This stylish oasis in California’s Coachella Valley offers year-round sunshine, hip hotels and exciting desert adventures just two hours from Downtown Los Angeles
Day 1: Art and Architecture
Morning: Palm Springs has been the go-to escape for Hollywood’s brightest stars since the 1920s, and the P.S. Walk With Me tour of Las Palmas with local guide, Jade Nelson, offers an intriguing glimpse into the luxury lifestyles of the city’s famous residents, from the golden era to now.
From Elizabeth Taylor’s lavish four-bedroomed estate, Casa Elizabeth, to Leonardo di Caprio’s discreet Hermosa Place home, Jade’s tour is a great introduction to the 1950s and ’60s mid-century modern architecture that gives Palm Springs its iconic, cool vibe.
Afternoon: Head to East Palm Canyon Drive’s culinary gem, 533 Viet Fusion for delicious Asian curry, pho noodle soup, fresh salad or crepes.
Jump on The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – the world’s largest rotating tram car – for an exciting journey through the Chino Canyon. The hiking trails of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park await, with breathtaking views of the Coachella Valley, over 8,500 feet below.
Evening: Join the locals for Palm Springs’ weekly street party, VillageFest, which runs three blocks along Palm Canyon Drive every Thursday evening until 10pm. With entertainment and 180 vendors showcasing art, design, fashion and food – including Destination PSP with its unique range of Palm Springs branded gifts – it’s a fun, laid-back way to shop in style.
Day 2: Deserts and dining
Morning: Leave the city behind and head into the desert on a Big Red Jeep with Desert Adventures. The Indian Canyons Jeep and Hiking Tour explores the ancestral lands of the Cahuilla Indians, while the San Andreas Fault Tour takes visitors safely through the famous earthquake zone, and the Joshua Tree National Park Tour reveals the stunning landscapes of the Mojave Desert.
Afternoon: 360 days of sunshine a year offer plenty of opportunity for al-fresco fun. Lunch at the family-run Las Casuelas Terraza, which serves authentic Mexican cuisine, then indulge in Palm Springs’ favourite activity – lounging around the pool. The Ace Hotel & Swim Club is a hip spot for a cocktail as the sun drops behind the San Jacinto Mountains, or The Saguaro has one of Palm Springs largest pools, surrounded by multi-coloured buildings in candy shades.
Evening: You’ll find plenty of fabulous places to dine in Palm Springs, from glitzy eateries in the Uptown Design District like Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge to relaxed, Downtown patios like Zin American Bistro.
To sleep, choose one of the city’s luxe resorts, or a stylish boutique property like The Weekend. This tranquil, retro escape in a beautifully refurbished mid-century modern motel, offers one- and two-bedroom villas set around a sunny courtyard with a turquoise pool, made for sipping martinis. Chin, chin!
Book it with... America As You Like It
The eight-day Coast to Mountains, Santa Monica and Palm Springs trip encompasses beach and desert from £1,280pp with flights and car hire. americaasyoulikeit.com