5 Things to do in Palm Springs

Traveling to Palm Springs and looking for new activities to do while in the area? I’ve got you covered. The greater Palm Springs area offers such a wide variety of activities that there’s something for everyone! This was my 5th trip to the area and I always find new things to do. Here are my latest recommendations.

1) Pioneertown – Located just a quick drive from downtown Palm Springs via route 62, Pioneertown is an old live-in film set dating back to the 1940s that has now been transformed into a tourist attraction. The area was incredibly well kept and though a little small, is worth the trek. They’ve got a few shop as well as a bar and restaurant where you can stop in if you’re in need of a snack.

2) Tahquitz Canyon – This hidden gem is a stone’s throw away from downtown Palm Springs. Tahquitz Canyon is a very well kept secret in the city and rightfully so. This beautiful canyon has been around for 1500+ years and is part of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation. There is a beautiful 2 mile hike that leads to a 60 foot waterfall right in the middle of the canyon. You have to pay a small fee to walk on the trail but they also have a visitor centre with exhibits and information about local archeological finds, etc.

3) Native Foods Café – Around since 1994, Native Foods Café provides delicious and quality plant-based meals in a cafeteria style low-key restaurant in Palm Springs. Whether you’re craving a bowl, sandwich, burger or salad, they’ve got a wide variety of tasty eats to choose from. Though originally from Palm Springs, they’ve had so much success that they’ve expanded to several other locations across the Southern United States.

4) Off Road Rentals – If you’ve driven into Palm Springs before, you’ve probably noticed Off Road Rentals, located on the right of the highway 111 heading into town. This family-run business has been around since the late 80s. You can rent one of their 4-speed quads and drive up and down their huge sand dunes. It’s an amazing time for anyone wanting a little adventure. Depending on how busy the course is, they may even give you some free riding time!

5) Mt. San Jacinto – One of the greatest finds in all of Southern California. Mt. San Jacinto can be accessed via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (at $25+ a round trip!). It’s a quick 10 min ride up or for those wanting an extra challenge, you can also hike up the 10,000 ft mountain and just got a one-way down. Once at the Mountain Station, you can refuel or pack snacks and explore some of their 50+ miles of trails at the top. The trails offers some of the most stunning views of the desert, valley and high country forest.

 

Salvation Mountain

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I have seen a lot of photos of Salvation Mountain but didn’t know very much about this place until I went for a visit two weeks ago while in the Palm Springs area. It was a little bit of a journey to find the monument but it was well worth the trouble.

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Immediately when I got to the area I was bewildered by the beautiful bright colors of the place. Luckily, as we were walking around, the resident “Salvation Mountain Man”, a very nice man who lives right beside the beautiful artwork gave us tons of information about the monument itself.

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This visionary artwork was created from straw and gallons of lead-free paint by local resident Leonard Knight, who passed away in 2014. The murals and painted hill depicts Christian sayings and Bible verses and though I am not a religious person, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by the positive vibes that the area radiated. This section below especially rang true to me… Love IS Universal!

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Since the death of Leonard Knight, the “Salvation Mountain Man” has gotten the help of the local Slab City community and anyone who is willing to lend a hand and donations to keep the monument freshly painted and in good condition. Several times a year he even organizes special painting events and invites people to come out and lend a hand in exchange for a beautiful sunset, great conversations and good times. You can check him out on Instagram here.

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Photos by: @Offner

What I’m wearing: Reef Rover HI LX (get them here), Jesus Gets The Girl Aqua Dip Dye Unisex Beach Punk T-Shirt (get it here).

V Palm Springs

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Palm Springs is one of my favorite destinations to travel to in California. There are many things I love about the city: the architecture, the food, the surrounding scenery, etc.

I first started paying attention to Palm Springs thanks to social media. A lot of the people that I follow visit Palm Springs either for Coachella or for a quick weekend getaway. Staying in a unique place like Palm Springs will make people want to photograph it. Apparently, Canadians in particular, love showing off while traveling. A recent study published by Hotels.com shows that 36% of Canadian travellers admit to uploading photos to social media (Hello Instagram!) just to show off and 20% admit to checking into places on social media just to make friends jealous. I can personally admit getting serious FOMO when seeing people post about Palm Springs.

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Another thing I love about staying in Palm Springs is the incredibly food selection. The city being a major foodie destination, I am always on the lookout for hot new restaurants to try while in the area. According to the Hotels.com study, 60% of Canadians look for tasty food before searching for attractions and beaches when traveling. We’re a generation of foodie travellers so we are always on our phone looking for where to have our next delicious meal.

Using my mobile device also allows me to feel like a local when I travel. Almost 50% of Canadians will use mobile maps to get around and will rely on mobiles to learn the local lingo. There’s nothing I hate more than walking around looking at a big old paper map.

Another must when traveling for me is free wi-fi. In 2016, if a hotel doesn’t offer free wi-fi, I usually don’t even look at the property. 28% of Canadians also do the same, only selecting hotels that offer this service because being connected is key for today’s modern traveller.

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to stay at a brand new hotel that has only been open for a few months. The V hotel, located adjacent to downtown Palm Springs, is a sleek and modern hotel that offers top of the line accommodations with a cool boutique feel. There is nothing quite like being one of the first to try out a hotel. I did a little Unrooming video for Hotels.com on my first impressions of the room at the V in Palm Springs.

For more Unrooming videos, check out Hotels.com.

5 Food Discoveries in Palm Springs

FullSizeRender(1) - Copie1) Rooster and the Pig. You may have to wait up to 2hrs to get into this popular joint but this Vietnamese American bar and restaurant is worth the wait. The friendly atmosphere inside allows for a laid-back dinning experience. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and try something new while you are there. All of their dishes will definitely please your tastebuds!

FullSizeRender(10)FullSizeRender(11)FullSizeRender(12)2) Workshop Kitchen + Bar. Located in uptown Palm Springs, this minimalist and industrial-looking restaurant is one of the places to put on your dinner list. Heavily focused on local ingredients, this farm-to-table spot works with local farms in the Coachella Valley to provide a creative and varied menu. They have a plentiful selection of both vegetarian and meat dishes that are presented in a beautiful manner. The farmhouse-style table located in the middle of the restaurant makes the space super convivial.

FullSizeRender(2)FullSizeRender(1)FullSizeRender(3)FullSizeRender(4)FullSizeRender(1)3) Norma’s. If you’re looking for an ultra hype and beautiful place to go for brunch while in Palm Springs, make sure you visit the The Parker Palm Springs. Not only is the hotel exquisite but the food at Norma’s is also topnotch. The colorful restaurant serves up your choice of healthy and hearty options including their James Beard Award-Winning Potato Pancake Recipe. You never know who you may rub shoulders with at this intimate and cozy hotspot. While you are there, make sure you spend time in their fireplace lounge or visiting their outdoor garden.

FullSizeRender(9)IMG_15964) Kings Highway. Located at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, this no-frills casual diner serves up good food and good vibes. The hotel partnered up with the same team that created the very popular L.A. Chapter to create a cool western and bohemian vibe. Jud Mongell and Ken Addington base their menu on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients while adding an imaginative twist to it. All late-night cravings will be satisfied at Kings Highway!

FullSizeRender(5)FullSizeRender(6)FullSizeRender(7)FullSizeRender(8)5) Chi Chi. The newly redesigned restaurant at the Avalon Hotel is all about celebrating California cuisine. The west coast is made a focal point on not only the menu but also on the pool-centric setting and space. Eating outdoors is a must for a romantic candlelit dinner.

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Del Marcos Hotel

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Palm Springs has become one of my favorite places to travel to when I’m in California. The reason being, there’s just nothing quite like it. It’s the perfect place to relax, reset and explore while also enjoying some of the best food and most beautiful scenery.

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After our wedding, we were looking for a little oasis to spend time in before heading back to reality and found the perfect spot – the Del Marcos Hotel.

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Built in 1947 and designed by architect William F. Cody, this Mid-century boutique hotel was Cody’s first independent commission in Palm Springs and was key in launching his solo career in the desert. The hotel design is a mix of native stone and redwood as well as floor-to-ceiling glass. It’s a two-story building that features a beautiful courtyard with a saltwater pool and lounge chairs. There is also a stunning fireplace for guests to warm up around on a cool evening.

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The Del Marcos has 17 guest rooms, which keeps the atmosphere very intimate. Each room is uniquely decorated using Mid-century furnishings to keep that same modern feel throughout the hotel. We stayed in the Don Wexler room, a stunning room dedicated to the iconic architect. Our room featured a king bed, a beautiful private back patio, a large kitchenette and beautiful tiled bathroom. The room also featured some of Wexler’s prints and etchings, making the room even more authentic. Our room was the perfect sanctuary for us after our wedding.

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One of my favorite things about the entire hotel was its super cozy lobby and lounge area. I loved the fact that each afternoon, they offered complimentary happy hour. It was the perfect occasion to sit down, relax, talk to some other hotel guests and also play board games. The hotel also offers complimentary breakfast every morning. The hotel property also plays some light jazz and Motown classics dating back to the 40s and 50s, setting the perfect mood for relaxing. It being an 18+ environment also made it a lot more quiet and the perfect space to retreat to.

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The hotel couldn’t be more conveniently located. It is situated right by some of the best restaurants, museums, shops, etc. You are also right at the corner of the Palm Springs city bike path. What’s also great about the location is that you are steps from downtown but also far enough removed that noise isn’t an issue. If walking isn’t your thing, then you can use some of the beautiful complimentary cruiser bikes that the hotel offers to its guests. We took the bikes on an excursion across the city and ended up being gifted grapefruits from a man in his backyard.

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The entire staff was exceptionally friendly and welcoming. They made sure that we had everything we needed and more.

We couldn’t have asked for a more ideal place to spend the week after our wedding. It was the perfect little getaway!

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For more information on the Del Marcos Hotel, go here.

Summer Planning

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With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start summer planning! After having spent the spring primarily at home, I’m excited for all the travels that are coming my way this summer. For the first time since I was a teenager, I will actually get one full month of vacation, I can hardly believe it! I couldn’t be more excited to be spending this time in my favorite place on the planet, you guessed it: California!

This upcoming trip will be a fun one since we’ll be incorporating a mini road trip along the way, spending time in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada. We’ve already started planning for it and I can’t hardly wait! We’ll also be spending time in my favorite little beach town – Encinitas as well as Los Angeles and also going out to Palm Springs for the first time ever. If you have any travel recommendations, or must-see things while we’re there, please send them my way. I’ll be publishing a special series of blogs during and after the trip, so lot’s of travel tips coming your way this summer!

Today’s outfit, couldn’t be more representative of the California state of mind. This is the perfect post-surf and biking outfit. Boyfriend jeans, a California tee and a pair of brand new Sanuks. I love these new ones called “The Boardwalk“, they’re the perfect summer colour! Comfort and class, all wrapped into one!

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Photos by @Offner

Sanuk The Boardwalk shoes (get them here)

H&M distressed boyfriend jeans

Zara TRF California tee

New SoCal Faves

Last month, I was able to spend a few days in my favorite place on earth – Southern California. It’s always so lovely seeing all of my friends, discovering new places to eat and shop as well as spending time surfing at the beach. Didn’t do too much shopping on this past trip, so the following post will be more of a #foodporn post. Like I did with my last travel post (see here), here are some of my new favorite things about SoCal.

1 – Ace Hotel – When I went last month, the hotel had opened a few weeks prior. The Ace Hotel is a small chain of hotels, they can be found in New York City, Palm Springs, Portland and most recently Los Angeles. It is located in the historic United Artists building in downtown LA. I had the pleasure of going to their new bistro LA Chapter. Not only were the food and drinks incredibly tasty, the atmosphere was very chic yet also laid back and also we had the funniest waiter. The menu was original and fairly priced. After dinner, I took a tour of the hotel. I loved all the books and music in the lobby, everything about the building was absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend checking out the hotel, if not for a stay then for a brunch, lunch or dinner. You can make reservations easily via Open Table.

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2 – Urth Caffé – Alright, this place isn’t a new place but it’s become a staple when I’m in Los Angeles. I purposely plan my day around the different Urth locations in and around Los Angeles. Honestly, the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. It opens super early in the morning and stays open until late at night. Some of my Urth favs: Almond Milk Green Tea Latte, the Urth Salad, any of their croissants, the Coconut Pound Cake and their homemade granola. My mouth waters, as I write this post. I think I’ve developed an addiction to Urth Caffé!!

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3 – Veggie Grill – Is a chain of vegetarianvegan and gluten free restaurants that serve food cafeteria style. I knew one of their latest locations had just opened up in Carlsbad, so I took the opportunity to pay them a visit. They have a very extensive menu, great homemade drinks and pride themselves in only serving healthy food that is good for the mind and body. I ordered the Crispy Chickin’ Plate as well as a side order of their Mac N’ Cheese. Both plates were very filling and all tasted pretty good. You can get a good meal for under $15. My favorite was their cauli mashed potatoes!

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4 – Los Feliz – Is a new area I got to explore on this past trip located just west of Hollywood. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with lot’s of pretty homes as well as a little “downtown” area located on Vermont Street with plenty of super cute shops, bookstores and yummy restaurants. I checked out the French bistro Le Figaro for brunch. They offered all the best typical French specialties and also had a counter section, where you could buy baked goods and desserts to go. I wish I could have spent more time in the area, it’s definitely on my list of places to go back to on my next visit.

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5 – Laurel Hardware – Is a trendy relatively new restaurant and bar located on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. I met up with friends there for dinner one night. There are two rooms and an incredibly big patio at the back. The first room is quieter and has a more “dinning room” vibe where as the back room has a lot more of a “bar” feel to it. Lot’s of local models, musicians and young entrepreneurs have been seen flocking to this place. The night I went, the place was definitely filled with lot’s of young and beautiful people. Small but solid food and drink menu. The menu contained lot’s of sharing plates including many vegetarian options. I loved their open kitchen concept as well as the fresh flowers and candles that were on each table.

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All in all, another incredibly memorable trip with tons of new discoveries!

Till next time SoCal!