Sunny Palm Springs has always been my favorite staycation destination. Only 2 hours from home, it’s the perfect last-minute getaway during the cold months in Orange County. Since we live near the coast, the Pacific winds in February until April have me bundled up and craving some warm sunshine. That is why the winter and spring seasons are perfect for escaping to Palm Springs and experiencing 80-degree climates, desert sun, and beautiful outdoor scenery.
There is still plenty to love about Palm Springs other than just its great weather. Living at sea level year-round makes me miss the mountains, and the Sonoran Desert’s tall peaks never fail to take my breath away. I also adore the mid-century modern design and the stylish hotels that line Palm Springs’ streets. There is always a new dinner place to try, or another opportunity to eat at our favorite restaurants. Downtown Palm Springs is also quite vibrant with plenty of bars and cute boutiques. Lastly, I love to hang poolside when I’m in Palm Springs. It always comes with a certain chicness that you can’t replicate anywhere else. These small details create the picture we all have of this desert oasis. It’s iconic, stylish, inclusive, and effortlessly relaxing.
Korakia - Our Hotel
In true Palm Springs fashion, I stayed with hubby and our puppy Maple at a wonderful boutique resort. This time around we chose an old favorite of ours: Korakia. We stayed at one of their beautiful suites that comes with its own living room area, kitchen, and small patio. I also should mention that Korakia is pet-friendly, which makes it easy for our little puppy to travel with us. What keeps us coming back to Korakia is its gorgeous Moroccan and Mediterranean-inspired décor. We open the door to our small patio to see the beautiful mountains and bright bougainvilleas framing our view. The beauty of this place lies in the details you see everywhere. The lobby’s antique furnishings and the property’s Moroccan gateway create truly magnetic energy. Korakia transports us to somewhere far away, almost making international travel feel right at our fingertips. It’s been over a year since my husband and I traveled far, but this California abode satisfies our craving.
The itinerary for our stay included some much-needed R&R with afternoons by the pool, time for reading, and enjoying the resort’s amenities. When we decided to venture out, we visited our usual go-to’s that we love. The experiences we’ve had traveling during the pandemic have reminded us about the importance of being present. We’re no longer interested in rushing through our daily activities or trying to hit every spot on our list. Instead, we are now more focused on creating memories. That is what meaningful travel is all about: being present, going with the flow, and always prioritizing shared experiences
Favorite Restaurants in Downtown
Downtown Palm Springs has plenty of options for shopping and dining. It has everything from casual eateries to gourmet establishments and high-end boutiques. We love to bike everywhere we go once we know the area is safe for traffic. Downtown Palm Springs is no exception and is a great place to explore on wheels. Our light bike tour in the area ended with a beautiful French/Japanese fusion spot called French Miso Café. Tucked away in an alley, the restaurant serves a delicious lunch and is surrounded by more bougainvillea. We later ordered take-out from Rooster and Pig, a favorite of ours that serves fantastic Vietnamese food. I strongly recommend this spot during your next visit.
Mid-Century Modern Homes
As previously mentioned, I love the mid-century modern design and a trip to Palm Springs wouldn’t be complete without touring some of the city’s architectural marvels. My first stop is always the Eichler Houses by renowned developer Joseph Eichler. Located in Palm Springs’ Vista Las Palmas, Old Palmas, and Movie Colony neighborhoods, these homes are beautiful examples of this style and inspired by architects Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright. One of my favorite homes to see is the famous Pink Door Guesthouse. The house’s pink door adds a bright splash of color to the building’s muted exterior and makes for a great photo. However, the home’s owners no longer allow guests to pose in front of its famous entrance, so you’ll have to enjoy it from afar.
If you’re more interested in the great outdoors, Palm Springs is just a stone’s throw away from Palm Canyon. This area has plenty of hiking trails that vary in size, and its palm trees make for great views no matter what direction you look in. We love to take advantage of the warm weather and hit a trail whenever we come to town.
We always combine our trip to Palm Springs with a stopover in beautiful Joshua Tree National Park. The park’s tall Joshua trees and impressive boulders are mesmerizing and look incredible at all times of the day. People love to come here for spiritual retreats, a moment of clarity, or simply some time alone in nature. You can’t really describe the tranquility Joshua Tree provides unless you experience it for yourself, but I can promise you that it’s really something special. Finally, the park is a fantastic place for taking photos. Even if you miss “golden hour” or sunset, twilight will still give you the best results. With so little light pollution, the stars shine extra bright at night.
Villa Kuro- Luxury AirBnB in Joshua Tree
We stayed at Villa Kuro this time around, and it was a stunning experience. This minimalist hideaway sits amidst staggering cacti and mountains. Its interior design is phenomenal and provides the perfect balance between comfort and nature retreat.
The best time to visit both Palm Springs and Joshua Tree is between the months of February and May before it gets too hot. That means you still have time to enjoy the springtime sun before the summer heat takes its toll. I’ve had such a wonderful time taking these small trips with my family over the past year or so, and our time in the desert has really been some of our favorite memories. I love the combination of luxury and nature that these destinations provide, as well as the wide variety of things to do in either place. I hope you and your loved ones find some time to visit the beautiful California desert soon and experience its powerful healing energies.