Village Fest Palm Springs

March is one of the best times to visit Palm Springs. The weather is balmy, lots of flowers are in bloom, and activities abound.  Whatever your interest may be — hiking, biking, culture, art, shopping, history, entertainment, eating or drinking — there is so much going on.  Here are some ideas about what to do in Palm Springs in March.

Month of March:  Photographs from celebrated photographer, Michael Childers, will be featured in an exhibit titled “Rockin’ Hollywood,” which opens February 29 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The exhibit features portraits of such Hollywood greats as Elton John, Cher, John Travolta, Rod Stewart, and Ringo Starr and includes the fascinating history behind the celebrities portrayed.

March 4First Wednesday Art Walk at the Backstreet Art District, 2600 Cherokee Way, from 7 to 10 p.m. Art galleries and artists’ studios are open for art lovers to enjoy original art by local, national, and international artists. This is an amazing opportunity to interact with artists and to view their paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewelry, while savoring refreshments and vibrant camaraderie.

 

March 5, 12, 19, 26: Palm Springs Villagefest is a street fair held every Thursday along Palm Canyon Drive (between Baristo and Amado roads) in downtown Palm Springs, 6 to 10 p.m. More than 180 vendors feature food, art, crafts, and entertainment. This is always a wonderful time for sampling some great food, mingling, and shopping.

March 6:  Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward will be speaking about his career and current issues. Woodward is best known for uncovering the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein in 1973. Celebrated for his investigative skills and fair, objective approach, Woodward should be a fascinating speaker. He will offer a knowledgeable perspective on what’s happening in politics today. Richards Center for the Arts, 2248 Ramon Road, 7:30 to 9:30. Tickets $30 to $150 can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/palm-springs-speaks-presents-bob-woodward-tickets-67044334409

March 7 & 8; March 21 & 22:  Desert Art Festival will be held at Frances Stevens Park, 555 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists present their works in all media for visitors to view and purchase. This beautiful setting in Uptown Palm Springs is an idyllic spot for a leisurely weekend stroll. Admission is free.

March 7Wildflower 5K Fun Run/Walk at the Civic Center, 43900 San Pablo, Palm Desert. This is a family friendly event with strollers and dogs welcomed. Registration opens at 7 a.m. and RSVPs are required. Registration fee is $30 and includes a t-shirt. RSVP at https://www.desertmountains.org/calendar/2020wf-5k-ccpark

March 9-11:  Max Von Essen is performing at the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, 6 p.m.  Max has won many awards, including a Grammy.  He has starred in the Lincoln Center’s revival of Falsettos and has appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Les Miserables. This should be a truly inspiring and entertaining performance. To purchase tickets, go to the Annenberg website (link above).

March 11:  Let’s Talk: Walk a Mile in My Shoes. Anthony Purnel, a member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, discusses the many challenges he faced during his inspiring 132-day hike from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 East Baristo Road, 6 p.m. $10 for members of the Cultural Center and $20 for non-members.

March 13-15; March 20-22: How to Survive an Apocalypse is a surprisingly delightful romantic comedy (despite the title) about a young, stylish couple who are convinced that their chic, partying lifestyle is coming to an end. They become hoarders and hunters and learn a lot about their relationship. At the Palm Springs Woman’s Club, 314 S. Cahuilla Rd. Tickets available via website (link above).

March 7, 14, 21 & 28:  The Certified Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 Baristo Road, from 8 to 12:30. This bustling outdoor market features a seasonal variety of fresh food products, craft items, and chef demonstrations.

March 27:  Palm Springs Community Drum Circle. This unique, inspiring experience is led by sound healer, Scott Meredith, and held at the Gallery at Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Drive, downtown Palm Springs. Free event.

March 29: Slim Man Rat Pack Big Band Show.  Award-winning jazz vocalist, Slim Man, leads a 17-piece big band with favorite songs from the 60s, recreating the era of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and Nat King Cole. At the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, 5-8 p.m. Tickets available at  www.slimman.com

Also keep in mind that the Palm Springs Historical Society offers a wide variety of walking and biking tours throughout March, such as tours focusing on such topics as Architecture & Glamour, Rat Pack Playground, Frank Sinatra’s Neighborhood, Modernist Treasures, Uptown Design District and many more. To see what is available and sign up, go to the society’s website (link above).

It’s getting even hotter here in Palm Springs, and I’m not just talking about the temperature. From the ashes of 2020, new establishments were born – some so new that locals haven’t even had an opportunity to try them!  Some are fancy, some are grab and go, but they’ve all got one thing in common, they’re all brand-spankin’ new and they’re all fabulous.

Quick note: *means I have personally been here and loved it!

Bar Cecil – The brand new eatery is definitely going to be one of the hottest spots around. Check out the story and pix on their website.

Gabino’s Creperie – it’s small, and maybe a tad hard to find, but doesn’t that make it pretty special? Located at the tri-corner of E. Palm Canyon, S. Palm Canyon, and Belardo. If you run into Kreem, a fabulous vegan local ice cream shop, you’re in the right neighborhood. If you’re craving a nice glass of wine, or a frosty beer stop at Dead Or Alive just a few steps north where you can also order from Gabino’s!

Gabino’s Crepe courtesy of Gabino’s

 

Kreem courtesy of Kreem

 

Dead or Alive patio photo credit Andréa Morrisette

1501 Uptown Gastropub Pub – If you’ve ever been to *Eight 4 Nine, *533 Viet Fusion or *Roly China Fusion then you know you’re in the hands of two of PS’s finest restaurateurs, Willie Rhine and Chad Gardner. Make reservations, they’ve been booked solid since they opened.

Boozehounds located at the old Dink’s space at 2080 North Palm Canyon. Beverages of every ilk, a great menu, and 4 tables set aside as work spaces. Especially for dog owners (aka bring’em).

Four Twenty Bank Dispensary and Lounge: At 38,000 square feet, it’s in the running for world’s largest dispensary and cannabis lounge. Pool tables, pinball, Zoltar! and the game Operation are just a few ways to play while enjoying your purchases.

Four Twenty Bank and Dispensary Lounge (Zoltar)

 

Vegan Clean Green Eatin’

So many people have dietary restrictions these days. Some are by choice, others for medical reasons. Whatever your reason, we’ve got you covered. All have plant-based options, and for those of you who are gluten free, just about every eatery has something for you. Including the bakeries. Here are some of the great vegan friendly places. Keep in mind that vegan doesn’t mean gluten free. Seitan is made from wheat gluten, and tempeh is made with soy, but they all still have something for everyone’s appetite.

*Palm Greens, *Nature’s Health Food Cafe, *Native Foods, *Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, *Roly China Fusion, Monsoon Indian Cuisine, Kreem

 

Wake Up Winning With These Local Coffeehouses

You likely know about *Koffi, but here are some other local roasters and coffeehouses to get your caffeine on. Cafe La Jefa   (Latina owned), Ernest Coffee, Gre Coffeehouse and Art Gallery (and they spin LPs).  Bonus points: most are within walking distance of our boutique hotels.

 

Tootin’ Terrific Tours

There’s a LOT of great hiking to be done in Palm Springs, but sometimes you just want someone else to show you around. And that’s what tours are for. And some, like the CannaBus Express Tours, will take you to places no human dares to….nah, just kidding, but you will get to go places that most will never get to see. It’s from “Root to Toot” and it’s a three-hour tour, where you’ll visit growers, distillers, distributors with a “high light” at the end, aka a dispensary lounge where you can smoke’em if you bought’em but smoking on the bus is a no-no.

CannaBus Express Tours

Indian Canyons is one of the best places to hike in Palm Springs, there are tons of different trails, but Red Jeep Walking Jeep Tours is happy to show you around. They’ve got tours of the San Andreas Fault, Joshua Tree, and more. Check’em out. Some include lunch!

If you missed Modernism Week, then PS Mod Squad has some great tours for you. It’s all about the architecture – “see the works of William Cody, Albert Frey, Hugh Kaptur, William Krisel, E. Stewart Williams and Donald Wexler along with others that have been influenced by their version of Southern California Modernism.  They’ve also got a socially distanced interior tour. Check ‘em out.

That should keep you busy for awhile! Next month, we’ll bring you more fun options because we have barely scratched the surface of all the magic that is Palm Springs. And let’s not forget those wise words from Kurt Vonnegut’s commencement speech, “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.” If you’re older than 20 then you know I just lied to you. That it was written by Kurt Vonnegut is an urban legend. Instead, it was written by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune as a speech she would have liked to give to a graduating class. Vonnegut/Schmich, the message is clear and true: Wear sunscreen.

Say, if you go to any of our hotels or enjoy our recommendations, please be sure to tag us with your photos on IG, or @palmspringspreferredsmallhotel (yeah, it’s a lot to type, but we appreciate it!)  #PSPSH

Enjoy dinner and a relaxing stay under one roof

PALM SPRINGS, California (May 24, 2018) — From June 1 to 17, dozens of the best restaurants in the Coachella Valley will participate in Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week, including five restaurants located inside Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels.

Acuzar at La Serena Villas specializes in vegan, vegetarian, and California specialties, with a modern spin. For Restaurant Week, Azucar will offer a $20 two-course lunch and $49 three-course dinner. Standouts on the special lunch menu include the La Serena Lettuce Wraps and cauliflower tacos, while the dinner menu boasts such tantalizing options as pomegranate molasses-glazed lamb chops and sunflower seed risotto stuffed zucchini.

Draughtsman at Arrive Palm Springs has put together an eclectic $20 two-course lunch, with two special burgers among the selections: the Impossible Burger, with gruyére cheese, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and vegan dijonnaise, and the Smash Burger, with American cheese, sauce, lettuce, tomato, and onion.

The elegant Melvyn’s Restaurant at Ingleside Inn has all the fine-dining bases covered on its two-course $15 lunch and three-course $39 dinner menus. At lunch, enjoy such classics as Melvyn’s Cobb Salad, Melvyn’s Burger, and elderflower panna cotta, and at dinner, try the fried brie, crab cake, Steak Diane, or chicken paillards.

Reservoir at Arrive Palm Springs says it offers an “approachable, vibrant take on modern Southern California cuisine.” For their $39 three-course dinner, diners will have several plant-based options, including sugar snap peas with arugula, fancy goat cheese, and lemon vinaigrette for a starter and roasted eggplant with corn and herbs for a main dish.

SOPA at L’Horizon Resort and Spa is known for its upscale take on American, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisines, and its show-stopping three-course $49 dinner menu boasts three mouthwatering mains to choose from: cioppino raviolo with crab pomme puree, calamari, and salt spring mussels; peri peri jidori chicken; and porchetta.

###

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is a consortium of independently owned, boutique hotels, which are an essential part of this desert resort town’s unique culture and economy. From quirky, to charming, mid-century modern to clothing optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has got your stay. Follow the fun on Facebook and Instagram.

Gorgeous rooms? Check. Relaxing spa with a variety of services? Check. A sparkling pool? Check. Restaurant with rooftop lounge and intriguing cocktails? Check.

Everything you need for the perfect Palm Springs stay is at La Serena Villas. Originally built in 1933 as a 26-unit hotel, this resort in the Historic Tennis Club neighborhood was redeveloped as a luxury hotel in 2016 by architect May Sung. The 18 secluded villas each have a private patio with a clawfoot tub, fire pit, and built-in benches, with Avenue Interior Design behind every room’s furniture, finishes, and materials.

Whispers Spa offers facials, massages, and body treatments, while Azucar restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy dining in the restaurant or sipping cocktails at Sugar High, the rooftop lounge. The hotel, owned by Lars Viklund, has a Spanish colonial feel, and is next door to one of his other properties, the Del Marcos Hotel, and across from his latest acquisition, The Three Fifty Hotel.

Two nights a week, guests at Holiday House only have to walk a few steps in order to have a delectable dinner.

The Pantry, under the leadership of Chef Gabriel Woo, has two theme nights every week: Cantina Night on Tuesdays and Fried Chicken Fridays. Inspired by a south-of-the-border fiesta, Cantina Night’s menu includes fun appetizers, like the Papitas con Limon y Chile (potato chips with lime and HH Hot Sauce), and carnitas, chicken tinga, and mushroom tacos. Seafood lovers can order the tostada de ceviche, and for dessert, there’s the indulgent dark chocolate brownie with cinnamon, chipotle, orange, and ice cream. Of course, there are also handcrafted cocktails. Cantina Night runs from 5 to 8 p.m., and reservations aren’t required, but are recommended.

On Fried Chicken Fridays, dinner is served family-style, and the menu changes slightly every week. During a recent meal, diners enjoyed the bucket of vegetables with chive dip and ranch; queso fundido; fried chicken with the chef’s special blend of savory spices; roasted garlic mashed potatoes; local corn and carrots; and for dessert, dark chocolate brownies with peanut butter and ice cream, topped with a Valrhona chocolate sauce. There is limited seating, and reservations are required.

The Pantry is open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., serving lunch and brunch staples, and the full bar doesn’t close until 11 p.m. nightly. As part of a Holiday House stay, guests receive a complimentary breakfast, including pastries, yogurt, granola, and fruit.

Good news for people who want to try The Pantry, but aren’t staying at the hotel — you can still dine at the restaurant, you just need to make reservations in advance: 760-320-8866.

The Pantry is 21 and over.

One of the best parts of travel to Europe is waking up to a special breakfast served at a small, boutique hotel. The thought put into these unique and mouth-watering breakfasts, along with a perfect cup of coffee or cappuccino, never fails to excite me.

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, with its abundance of inns ranging from around 10 rooms to almost 50, offers the opportunity to experience that special treat each morning. My fellow travel writer and I experienced some of these thoughtfully prepared breakfasts on a recent trip.

 

Grapefruit rosemary pound cake

La Maison’s very French setting provides that awakening cappuccino, juice, and homemade Grapefruit Rosemary Loaf lovingly baked by the owner, Cornelia Schuster. As you bite into the deliciously buttery and slightly tart loaf with just a hint of rosemary, you know you are in for a treat. Along with her husband, Richard Slosky, they aim to delight their guests and even offer brandy and macarons in the afternoon.

 

Monkey Tree Hotel Green Eggs and Ham Deviled Eggs

Nestled against the San Jacinto Mountains and designed by renowned architect Albert Frey, Gary and Kathy Friedle have carefully restored The Monkey Tree Hotel, a 16-room boutique inn. Here you will again find that European charm orchestrated at breakfast by Gary. He is a master at creating unique small bites to savor along with a special coffee blend created just for them by Coachella Valley Roasters. Ask for vegan or vegetarian breakfast if that is your desire. We sampled savory tarts, homemade banana bread, Nutella made from scratch, and refreshing watermelon gazpacho shooters all to awake our palate for the day.

Eggs, Peppers, Cream Cheese @ Rendezvous

The 10-room 1950’s themed Palm Springs Rendezvous also boasts a manager, Wayne, who creates a healthy fruit smoothie each morning accompanied by a yogurt parfait of seasonally fresh berries. In addition, I was welcomed with his golden brown French Toast. Another day, I was greeted with savory, thinly sliced ham molded in a muffin tin and topped with roasted red peppers, cream cheese, and eggs. Ask for the Pretty in Pink room where Marilyn Monroe stayed.

 

Cheeky's Bacon Sampler

Around the corner from Alcazar Palm Springs inn, located in the Uptown Design District, is Cheeky’s Restaurant, owned and managed by local chef, restaurateur and hotelier Tara Lazar. The menu offers something for everyone. Check out the World Famous Bacon Flight as well as fresh juices and seasonal items. I tried the Blondie’s Eggs Benedict featuring a zesty cheddar scone and poached eggs cooked to perfection. We loved the outdoor patio area, but if that is too warm, there is a bright and cheery inside area, too.

 

Avocado Toast @ Grand Central

While not a boutique hotel, I must mention Grand Central located in the center of Palm Springs. Owners John Diskin and Rita M. Capponi converted an old department store into a diner with a clock reminiscent of Grand Central Station where the two would meet after work. Don’t miss the three standard-sized Mimosas for $20. Try the Avocado Toast on grilled brioche and topped with a poached egg or either one of the French Toasts, one savory and one sweet. Fresh fruit adorns all plates.

These five breakfast places will be the start of a fabulous day and a fabulous stay.

 

Linda Milks, contributorLinda Milks, of Toasting Food Wine and Travel explores all that is food, wine, and travel with a hearty supply of curiosity and enjoyment. Connecting with people to learn about their activities, environment, culture, food and wine inspire her to write for others and rouse an interest in discovering new horizons. Sometimes it’s the hidden gems that bring Linda the most joy.

Walking into the Palm Springs Rendezvous, blogger Jan Smith was taken aback by the hotel’s “timeless elegance.” Her visit only got better when she learned she would be staying in the “Pretty in Pink” room, where Marilyn Monroe would spend the night during her visits to Palm Springs.

In Chicago, St. Patrick’s Day is such a huge deal — they dye the Chicago River green and have a huge parade, then everyone does a pub crawl, downing Jameson shots with green beer chasers, before going home and calling in sick the next day.

At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Palm Springs loves a good parade, which is why, on St. Patrick’s Day, we don’t have one. No parade worth its floats wants to follow Pride. (Yes, Pride was in November, but it was a party!)

So, no parade, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t pubs to celebrate that 2% of Irish your DNA results revealed. We’ve got Shamrocks Irish Pub, and … that concludes our tour of Irish pubs in Palm Springs.

Inside Shamrocks Irish Pub. Photo courtesy of Shamrocks

We do, however, have a few places where you can chow down on corned beef and cabbage (C&C), the Americanized version of the meal the Irish consume on the day (in Ireland, it’s all about pork and potatoes).

Here are a few definite hits for the boiled delight, and a few that have celebrated in the past (a.k.a. may or may not this year).

Hits

Sherman’s Deli — The corned beef is always tender, and there’s not much you can do to hurt a cabbage.

Manhattan in the Desert — Located on the south end of Palm Springs, these guys make corned beef and cabbage on the regular menu.

Welcome to Manhattan in the Desert. Photo courtesy of Manhattan in the Desert

Village Pub — This multilevel party place has had some pretty swinging St. Paddy’s days in the past. This year the party goes from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.

Palm Canyon Roadhouse — On Palm Canyon just southeast of Ramon Rd., this rock ‘n roll old school playground will have corned beef and cabbage on 3/17, as well as entertainment. I am not linking their website because they’ve been hacked, and unless you have a need for OTC Viagra, it’s currently useless. Link takes you to FB (which, in the grand scheme of things, is not much safer).

Agua Caliente Casino — Check with the steakhouse for C&C (not yet listed) but they DO have music in the form of Lee Rainey and the Midnight Players.

Near hits

Paul Bar — This little gem is a local treasure. Hidden in a not-so-tidy strip mall on the corner of Gene Autry and Vista Chino, they have served C&C in the past. Don’t let the lack of curb appeal fool you, the inside is as classy as you can get.

Paul Bar. Photo: Kay Kudukis

And that, my friends, pretty much covers it, unless you want to make your own celebration; then, try some karaoke where you can belt out “Danny Boy” or “My Wild Irish Rose” until the other patrons throw shamrocks at you.

Don’t forget to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, though; it’s worn to keep you safe from those pesky, pinching leprechauns Palm Springs is known for (they’re not).

Happy Irish Day everyone!

Staying at Arrive Palm Springs was everything blogger Mary Farah hoped it would be — her room was spacious, the pool was just steps away, and she was able to kick back and relax in the desert heat.