I wasn’t sure what to expect visiting Palm Springs, but it ended up being the best weekend getaway for our 1st wedding anniversary! We decided to start a tradition where we will alternate surprising each other on an anniversary trip every year. Since I was planning the inaugural first year, I knew I wanted to travel somewhere warm since we had just gotten back from snowy Norway a couple weeks prior and Portland was cold and rainy. I looked at several spots in California before I settled on Palm Springs! Beautiful mountain scenery, perfect sunny skies, romantic hotels and dinner spots – what more can you ask out of a weekend getaway?!
While I was researching our trip, I couldn’t find a ton of guides or blog posts when it came to a couples weekend in Palm Springs – so here it is! Where to stay, places to eat, and things to do for a romantic getaway!
Getting to Palm Springs
Getting a direct flight out of Portland to Palm Springs was a piece of cake! When you land in Palm Springs it feels like you’re on island time…but in the desert! The airport is small and completely open-aired which I loved! You can also fly into LAX which is only 1.5 hour drive from Palm Springs, so that is definitely a good option if it helps lower the cost if you’re flying from farther away.
Thomas didn’t know where we were going until we got to the gate! I told him to just pack a bag for somewhere warm and I would take care of the rest! My favorite thing to do before a flight is to head to the airport early and drink a mimosa while watching the planes take off! Using our Priority Pass we can have lunch and a couple mimosas each completely covered! That’s a pretty good start to a vacay if you ask me! If you’re looking into a good travel credit card, I would highly recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve with Priority Pass!
Where to stay
I probably did the most research when it came to this category because I wanted to make sure it was quiet and relaxing, and not a big party hotel. I loved both of the boutique hotels we stayed at – La Maison Hotel and The Rossi Hotel.
This was one of the best bed and breakfasts I’ve ever stayed at! The innkeepers were so warm and welcome. Small touches go such a long way – they had written ‘happy anniversary Thomas & Hillary’ on the chalkboard out front and had champagne waiting when we arrived! We stayed in the the King Room #2 and everything about it was so comfortable! A big plush bed and soft linens and a nice renovated bathroom and shower. They had a fridge in the room which was perfect for keeping drinks cool while we lounged by the pool right outside our door. The breakfast was simple – oatmeal, bagels, fruit, baked goods, but it was perfect before starting our day at the pool. They also had bikes that you could use which was so convenient! We would bike to lunch or around neighborhoods scoping out cool houses! At night sitting by the fire pit was also a big plus since the temps dropped in the evenings. I would 100% recommend booking La Maison if you’re planning a romantic trip to Palm Springs!
I booked the Rossi for Saturday and Sunday night which was the end of our trip. We stayed in the gold room, which had a beautiful bed, sitting area, outdoor patio with a hot tub, and big bathroom with a bathtub and shower. At night the property is lit with lanterns and candles. Perfectly dreamy! The pool area is very comfortable with day beds and umbrellas – perfect for spending the day relaxing poolside! There isn’t a breakfast included, but the hotel is only a 5 minute walk to the main strip on Palm Canyon!
Where to eat
A couple of tips:
– You will want to make a reservation for anywhere you want to have dinner to avoid long wait times.
– If you stay at a bed and breakfast like we did for two days that covers breakfast which nice since you’re not eating out for every meal of the day!
-Usually by lunchtime you’ll be lounging poolside, so you might not want to go and take the time for a sit down lunch. We rode our bikes to the local grocery store, and got sandwiches and salads that we could eat poolside. Since we had a fridge we also stocked-up on drinks! Palm Springs is pretty pricey overall, so I would definitely take advantage of a few casual meals and drinks by the pool when you can.
Here’s a list of everywhere we ate!
Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey – This was some of the best sushi i’ve ever had! We drank Japanese whiskey old fashioned’s and shared the grilled Spanish octopus, edamame, the sandfish roll, and the baby langoustine roll. The octopus was so tender and was on top of the best edamame hummus! Our favorite dish was the sandfish roll which had the freshest spicy tuna and crab meat and was covered in these tiny deliciously fried potato threads.
Birba – Our favorite night out! It wasn’t necessarily the food that made it so special, but the ambiance was incredible! It was dark so I didn’t take any pictures, but you sit outside and the trees are covered in twinkle lights and lanterns! Definitely a fun and buzzing atmosphere. We shared a bottle of Barbera d’Asti and split the meatballs, an endive and arugula salad, bolognese pappardelle, and the Birba pizza which had prosciutto, honey, and chili oil. The pappardelle pasta with bolognese was my favorite dish! Make sure you make a reservation ahead of time for this place.
Rooster and the Pig – a trendy Vietnamese spot in a strip mall? Yes please! I had read so many good things about this place that we had to try it! You can’t make reservations, and you have to sign your name on the waiting list. We got there around 6:30 and were sat after only 20 minutes or so! I think if you have larger parties than you can be waiting up to an hour, so be prepared! We had the green papaya salad, crispy spring rolls, the chicken rice ball in a coconut curry sauce, and the crispy beef egg noodles. Everything was great, but I honestly loved the fresh green papaya salad the best!
Las Casuelas Terraza – Great place for margaritas, live music, and Mexican food. The food was honestly subpar, but the good chips and guac, strong margaritas, and fun live music and people watching made up for it!
L’Atelier Cafe – We stumbled upon this little French cafe and it was a great little spot for breakfast! We had the smoked salmon benedict and the croque madame. And a pain au chocolat to-go of course!
El Jefe – I have mixed feelings on this place. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great lunch! We had spicy grapefruit margs, tacos, chips and guac, and a black quinoa salad…and it was $75. We left there not even full on top of that! Very overpriced for what you get, however I heard that happy hour prices are way better! So this is definitely a happy hour spot and not a lunch spot.
Eight4Nine – This place is definitely funky! The decor is white patent leather furniture and bright colored walls. We happened to just stop in here for a drink before our reservation at Birba for dinner. They have great happy hour prices for wine and cocktails!
Places we didn’t try but was on the list:
– Workshop Kitchen + Bar – Dinner
– The Nest – Dinner and dancing
– Cheeky’s – Brunch
– Mr. Lyons – Steakhouse Dinner
Things to do
Cruise around on bikes through neighborhoods brimming with amazing homes and architecture! There’s a house with a pink door that’s become so famous it has it’s own hashtag on instagram! #thatpinkdoor
Chill poolside of course! This is how we spent most of our days since it was such perfect weather!
Go for a hike – There are so many hiking trails in Palm Springs!
Walk through the Moorten Botanical Garden – Even though it’s only an acre in size, it’s packed with 3,000 species of desert plants from around the world!
Shopping – This is the place if you love anything vintage and retro! The shops at thirteen forty five are a mirage of retro furnishings and clothing and and The Frippery is a great vintage boutique.
Go to visitpalmsprings.com for more suggestions on where to stay, things to do, and dining recommendations!