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.

We’ve been watching the weather and see snowflakes are starting to fly in many parts of the country. While we’re not fortune tellers, we can tell you a sure way to avoid some of the winter snow: come visit Palm Springs, California, where the sun shines 350 days a year. 

Our pools are heated, and most assuredly, you will find palm trees nearby to take the perfect picture to send back home to your friends. If you want a cocktail in your hand for the photo while you are relaxing, that can be arranged, too.

We may be a little prejudiced, but we think one of our more than 70 boutique hotels will meet the vision you had in your head of a winter getaway. The official definition of a boutique hotel is 50 rooms or less. However, when you start looking, you will discover Palm Springs has many small hotels with under 20 rooms. One of the more intimate hotels was once the home of movie star Gloria Swanson. Now called Amin Casa, it has one studio; four private bungalows with full kitchens, living areas, and bedrooms; and Swanson’s original residence, a premier space with a grand living area and historic stone fireplace.

Our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website is the place to start your exploration, and here’s why:

1. Honest descriptions of our hotels

Journalists and travel writers have written the descriptions of our hotels, so you won’t read hyped-up marketing speak on our site. We strive to tell it like it is and often interview the property managers and owners, so what you read is what you can expect to experience once you arrive at your hotel.

The beautiful pool at Amin Casa. Photo courtesy of Amin Casa

2. A search tool that works

Whether you’re looking for a gay men’s clothing-optional resort, a hotel where you can bring your dog, or a property with a spa, all you have to do is put the specific term in our search bar and you’ll find what you’re looking for. Speaking of bringing your pup to Palm Springs, this is a very dog-friendly town, and you can take Fido just about everywhere. It’s not unheard of to arrive at a hotel and see a welcome sign waiting for Fido at the registration desk. By the way — be ready to find water bowls in front of storefronts and cashiers asking if your dog can have one of the treats carefully hidden behind the counter. 

3. Dining and shopping recommendations from insiders

With no empty storefronts, this town is thriving, and new shops are enticing visitors and residents alike. Our Boutiquely Palm Springs blog may help you decide where to start, but be aware that it can be hard even for locals to keep up with our ever-changing town, so you may discover some locally owned shops that just popped up.

Our food scene is also attracting some of the finest chefs in the nation, who know sophisticated foodies from all over the world flock to Palm Springs — and they are not about to disappoint. Our bloggers are writing in depth about restaurants and chefs, making our site is an excellent place to start researching restaurants that serve your favorite cuisine.

Everyone — dogs included — love shopping in Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

4. Extensive event guides to find out what’s happening in town

With the busy season starting, you will want to check out the many attractions open and special events taking place in our city during your stay. Our blog has comprehensive articles about everything from Pride and Modernism Week to the best hiking trails in the desert. In addition, you will find articles written about lesser-known places you might want to visit.

5. Maps to show you the way

The Palm Springs International Airport is only about two miles from downtown. The Coachella Valley, home to Palm Springs and eight other cities, is 45 miles long, and some destinations are pretty far from the airport — Indio, for example, is 20 miles away. If you’re not renting a car, you can see why our proximity to the airport is a superb reason to stay nearby. The Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website has a map that shows all of our hotels in relation to the airport, as well as landmarks, attractions, and neighborhoods.

Cruising up to the Palm Springs International Airport in style. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

There is so much to explore in our area, and some planning can help ensure you have a stress-free vacation. Doesn’t it sound easy to sit in your comfy chair at home, favorite drink in hand, and use our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website to plan your dream vacation?

Get to your favorite Palm Springs Boutique hotel faster than ever.

Five major airlines have announced expanded services at Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) just since May of 2018 to accommodate the 2.2 million total passengers estimated in the coming year.

Some hotels, with staff always dedicated to excellent service, will even pick up and drop off at the airport.  Be sure to ask if you need a ride.

Guidelines for Palm Springs Visitors

With temperatures in the 70s and the sun shining brightly, we are welcoming visitors who need to travel for essential reasons. There are restrictions you need to aware of as of December 11, 2020.

According to the state of California’s Public Health Department, essential reasons for travel include “work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.”

As you drive into town, you will see this banner across our main throughways into town. We local citizens are doing a great job of wearing masks and social distancing. We ask our visitors to honor us by doing the same.

Boutique Hotels

Unfortunately, our quaint and inviting hotels are not open except for essential Covid mitigation. At this time, we have no way of knowing if this restriction will remain in place after December 27, 2020. If a member of your household is at risk or has been exposed to Covid, you may safely seek shelter at one of the hotels.

Shopping

Retail stores are open. However, they are at 20% capacity. The good news is you can be sure of your safety in the store, for social distancing and masks are required.  You will want to call and check on hours for stores are adjusting their hours to accommodate the flow of traffic.

Dining

Hopefully, you have been here before and know which are your favorite restaurants, because the only way you can enjoy their food is by curbside pick-up or delivery service. The City of Palm Springs just passed a new ordinance that cut the delivery service’s amount and enhanced the amount the restaurant will get from your purchase.

At least through December 27, 2020, there is no outside or indoor dining.

Art and Museums

Unfortunately, museums remain closed. However, we have over 70 public art installations in Palm Springs. There is nothing like taking the paths less traveled downtown and finding them in unexpected places, like behind the Desert Art Center, located on Palm Canyon Drive.

Thursday Night Street Fair

This fun and engaging activity remains closed until further notice.

Certified Saturday Market

Located on the grounds of the Palm Springs Cultural Center, the vendors continue to provide farm-fresh produce.

Hiking

Palm Springs is renowned as a community of great hiking with spectacular views. Trails are open and attract hikers of all degrees of endurance. These hikes also offer the possible chance of seeing our famous mountain sheep. A reminder: Take plenty of water with you and wear a hat. Our sun here is hotter than you might think.

Walks and Bicycling

Each of our neighborhoods takes on its unique kind of personality. Old Las Palmas provides you with a look at mansions built in the late 40s and 50s. Gigantic palm trees and lush plants thrive in the desert air. A walk through the Movie Colony is always enjoyable.

Bike paths are prevalent in Palm Springs. You may want to rent a bike, so you can explore our many streets and view our palatial residents and modernism style homes.

Many of our attractions are closed. Yet, we local citizens never get tired of the sunrises as we sip our coffee in the morning, the sun dancing on the mountains during the day, or cocktails as we watch the sun setting behind these glorious mountains in Palm Springs.

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.

If you’re looking to plan the ultimate boys gaycation weekend with your besties, there’s no doubt that Palm Springs, California, is on your short list of places to go. It’s one of the few LGBTQ+ safe havens in the country that caters to the queer community year-round — and it’s a mid-century modern desert oasis of fun in the sun. In fact, the entire Coachella Valley is one of the most welcoming places for you and your boys to stay, play, and slay (yaaass, queen).

Ready to start making an itinerary? Here are a few of my suggestions for Palm Springs boutique hotels, restaurants, and activities:

Stay

Santiago Resort

The intimate and luxurious Santiago Resort is a paradise for men if you and your boys want to let down your guard – and your swimwear. If you haven’t yet experienced a saltwater (saline) pool, you’re in for a genuine treat at this ever-popular clothing-optional resort. If they happen to be all booked up, check out their brother resort Descanso for a similarly sophisticated experience. From their complimentary poolside lunch to the new friends you’ll meet poolside, you won’t want to stay anywhere that isn’t clothing-optional again after this.

The Santiago Resort at dusk. Photo courtesy of the Santiago Resort

INNdulge Palm Springs

INNdulge is a popular men’s resort in the Warm Sands district of Palm Springs, with a 24-hour heated saltwater pool and 12-man jacuzzi. It’s a more economical option as well if you and the boys are on a budget (or holding out for more of the fun stuff). They have 25 years of experience assisting men with their first time at a clothing-optional resort, but you can also watch the alluring videos on their website in advance if you’re curious.

The INNdulge grounds. Photo courtesy of INNdulge

Desert Paradise Resort Hotel

The Desert Paradise Resort Hotel is an intimate 12-room boutique hotel that strives to go above and beyond for their guests from check in to check out. Also conveniently located in the Warm Sands district, Desert Paradise is a beautiful, relaxing option for an attitude-free atmosphere with spectacular views.

The Desert Paradise’s pool and spa area. Photo courtesy of Desert Paradise

Eat

Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge

From its chic, colorful interior to fantastic music playlist, Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge is a must for any first-timer’s boys weekend. Their New American cuisine is as contemporary as their Pop Art atmosphere, and it’s a great option for brunch, lunch, happy hour, and/or dinner. It even has Miley Cyrus’ seal of approval, so need I say more?

Grab a drink at Eight4Nine. Photo courtesy of Eight4Nine

AsiaSF Palm Springs

Now with their second location right here in Palm Springs, AsiaSF is a cabaret dinner show that has been dazzling audiences for 23 years in San Francisco. Think of this as an elevated drag show, with the exception that all AsiaSF performers are transgender women, bringing the house down each night with legendary lip syncs, light shows, and choreography. Their Asian-fusion three-course meals are as memorable as their performers as well, so it’s truly a feast for the senses!

Blackbook Bar & Kitchen

Blackbook is located in the heart of the Arenas district and has a reputation among locals for having the best bar food in Palm Springs. It’s a great place to meet new friends during happy hour — and a great place to sober up if you’re bar-hopping throughout Arenas’ many gay watering holes. Try the cheese-stuffed Juicy Lucy burger (or the Juicy Lucifer if you want to add some heat).

Experience

Drag shows

What would a boys weekend be without drag shows, hunty? Luckily, there are drag shows all throughout the greater Palm Springs area. Drag brunch is a must, so check out the Mile High Boozy Brunch at PS Air Bar & Lounge, a playful airline-themed speakeasy inside the Bouschet wine store. Then check out Vanity’s Doll Haus every Friday night at One Eleven Bar in Cathedral City. You might even catch a Drag Race Ru Gurl there now and again. Here’s a complete list of drag shows from Gay Desert Guide for more ideas. Shantay, you stay!

MOGO Silent Disco

MOGO Silent Disco is Palm Springs’ latest event where you and the boys can turn up the volume on your headsets and dance your a**es off on a private parade through downtown. Kaftans, sequins, and stunning outfits are always encouraged!

Sunday Funday

Everything gay happens here in Palm Springs on Sunday, which is why the locals call it “Sunday Funday.” Start the day with drag brunch, naturally. Then lounge by the hotel pool or crash a pool party until it’s time for Oscar’s legendary tea dance. After you’ve had enough disco, strap on some leather gear and head on over to the Barracks for their legendary Beer Bust.

Explore

Mid-century modern tours

If you’re as big of a fan of mid-century modern as I am, consider Palm Springs Mod Squad Tours or Mid-Century Modern Tours. If a self-guided tour is more your jam, you and the boys can caravan around some iconic mid-century modern neighborhoods with The Palm Springs Guys’ MCM Architecture Self-Guided Tour Guide (Google Maps GPS-ready!). As a bonus, there are always open houses worth checking out here on the weekends that will have you feeling like you’re at Modernism Week.

The mid-century modern Visitors Center. Photo by Arthur Coleman Photography

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

If you’re looking to cool down, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs up two-and-a-half-miles of Chino Canyon cliffs to the top of Mt. San Jacinto State Park — an elevation of 8,516 feet and temperature drop of nearly 20 degrees. This is the self-described “world’s largest rotating tram car” and riders enjoy spectacular views of the panoramic valleys below. There are 50+ miles of trails — after a hike through the butterscotch-scented Jeffrey pines, take to the observation decks for happy hour before a nice dinner at Peaks Restaurant.

Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum has an incredible collection of 12,000 works of modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design, and is always inspiring to see. So are the installations surrounding the property, like Palm Springs Babies and the 26-foot sculpture of Marilyn Monroe located directly in front of the museum.

When your ultimate boys weekend in Palm Springs comes to an end, you’ll leave with plenty of memories and photos to post on the Gram — be sure to tag them with #gaycation and #ilovegaypalmsprings.

Marilyn Monroe in all of her glory. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Palm Springs’ busy season is underway, with great events happening during the month of November!

Greater Palm Springs Pride  11/1-3

This popular LGBTQ festival brings the community together for free events that celebrate diversity, equality and solidarity, including live musical performances, a block party and a parade, as well as a number of events that are new this year, including the Art of Pride party at Palm Springs Art Museum (https://www.psmuseum.org/events/art-of-pride-2019) and the Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical at the Palm Canyon Theater in Palm Springs. (http://www.palmcanyontheatre.org/event/341b41a6bbd15534351787458f468456)

http://www/pspride.com

Greater Palm Springs Pride parade

 

Palm Springs Vintage Market  11/3

The monthly Palm Springs Vintage Market, held at the Palm Springs Cultural Center on the first Sunday of the month from October through May, features vintage furniture, decor, art, clothing, jewelry and more from local and national vendors, as well as delicious food (try the Heyday burger!) and live entertainment. http://www.palmspringsvintagemarket.com

Vintage Market

 

Amazing Grace Gospel Brunch  11/9

Enjoy gospel music and brunch (including a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar!) in the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Meyerman Sculpture Garden before heading into the museum’s Annenberg Theater for a special showing of the Aretha Franklin performance documentary, Amazing Grace.

https://www.psmuseum.org/events/amazing-grace?date=2019-11-09

Amazing Grace - Aretha Franklin

 

Alohana: A Palm Springs Celebration of Tiki Culture  11/9

Tiki lovers will not want to miss this new event at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, featuring a tiki marketplace, hula performance and hula lessons, a tiki culture history talk, musical performances, and a special interactive screening of the film “South Pacific.” https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alohana-a-palm-springs-celebration-of-tiki-culture-tickets-75943851103

Alohana flyer

 

Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival  11/23

Props & Hops returns for its eighth annual celebration of craft beer and aircrafts at the Palm Springs Air Museum, featuring beer tastings from local breweries including Desert Beer Company, Coachella Valley Brewing and La Quinta Brewing Co., as well as top breweries from across the country. Attendees can participate in aircraft rides over Palm Springs in vintage planes.

https://palmspringsairmuseum.org/programs/8th-annual-props-hops-craft-beer-festival/

Palm Springs Air Museum Props and Hops Festival

By Mary Farah

Valentine’s Day road trip, anyone? I’m that person who is a sucker for Valentine’s Day. While long gone are the days of exchanging “Be Mine” valentines, I love the chance to get away with my husband. With the pressure of the winter holidays behind us, Palm Springs is an ideal weekend destination for us as we’re under two hours from home in Los Angeles.

Get an Aerial view of Palm Springs 

One of the beauties of a drive out to Palm Springs is hitting the road mid-morning (hit that snooze button one more time) yet arriving in town by the afternoon. A terrific first stop is to the world’s largest rotating tramcar at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Ascend almost three miles to a gorgeous alpine forest and take in the spectacular views of Mt. San Jacinto State Park as you enjoy an intimate lunch at their Forest View Restaurant, or cocktails at the Lookout Lounge. If you and your honey prefer to get down and dirty with a hike, enjoy over 50 miles of trails.

Check in to ARRIVE

For a unique hotel that’s both modern and personable, look no further than ARRIVE. A 21 and over Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel, ARRIVE is not your usual hotel. Check-in is at the pool bar, guests can reach the concierge via text, and their pool offers a lively atmosphere often with DJ’s or movie nights.

Best part? On-site at ARRIVE is Wexler’s Deli, a marvelous diner that made it tempting to stay at the hotel and chill on our patio with their smoked meat dishes; Cartel Coffee Lab, making it extremely easy to roll out of bed and get that first cup of caffeine; Draughtsman, an incredible BBQ house that will make you drool and last but not least, Ice Cream and Shop(pe).

With such an impressive option of meals and light bites, it’s no surprise why we love it at ARRIVE.

Other romantic retreat boutique hotels in Palm Springs include:

La Maison: Consistently voted one of the most romantic hotels in the country by TripAdvisor, the beautifully intimate La Maison is a dream getaway.

Dive:  This 11-room resort conjures the timeless style of St. Tropez with its elegant rooms and lush grounds.

La Serena Villas: Originally built in 1933, this romantically historic hotel sits on over an acre of beautiful landscaped grounds in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.

Ingleside Inn offers a special Valentine’s Day brunch and a decadent 3-course dinner menu crafted with love, including live music.

Enjoy a Night “on the town” at the Palm Springs Art Museum

Not only does the Palm Springs Art Museum display a diversity of beautiful art, but also Cabaret and Broadway performances at their Annenberg Theatre. Just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend, enjoy an evening with Broadway performer, Tony Yazbeck. Best known for his Astaire Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated role in On the Town, Yazbeck will be bringing his suave dance moves and smooth vocals to the museum on February 15th, an ideal evening for theatre lovers like myself.

More Evening Fun

Consider Mr. Lyon’s Steakhouse for a cozy meal for two at a candle-lit table, and don’t miss Seymour’s, their speakeasy, open nightly for an expertly crafted cocktail. If you love a great Old Hollywood atmosphere, head on over to the Purple Room. The urban legend is this is the club where an RCA executive first signed Frank Sinatra and the boys to conceive the Rat Pack. Owner of the Purple Room, Michael Holmes, never keeps it dull with weekly performances on stage at the restaurant as Judy Garland and Old Blue Eyes himself.

Where will Valentine’s Day take you in Palm Springs?

Vibe Style and Design

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced during this ongoing pandemic is gathering our families in a safe setting. So here is a great idea. When we are allowed to safely travel again, why not consider bringing your family to one of the lovely small boutique hotels in the Palm Springs?

Recently, representatives from several of these hotels shared their experiences and thoughts with me about planning gatherings of families and close friends.

Many of these hotels encourage guests to buy out the entire hotel. There are many advantages to a buyout, such as knowing you are with a familiar group (your own “bubble”) while not interacting with strangers. You can also relax with confidence knowing that the hotels have taken all kinds of protective measures so that your stay is safe. At the same time, you can enjoy the beautiful Palm Springs setting.

Since the start of the pandemic, Dive (playfully decorated in a St. Tropez style) has hosted more than a dozen gatherings of families and close friends. Like many small hotels, it is well designed to accommodate small groups. Guests can enjoy spacious outdoor gardens, pools, multiple lounging areas, and fountains spread across a half-acre lot, making socially distancing easy and comfortable. Dive, which has 11 rooms, welcomes small groups, but if you need more than five rooms, the hotel requires a full buyout, which means you would have exclusive access to the property and a dedicated staff for support.

The Weekend, a small, mid-century modern hotel, where I have stayed and which I love, has ten deluxe suites, most with two bedrooms and two baths, along with living rooms, kitchens, and patios.  During the pandemic, the owners prefer that the entire hotel be bought out so you will not encounter other guests besides your family members.

One advantage at The Weekend and most other small boutique hotels is there are no hallways or elevators and the rooms open directly to the pool so there are plenty of opportunities for social distancing.

Both Hotel El Cid and The Marley (sister hotels) are private boutique hotels that rent to only one group at a time so they are perfect for families or close friends. They are also lovingly decorated and totally luxurious. The Marley has nine bedrooms and El Cid has seven bedrooms.  Both hotels are completely walled and gated for total privacy. Each hotel has full kitchens that allow guests to cook for themselves or groups can bring in professional chefs

Dining options are varied but ample at most of the small hotels. The Weekend delivers a lavish continental breakfast to each suite every morning. Their suites have a kitchen (no stove) with a full-sized refrigerator, ice maker, and four-seat dining room table. At Dive, two amazing chefs are available to support whatever dining needs guests have. In addition, each guest receives a complimentary organic breakfast each morning. During the current Covid situation, all food and drinks are served in single-use containers to ensure guests’ safety.

The safety and well-being of guests are the top priorities at the PSPSH hotels. Each hotel has enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures in place. All staff members are equipped with proper PPE — sanitizers, gloves, and masks. At The Weekend, staff members have daily temperature checks.  At all the hotels, guests are asked to wear masks coming and going from the hotel and to socially distance while relaxing at poolside. Outside visitors are not allowed.

So many of us have been mostly confined to our own homes for the last many months and, if you are like me, you are chomping at the bit to get out and start traveling again. Staying at a small boutique hotel is an ideal way to reconnect with close family members and friends while enjoying a luxurious setting in a fabulous location. Even if you live close to Palm Springs, you will feel as if you have really gotten away. Just go to the PSPSH website to find out when hotels are open and then you can explore the many enticing options for small groups in Palm Springs.

Sometimes, a girl just needs to shop. And sometimes a girl only has a few shekels to spare (at least that has been this girl’s experience.) For me, nothing is more satisfying than finding a treasure at a bargain price. And to-be-found treasures abound in Greater Palm Springs. Take it from the groaning rod in my closet. (That is lowercase “rod” and not a euphemism, people; eyes up here.)

There are some very tony enclaves in our little valley, and those fashionistas will donate items that have often only been worn once, and sometimes not at all. They write it off and you get to score. The old win/win.

Add to that, repurposing is the new green. Instead of purchasing so-so made items from foreign countries, buy well-made, time-told, one-of-a-kind items that no one else will have (you’re an original!). This is good for the planet, and we’ve only got one of those.

First up are the thrift stores, the real bargaineers out there. With the exception of Revivals, most of them are not label checkers, so if you do some digging, you can often find some fashion items on the cheap.

Second, and aptly, we have the second-hand stores that know what they’ve got. And they’ve got some pretty cool stuff. Almost all of them are an eclectic mix of everything, but some (like Iconic Atomic) are mostly retro fashions.

And finally, vinyl. Because you just bought an old-timey turntable and you need some 33s. At least that’s what I did. Just a cheap suitcase turntable, but it sure does take me back to the angst of my youth. Ah…memories. Better to listen to them on vinyl, and evoke good memories than wait for bedtime when all those bad decisions you made in your 20s flood your dreams. Just me?

Revivals. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Thrift stores:

Revivals

For the past 13 years, Wil Stiles has donated its unsold seasonal stock to Revivals Thrift Store. They’re savvy and know what they’ve got, but it’s still a bargain — I once got a Kate Spade coat here for $75. Sales benefit DAP Health, which was originally for those living with AIDS. It’s a terrific institution that also sees IEHP patients. Great cause, great doctors, great services, great items including some new furniture.

The $75 Kate Spade jacket. Photo by Kay Kudukis

Palm Springs
611 S Palm Canyon Dr

Cathedral City
68-401 CA-111

Palm Desert
72-885 CA-111

Goodwill

I have found some great clothes here. I generally don’t purchase used shoes because feet, but just recently I found some Bass loafers with chunky heels for $8.99 in pristine condition. People don’t expect much from Goodwill, but they’re missing out.

Cathedral City
67-555 E Palm Canyon Dr

Rancho Mirage
72014 CA-111

Angel View

I have found fashion labels here for under $10 with tags. Angel View’s mission is helping children and adults with disabilities reach their maximum potential. And the stores are HUGE.

Palm Springs
462 N Indian Canyon Dr

Cathedral City
67625 CA-111

Desert Hot Springs
64669 Dillon Rd
66389 Pierson Blvd
12840 Cactus Dr

Rancho Mirage
72747 Dinah Shore Drive

Palm Desert UCR
37023 Cook St

Palm Desert
72705 CA-111  (in Palms to Pines West Shopping Center)

Bermuda Dunes
77898 Country Club Dr, Ste. 91

Sun City
78395 Varner Rd

La Quinta
79400 CA-111
77975 Calle Tampico

Vintage resale:

You’re going to pay a lot more here, but they’ve done the digging for you, and the items are pristine.

Gypsyland
2675 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs

Iconic Atomic
1103 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs

Little Shop of Treasures — I want to live here. Seriously cool store.
616 E Sunny Dunes Rd, Palm Springs

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall — has everything from everywhere. Many stores combined into one.
507 E Sunny Dunes Rd. Palm Springs

Pre-Loved — a collection of currently pre-loved labels for the fashionably conscious
668 N Palm Canyon, Palm Springs

Vinyl:

Don’t forget to check at all of the above stores as well — I bought two albums at Gypsyland.

Gre Coffee House

Palm Springs Vinyl Records 

Winzer Records

Music Heals