Last weekend, I went to California for four nights. I said this on the podcast but wow – it was so much fun to take a proper TRIP, to see and do new things, to fly across the country… all of it! We spent three nights in La Quinta/Palm Springs (we were lucky enough to have a free place to stay at my friend’s friends’ house in La Quinta) and a night at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel (it had been on my bucket list – will have a post about that soon, too!).
La Quinta + Palm Springs
I’d never been to La Quinta before but absolutely loved it. It’s about 30 minutes away from Palm Springs. I kind of felt like La Quinta is to Palm Springs as Montecito is to Santa Barbara? Could be totally off base there but that was my take! Renting a house was so nice – we cooked all our meals except for dinners out, plus we had access to our own pool. Palm Springs has so many fun hotels and I’ve done that before… it was nice to have our own more secluded space.
Before I left, I sourced recommendations for Palm Springs from all of you. Now that I’m back… here is the google doc with our itinerary + all of the recommendations I got from you at the bottom. We didn’t stick to our itinerary in full (on Sunday we opted to just laze around the pool all day) but I think this doc would be super helpful for anyone planning a trip.
Also, a reminder about my travel guides! I keep these up to date as I go places. (It’s been a minute, right?). It’s nice having every blog post and recommendation about a destination in one place. I’ve updated my Palm Springs travel guide with what we did on this trip. The guide also features favs from previous trips. (If you’re planning a trip, this post would also be helpful!)
I reviewed it in my reading list yesterday, but People We Meet on Vacation was such a fun book. I loved that it was also (partially) set in Palm Springs
On Saturday, we visited the Joshua Tree.
We did a really basic hike but wow. It was truly like nothing I’d ever seen! We did a short (one mile-ish) walk/hike which was incredible but really, just driving through the park and seeing all the rock formations was incredible.
Look at those petroglyphs – SO cool!
After visiting Joshua Tree, we drove to Monument House (really close nearby) and then drove through Pioneer Town. Monument House is also known as Schweitzer House. It was designed by Josh Schweitzer as a retreat for friends and family back in 1990. Right now it’s vacant. If you visit Joshua Tree, it’s SO close – I’d definitely recommend stopping by!
Where we ate:
We had three really amazing dinners. I can’t stress this enough: make reservations before you go. We booked our trip a week in advance (as a planner I don’t recommend this!) and couldn’t get reservations everywhere. Birba, for example, was booked solid.
Adobe Grill is in La Quinta (in the La Quinta Resort) and was pretty delicious.
I had fajitas, my friend had their Adobe Combinacion (adding on the mole sauce), and we got the giant margaritas. We split the tuna tostada.
Workshop was a big blog reader fav.
So many of you recommended it! We had a really nice bottle of wine, split the scarlet runner beans and the citrus salad, and our server told us that the steak would be the best steak we ever had. I feel like that’s a pretty grand statement (I’ve had a lot of great steaks but am not a connoisseur), but it was excellent. It came topped with bone marrow butter which may be a turnoff to some but I really loved. Everything we had was absolutely delicious.
Mr. Lyons came highly recommended by one of my best friends and did not disappoint.
I would say that it was probably our fanciest meal of the trip? I mean, even the decor was just amazing. We had dirty martinis (blue cheese stuffed olives!) and a lot of food. I really loved the Hamachi crudo in particular. For my entree I had the striped bass.
This was such a short but fun little adventure. I can’t wait to go back!
Looks like so much fun! ❤️✨
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Love this!! I just got back from a trip to LA this weekend.. it was so nice. Crazy to think what life was like this time last year. Definitely want to make it to Palm Springs sometime.
I know!!! I felt the same. It felt so surreal!
I’m heading to Palm Springs next week and am taking notes on this post and your travel guide – thank you so much for pulling together these recommendations!
So glad! Have FUN!
Looks gorgeous and so much fun!! This has nothing to do with your post but saw this necklace and thought of you –
Oh thank you for sharing!
What a gorgeous place x
Lisa | lisaautumn.com
Did you rent a car to get around or Uber? Heading there in a month and trying to figure out what to do (especially with wanting to go to Joshue Tree NP). Thanks!
You absolutely need a car, especially if you’re going to Joshua Tree. Have fun!