we ate:
160 S Palm Canyon Dr
Open 12pm-10pm everyday
This milkshake place is so good we went twice! Not only are the milkshakes amazing, the decor is also cute and retro with photos of old celebs, like Frank Sinatra and Lucy and Desi on the wall. I got the mint Oreo milkshake both times.
411 E Palm Canyon Dr
Open 10am-1am on Saturdays, 10am-12pm on Sundays and 1pm-1am on weekdays
Our first night we ate dinner inside the Caliente Tropics Hotel. Their hotel bar, The Reef, serves tiki drinks and burgers. Both the food and drinks were awesome, definitely my favorite meal of the trip. I had the veggie burger and the painkiller to drink. The inside is kitschy and they also have a covered outside space to sit as well.
1030 E Palm Canyon Dr
Open 6am-9pm everyday
Although our hotel served breakfast, we wanted to go out for diner food one day. We each got an omelet and split an order of pancakes as well. The food is solid and there are lots of black and white photos on the walls of celebrities in Palm Springs, like Frank and Sammy Davis Jr.
we also ate at...
Eight 4 Nine
849 N Palm Canyon Dr
Open Friday 11am-11pm; Saturday 9am-11pm; Sunday 9am-9pm; Tuesday-Thursday 11am-9pm
We stopped here for lunch on our second day after a local tipped us off that there is a secret all day happy hour menu you can ask for where everything is $9. They serve upscale bar food here and we both ordered a quesadilla for $9. The decor here is more modern but still has a nod to the past as well.
707 N Palm Canyon Dr
11am-10pm Monday-Thursday; 11am-11pm Friday; 10am-11pm Saturday; 10am-10pm Sunday
Another restaurant serving upscale bar food. We weren’t super hungry, so we split a few appetizers including a burrata salad, hummus and spinach and artichoke dip. The food was very good and the decor is also mid century modern style, the only thing we did not enjoy was the music. It was a Monday night and they were blasting electronic house music, I felt like I was in an episode of Jersey Shore.
622 N Palm Canyon Dr
5-10pm Tuesday- Thursday and Sunday; 5-11pm Friday and Saturday; closed Monday
This was our last dinner spot and the hardest place to get in. Every other restaurant we were seated immediately. We showed up around 7-7:30 on a Tuesday night and they told us to come back around 9. It’s an Italian restaurant, I got gnocchi and Adam ordered pizza. I enjoyed my meal but Adam said the pizza was just ok (but keep in mind we are New Yorkers so we have high standards when it comes to pizza). We sat outside and there are fire pits that make a cozy atmosphere.
where we vintage shopped:
2675 N Palm Canyon Dr
Closed Monday-Wednesday; Open 11am-5pm Thursday- Sunday
1035 N Palm Canyon Dr
Closed Tuesday & Thursday; open 12-5 every other day
1103 N Palm Canyon Dr
Closed Tuesday & Wednesday; Open 10am-6pm every other day
We also stopped at Sunny Dunes Antique Mall, Aida's Place, Antique Galleries of Palm Springs and Little Shop of Treasures. All of these stops are right in the same area so you can park nearby and stop in all 4 of these stores. All of these antique malls had reasonable prices and seemed negotiable as well. I bought a 3pc 70's suit at one store, the price was listed at $50, but I negotiated it down to $35. Overall, with all the vintage stores, there was more home stuff, antiques and jewelry vs clothes.
I was lucky enough to have not one but two new bathing suits for my Palm Springs trip. This one was sent to me from Happy Socks. They just launched their swimwear line this season and they're so cute! They have a few different novelty prints all in this same style body. This bathing suit is a little more bare on the bottom compared to the Red Dolly suit I wore in my previous post. It is definitely more of a modern cut and comes up higher on the hip and exposes more of your behind, but I felt secure up top and over all comfortable wearing this suit. I recommend choosing your size off of the recommended height on the size chart, I'm wearing a medium for reference.
If you'd like to shop this suit, you can find it here:
Bathing Suit: c/o Happy Socks
Sunglasses: East Village Vintage Collective; Headband: American Apparel
Location: The Monkey Tree Hotel (Palm Springs, CA)
I first wanted to go to Palm Springs about 5 years ago. I'm not sure how it even got on my radar, maybe I saw photos on social media or I read about it somewhere. Shortly after, in 2015, I made my first trip to the West Coast. We stayed in LA for a few days and then headed to the desert for Coachella in Indio, which is about 15-20 minutes from Palm Springs. I wanted to check out Palm Springs while we were there, but there wasn't enough time. None of my friends I was traveling with are as into vintage stuff as I am so it wasn't as much of a priority. I made a mental note that I had to make it back to Palm Springs one day.
Then it seemed like Palm Springs became extremely popular. It seemed like everyone on social media was choosing Palm Springs as their vacation spot, so many people that it made me not want to go anymore. I felt like maybe I'd seen everything I needed to see on Instagram.
But after my recent vacation, I don't feel that way at all. I'm so glad I made the trip back to the desert. I think there's still something to be said for seeing things for yourself. I've seen countless photos from inside Elvis' Honeymoon Hideaway, people posed on the couch under the infamous photo of him and Priscilla locked arms with a cocktail in their hands. But the moment I walked into the house, a feeling came over me and I realized seeing a photo of something is not the same as experiencing it in real life.
I think another trick to having a unique travel experience is looking for things to do outside of Instagram. According to Instagram, it seems like everyone stays at The Saguaro, so it made me think maybe this was one of the only hotels in Palm Springs. We drove past The Saguaro a few times and while it looked cute, I'm glad I did my research and found out about The Monkey Tree instead because it made for a more unique Palm Springs experience and it was a better fit for my aesthetic and personal taste too.
Overall, I think social media can be a great resource to get travel recommendations or find out about a destination you might not have otherwise known about. However, I think it's important to do your research off Instagram as well. Try looking for more obscure recommendations that are off the beaten path, rather than seeking out "the most Instagramable spots". To me, these spots usually end up being the least inspiring anyway. And even if something is a tourist trap or Instagram bait, if it's something you really want to see, you should still go because no photo will ever give you the same feeling as seeing it with your own two eyes.
While in Palm Springs, we stayed at The Monkey Tree Hotel, a fabulous boutique hotel straight out of the 60’s. The hotel was originally built in 1960 and aside from the amazing retro style design, the hotel also has an impressive history behind it. Several famous stars stayed here in its heyday, including Katherine Hepburn, Lucy and Desi, and The Beatles (except Paul). Allegedly JFK and Marilyn Monroe even had a private encounter here with the Secret Service guarding the entrance to their suite. Over the years, the hotel changed names and owners, but in 2015 the current owners, Kathy and Gary, purchased the hotel and restored it to the original name.
Kathy and Gary have done an amazing job with the property and really make you feel welcomed and comfortable at their hotel. They also lived in NYC before moving out to the west coast so we chatted about that and they were more than happy to give us suggestions of bars, restaurants and things to do while in Palm Springs. The hotel offers continental breakfast every morning, including homemade bread and muffins, yogurt, granola, fruit, tea and coffee. It’s also an extremely relaxing environment. Children under 14 are not permitted and they encourage all adults to be quiet and respectful. We lounged at the pool every day where 60’s music played over the sound system. In addition to the salt water pool, they also have an exercise pool, hot tub, sauna and a cold plunge. The pool area has a Smeg fridge stocked with sodas and everyday at 4:30 they serve sangria.
The hotel has 16 rooms and we stayed in the Deluxe King with Kitchenette style. The room had a bed, sitting area, kitchen and bathroom. Each room only accommodates two people, they don’t have portable cots like most hotels. The rooms were very clean and comfortable and the two of us had plenty of room to spread out. Again, since The Monkey Tree Hotel is meant to be a relaxing environment, there weren’t screaming kids or rambunctious party people, so the hotel was peaceful and quiet every night and morning.
Palm Springs is a pretty small town, but The Monkey Tree Hotel is conveniently located to anything you might want to get to. Each hotel room comes with a parking space, so we didn’t have to worry about finding parking for our car. During the day we would drive around but at night we left the car at the hotel and took an Uber to get dinner. It usually took about 10 minutes to get anywhere and about an $8-12 Uber ride. Kathy and Gary also have a vintage car from the 60’s, so they brought it over to the hotel for us to take photos with which was fun!
We had an amazing stay at the The Monkey Tree Hotel and I would highly recommend it if you’re planning a relaxing trip to the desert with a friend or significant other.
Thanks Kathy and Gary for hosting us and for comping 2 nights of our stay!
If you want to learn more about The Monkey Tree Hotel, check out their website here:
After a dreary NYC winter, I was excited to enjoy some sunshine by the pool in California. I was even more excited when Red Dolly Swimwear sent over this midcentury modern one piece because the print was absolutely perfect for Palm Springs. I wrote about Red Dolly last summer, and I have to reiterate how much I love their swimsuits. I am top heavy, so I used to always feel self concious in a bathing suit. Even their two pieces have amazing coverage, so I never feel uncomfortable at the pool or beach when wearing one of their suits. The quality is amazing too, I highly recommend investing in one if you're looking for a new swimsuit this summer.
If you'd like to shop it, you can find it here:
Bathing suit: c/o Red Dolly Swimwear
Sunglasses: Beacons Closet
Location: The Monkey Tree Hotel (Palm Springs, CA)