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Tour Guide: Sarah Yates, photographer, chef, designer
City: Palm Springs
Sarah Yates has never had an office job, but that doesn't mean she can't appreciate the luxury of designing her schedule and having total creative freedom over her projects. She started lifestyle site A House In The Hills as a way to indulge her interests outside of wedding photography. Within a year of doling out recipes on the perfect gluten-free tacos and advice on what to wear in scorching desert heat, the site became her full-time gig.
"Every day is an adventure, and I'm constantly finding new ways to challenge myself. My next big hurdle is learning to shoot video. I'm a photographer, so asking me to produce video is like asking a painter to sculpt. I'm a perfectionist, though, so I won't quit until I've got it down."
First stop, home-stalking Frank Sinatra Drive
"Palm Springs has a ton of amazing, midcentury architecture. The Rat Pack guys and Marilyn Monroe had houses here back in the day. My husband and I love to bike around, see the beautiful homes, and imagine who might've lived there."
Next stop, lounging at home
"We have the ultimate party house. The house-flipper just had fabulous taste. The one thing we brought in was a hammock. We had all this extra space and wanted to create a sort of chill zone. We have a fire pit, a pool, and an outdoor bar. I love to watch people hang out on the hammock while I grill or through the nano window while I fix drinks in the kitchen."
"Last year for my husband's birthday, friends flew in from all over the country. We had our friend who owns this amazing company, A MIHO Experience, cater the event. And, it was just a rowdy, ridiculous time. In the summer, we spend all our free time in the pool, because it just gets SO hot. If you don't have a pool, you hang out at The Ace or The Parker Palm Springs."
The Ace Hotel, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-325-9900; The Parker Palm Springs, 4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-770-5000.
"When I was 21, I took a three-week trip to Thailand by myself. My parents weren't too happy with the idea, but it started my love affair with travel and put me on a path to self-discovery that I'm still pursuing. Now, my personal style and my home decor are both defined by my love for exotic places. I've found that incorporating an eclectic mix of things I love into my style and my home reflects the things that are important to me."