The Ultimate Under-The-Radar Palm Springs Guide!

We all need to take a breather every once in awhile—one that doesn't include screaming toddlers, stripping down for surly TSA officials, or lost luggage. For a minimal-impact retreat, we highly recommend you hop on your friendly 10 East (pre-gridlock), and scoot on down to Palm Springs for a sun-filled sabbatical. In two-and-a-half hours max, you'll be sipping spicy margs and sedating your nerves.
For those P.S.-goers not in the know, there's plenty to do apart from spa treatments and sun-worshipping. This town is quickly ditching that Geriatricville, U.S.A. rep for some swank street cred. Groove to the the best classic-rock cover band you've ever heard, take a mid-century architecture tour (peep Elvis' old home), or shop 'til you drop at the raddest resale boutiques (those grannies have to give away their garments at some point!). So, print out our handy Palm Springs getaway guide, make a road-trip mix, and get ready to either unwind or explore—we'll let you choose your own adventure.
Photo: Courtesy of Starworks.
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Palm Springs is straight out of vintage lovers' sweetest dreams. You could spend an entire day hunting for that perfect swinging '60s shift dress, or out of control statement necklace (we recently found an insane gold fringe frock that is slated for an Oscar party appearance!). And to save you trips to the moth-balled thrift misses, we've listed below the cream of the consignment shop crop!

If old clothes aren't your deal, but discounts still are, you MUST hit the Cabazon Outlets on your way in or out of town. The Prada "Shop Space" store will have you squealing with over 70% off last season's stunners; the shoes section is the best part. Just thinking about this makes us want to hit the road and head South!

Resale Therapy, 4109 East Palm Canyon Drive (at Cherokee Way); 760-321-6556.
Hint: Make sure to hit up the Déjà Vu Room in the back.

Revivals, 611 South Palm Canyon Drive (at East Camino Parocela); 760-318-6491.

Shop Space (Prada and Miu Miu) at Desert Hills Premium Outlets, 48400 Seminole Road (near South Linden Way); 951-849-6641.

Photo: Via Resale Therapy.
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It pretty much doesn't get more chic than the Colony Palms Hotel—this place puts the unique in boutique hotel. Design denizen Martyn Lawrence-Bullard revamped the legendary historic property with a subtle glamour that is unparalleled in all of SoCal. We had the pleasure of checking-in for NYE weekend, and completely, joyously checked out of reality!

And it's all about the pool scene! You'll spy a Hollywood starlet catching up on her fashion mags to your right, an agent-type glued to a script to the left, and foxy Euros speaking in tongues everywhere you turn. Helpful hint: set an alarm in the wee hours (seriously) to stake your claim on prime pool real estate—by the time 7 a.m. rolls around, there won't be a lounge chair left in sight!

Colony Palms Hotel, 572 North Indian Canyon Drive (near East Via Colusa); 760-969-1801.

Photo: Courtesy of Starworks.
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Only open during daylight hours, Cheeky's is THE spot for brunch. Boasting locally grown organic bites, the menu changes weekly depending on what's fresh. Pomegranate mimosa anyone?

Cheeky’s, 622 North Palm Canyon Drive (near East Via Altamira); 760-327-7595.

Photo: Via Cheeky's.
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We can't think of any other destination teeming with so many amazing mid-century design finds! P.S. is the place for all things lucite, angular, and interesting. Even if your budge won't allow for an Eames-style splurge, the eye candy alone is worth trekking to these two spots.

a La MOD Mid-Century Modern, 768 North Palm Canyon Drive (near East Tamarisk Road); 760-327-0707.

Modern Way, 745 North Palm Canyon Drive (near East Tamarisk Road); 760-320-5455.

Photo: Via a La MOD Mid-Century Modern.
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We'll admit that the cat's been out of the bag on the Parker Hotel for years, and deservingly so. Anything Jonathan Adler has his hands in is worth seeing and doing a thousand times, and we'd be remiss not to include this trippiest, most conversation-worthy property ever in our roundup! We heart The Parker so hard that we'd make up any excuse in the book to hole up on one of their homey hammocks (President's Day is already on the books!).

Here's some insider scoop you may not know: Every month the famed YogaWorks studio sends their best yogis to downward face dog poolside with you at two-a-days style retreats, all at a special rate included with your room. Omm, indeed!

The Parker Hotel, 4200 East Palm Drive (near South Linden Way), 760-321-4612.

Photo: Courtesy of The Parker.
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Dine al fresco on the tastiest enchiladas, and sip on strong mega margs at Las Casuelas Terraza (not to be confused with another resto, dubbed "the original"). Make sure to request outdoor seating—trust us, it's worth the wait—to be treated to the best live cover band in all of Southland (we can't help but barrage them with Stones requests...and they always humbly acquiesce!).

Las Casuelas Terraza, 222 South Palm Canyon Drive (near East Arenas Road); 760-325-2794.

Photo: Via Las Casuelas Terraza.
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This desert town obviously has many a wealthy resident, which means the Art Museum benefits from a very impressive list of collectors. We caught the current Andrew Wyeth exhibit over the holidays, and were so thankful that we took a break from the sun to see it.

Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 North Museum Drive (near North Belardo Road); 760-322-4800.

Photo: Via Palm Springs Art Museum.
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Horseback riding on desert terrain is not something you can do every day, and Smoketree Stables has cornered the market with the friendliest ponies in Palm Springs. Yee haw!

If you're not the riding type, we also recommend hoofing it on your own two feet on the following trails: The Araby Trail takes you past Bob Hope's architectural feat of a home, the Art Smith Trail leads you to a palm oasis, and the Berns Trail offers panoramic views of the entire valley. Don't forget to pack lots of agua!

Smoketree Stables, 2500 Toledo Avenue (near La Verne Way); 760-327-1372.

Photo: Courtesy Via Smoketree Stables.
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One of the best kept secrets in P.S. is actually L.A.-based. Uber-cool interior design store, Room Service offers mid-century homes for rent, bedecked with their wondrous wares that are an economical option for big groups on special occasions. These pads have 30th birthday and bachelorette written all over them (can you say dope Facebook photo opps?).

If architecture is your thing, historian Melody Winston of Palm Spring Tours and More will take you on a customized jaunt of all the famous mid-century mod homes, and give you quirky facts on each property (be sure to ask her about the Elvis abode). Adding a goofy guerilla factor, she'll transport you around town in her minivan! Don't judge, this is one of the most memorable things we've experienced in the city.

Room Service, 5901 West 3rd Street (near La Brea Avenue); 323-692-9221.

Melody Winston, Palm Spring Tours and More; 760-329-2204

Photo: Via Room Service.
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The Palm Springs Tramway may seem touristy, but even the locals like to take the rotating cable car up the 2 ½ miles into the mountains for 500 miles of walking and hiking trails.

The Palm Springs Tramway, One Tram Way (near North Palm Canyon Drive); 888-515-8726.

Photo: Courtesy of Starworks.
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Bet you didn't know Palm Springs had a zoo! It's beyond cool to see exotic animals set against a picturesque mountain backdrop—totally worth a trip if you're an animal lover with time.

The Living Desert, 47900 Portola Avenue (at Haystack Road); 760-346-5694.

Photo: Via The Living Desert.