In Palm Springs during the summer months, we sing a little ditty, and it goes like this: “Lord help the sister, who comes between me and my mister,” but we’re not talking boyfriends like Rosemary Clooney and Vera Allen are in White Christmas — no. It’s those wonderful inventions that are de rigueur in downtown Palm Springs, the ones that provide a light zhuzh of moisture to your skin. And while the first part isn’t true in any sense of the word, we do have fabulous water misters cooling everyone down while they walk down the street. We just don’t sing about it.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, how about a little humblebrag on the weather so far this year? It’s been damn near perfect, that’s what it’s been. A better season has not been had. The ratio of cool to heat, and dry to wet, produced a gorgeous array of desert flowers, and gave everyone a chance to wear a cute vintage jacket or a treasured designer sweater, and what girl doesn’t love fashion?
Now we’re moving into another season (more fashion!!) and if you compare Palm Springs to the peppers on the Scoville scale we’re going to be nearing Scotch Bonnet by the end of June. But right now, we’re at a very do-able Thai pepper.
So, now’s a great time — day or evening — to stroll down Palm Canyon and pop into local watering holes and eateries for a well-earned cocktail and a nosh. If it’s hot, those misters we talked about earlier will be zhuzhing. Caveat: this is not a good time for any hairstyle that requires a hold. That will not happen with misters, so leave the hairspray at home. You look gorgeous au natural.
For those that would prefer eating rather than drinking their sugar, you must try some of our award-winning toffee at Brandini’s (they give out samples). They’ve also got a great variety of items including popcorn, milkshakes, and ice cream, and can even make you an espresso, with toffee. Enjoy it outside while you check out details for the restoration they’ve got planned on the historic Plaza Theater located next to and slightly behind Brandini.
My favorite date shake is at Tutti Frutti, made entirely with local ingredients. It is heavenly, and I am not usually a fan of dates unless they’re stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon. If you’re not willing to risk your status as a disliker of dates, try the yogurt. It is also made entirely from local ingredients. I am particularly fond of the sorbets (sour apple ZOMG) and of the non-produce options, the salted caramel runs a good race against the chocolate. I have never had a loser here, and I may have tried them all.
If you are a fan of pizza there is only one place and you must go there, I insist. Bill’s Pizza is in La Plaza on the Indian Canyon side, next to Tyler’s (great burger joint, closes for summer). The crust is award-winning sourdough, house recipe, and I am partial to the all-veggie Elton John pizza. They’re all incredibly good though. The pizzeria is super busy all the time, but they’re friendly and efficient. The bathroom is a trip. It’s located outside, then through a coded door, and down a couple of hallways in what feels like a basement. Outside of that, they’re fine. They work.
Back on Palm Canyon, right next to Sonny Bono’s statue, is Maracas Restaurant, and not only do they serve one helluva margarita, the street tacos and salsa are outstanding. The fajitas smell so good they might as well have a smoky cartoon aroma finger wafting out of them leading you inside. The staff is magnifico, and if you see a tall blonde-ish guy with a beard hanging around, drinking a beer, that’s the owner. Todd. Nice guy — say hello.
A luxurious evening dip at your boutique hotel’s sparkling blue pool is a great way to end an evening outside your room. That’s where my involvement ends. You’re pretty much guaranteed that there’s never going to be a mob at your pool like there can be at the larger hotels, so at the end of the day you won’t be hanging around with strangers, but possibly new friends.
For those with grander aspirations than eating, relaxing, and shopping, see the list of events and clubs below and get cracking on a plan. Or just make a plan to come and wing it from there. There’s plenty to keep you happy. Read on…
June 1-4 and June 6-14: Scavenger Hunt (June 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 are for lovebirds), departing at various locations. 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Read all about it in the link.
June 2-11: Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants valley-wide. Menus are often set, as are the prices. It’s a great way to get to know the Coachella Valley! Mangia!
June 9-11: Splash House: Passes, Lineup. Might I suggest a hotel room away from the bustle? Then just use a rideshare to venue hop. If you’re done for the night, but the party’s still going, you’ll get a good night’s sleep because you were smart enough to book a room at a locally-owned resort or hotel.
June 10: Diana Ross at The Show (SOLD OUT — I just put this in here because I am humblebragging again. Our little valley got Diana Ross!! #sorrynotsorry)
June 2: Lizzo at Acrisure. Our little valley got Lizzo! But unless you’ve already got tickets… (see parentheses above)
June 19-24: Native American Arts Festival, Idyllwild. It’s art in the mountains!
June 20-26: Short Fest. Great option for people who love movies but have short attention spans. I’m kidding (am I? Isn’t that why we like cartoons?). Sometimes a story can be told succinctly and with an impact in a shorter span of time. They know when to stop writing, which is on my list of things to learn.
Cascade Lounge — Located in the Agua Caliente Casino, they have comedy nights, Jazzville, blues reviews, and Latin nights. They occasionally have late night concerts too, so check the website, and definitely check out the new Séc-he spa. It’s pricey but I’m told it’s worth it.
P.S. Underground — No longer underground, they’ve had their own fabulous space since 2019. Highly original, themed dinner theater (or brunch) where the food is as big a draw as the entertainment.
The Purple Room — Weekends are ticketed events with traditional music acts that lean more toward jazz, but they’ve got a mix. The Judy Show is my favorite show in town.
Palm Springs Cultural Center — This space has so much going on, it’s crazypants! They’ve got movies, concerts, plays, weeknight entertainment with snacks and adult libations, and film festivals galore. They’ve always got something cool going on, so make sure to check back often.
PS Air Bar — Like no other bar in Palm Springs, it’s decorated as the inside of an airplane complete with airplane windows. It’s a must see, for sure. The place has a terrific sense of humor about itself, and the entertainment always flies first class local, and so will you. The wine shop below not only has terrific choices in beer and wine, there’s a small “deli” serving delicious salads and sandwiches.
If you’re planning on a hike, please go early early early, and take a lot of water with you. The best hike right now is Tahquitz Canyon. The waterfall is flowing merrily down the stream, and it’s about 45 in and 30 out (I don’t know why it is, stop asking me!).
That’s it for June, everyone. Don’t forget the sunscreen and the hat, or even an umbrella or a parasol if you’re fancy (and we are!).
See you under the misters!