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By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, much of America will have had their first dusting, if not their first dumping of snow. Not so in Palm Springs! We’re just getting used to the cooler mornings, our warmer afternoons are full of sun and followed by sultry evenings, and you might need a little body heat (or a nice jacuzzi) to stay warm.

This year for Thanksgiving, instead of the inevitable familial bickering, why not enjoy four days in Palm Springs with a group of friends at one of our small resorts, and leave the clashes, the dishes, and cooking behind you?

Here are some boutique hotel options, and read on for where to eat on your special respite of thanks … and fun. I mean, you are in Palm Springs. We’re not Disneyland fun, we’re cool fun. That’s why we always wear sunglasses. (Don’t forget to bring yours so you can be cool too. They also help with our very bright sun.)

Once you’ve got your peeps, your sunglasses, and your hotel sorted, it’s time to figure out who’s gonna be cooking for you this year. All of the below come with at least one starter and a dessert. 

Thanksgiving meals in Palm Springs

Tropicale — Known for its very popular happy hour and buzzy outdoor patio, their entree is herb-roasted Mary’s Farm organic turkey, along with sausage, apple, and sage stuffing, whipped potatoes and turkey gravy, buttered Brussels sprouts, and cranberry apple chutney. You also get a soup or salad option, and three different desserts from which to choose. Featured wines: Rombauer Vineyard Chardonnay and Sokol Blosser Estate Pinot Noir. $84 per person.

Lulu — For those who don’t have a great relationship with turkey, Lulu is a wonderful choice. They have 10 choices of entrees with only three featuring turkey, and there’s a veggie option too. Plus, the atmosphere is pretty groovy. $59.99 per person.

Grand Central — There be turkey and fixins’ here! There also be four non-turkey options, including salmon and steak. For the vegetarians: pumpkin ravioli. Located in La Plaza at Palm Canyon, it’s a very big room so your chances of nabbing a spot are good. $79.99 per person.

Eight4Nine — Spend Thanksgiving at the former Palm Springs Post Office, now home to Eight4Nine. Willie Rhine is one of our favorite local restaurateurs, and Eight4Nine is his most popular restaurant. The four-course meal includes fig ricotta toast, a list of options for your starter and your main (including the very popular turkey dinner), and dessert. All for $76 per person.

Freddie’s Kitchen — Located in The Cole Hotel, this would be a great choice for staying and for Thanksgiving dinner. The French restaurant is serving the classic slow-roasted turkey, but they also have barramundi and grilled seasonal vegetables Wellington. For a starter, choose from soup, salad, or escargot, and the finale has three options for dessert. You don’t even need to leave the hotel. $72 per person, $25 corkage fee.

Melvyn’s — It’s another 2-fer here. Stay at the historic Ingleside Inn and dine in the glory of Melvyn’s. After dinner enjoy a martini at the bar and/or take a stroll around the grounds. Choose between four starters, four mains (including apple cider brined turkey breast), and two desserts. Sides will cost you $14 each on top of the $115 per person cost. It’s pretty Rat Pack-y, and if that’s the vibe you’re going for, it can’t be beat. Plus, you never know who you’ll see in the lounge.

So•Pa — One more 2-fer. Stay at L’Horizon and you’ll not only be treated to an incredibly swanky stay, but also a meal at So•Pa. Their offering is strictly of the turkey variety with all the fixins’ and then some. $95 per person.

Spencer’s — Located in the Class 1 historic Tennis Club on Baristo Road, smack up against the mountains, it’s one of the fancier places to dine in Palm Springs. They have a gorgeous patio they call the Bougainvillea Room where you can eat al fresco. Three starters to choose from, six entrees, and two desserts. $79 per person.

Zin American Bistro — In the heart of downtown, right on Palm Canyon Drive, is local restaurateur Mindy Reed’s Zin. This Thanksgiving there are five options as starters, five as mains (including turkey), and four dessert choices. $69.99 with a 22% gratuity.

Mr. Lyon’s — Probably the most popular steakhouse in town, and always a treat to the palate, this restaurant is located on the south side of town and features a speakeasy called Seymour’s. It’s a terrific dining experience, and for Thanksgiving they are offering four choices of starters, four choices of main (including turkey), and three dessert choices. $95 per person.

Pomme Frite — Zero turkey to be had in this French bistro, but what would you expect? It’s not a French holiday. But if you’re a fan of French bistro food, this just might be your jam. Five choices of starters, entrees and desserts, all very Français. $64.95 per person. 

Trio — Trio took a bit of a hit during the pandemic, but it’s coming back strong with a refresh of the interior and the menu. This Thanksgiving they have a family-style first course, three offerings for mains, three sets of sides served family style, and two desserts from which to choose. If none of those three mains suit you, there’s an a la carte menu featuring 10 extra items. $59 per person.

Palm Springs does Thanksgiving poolside

Thanksgiving experiences

The Purple Room is offering a dining and jazz experience with the Pam Phillips Trio. If you haven’t heard Pam on keys, you haven’t lived. Four choices for starters, five choices for mains (including turkey breast), and three choices for dessert. $79 per person. This club is dressed in an homage to the Rat Pack era, and although it’s not as old as Melvyn’s, it gives it a run for its money on the Rat Pack front.

Finally, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will operate a special holiday schedule Thursday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 26. The first tram up each day is at 8 a.m. with the final tram at 8 p.m. The last tram down is at 9:30 p.m.

Thanksgiving Day Ride ‘n’ Dine tickets include tram admission and your meal at Pines Café, served from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Their fancy restaurant, Peaks, is also serving a special Thanksgiving pre-fixe menu. Reservations begin at 11 a.m. Tram tickets are not included. The regular menu is also available. 

So why not hit all the right notes this Thanksgiving with a very special holiday away from home? Spend the four-day holiday in Palm Springs where the weather’s perfect, the food is fantastic, the small hotels are gorgeous, and the vibe is Barry White — laid-back and a little suggestive. We can’t help it; the sun makes us frisky. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

April is packed with goings on, and with all the rain (now called a hydrologic event on my weather app) we had in March that means color — aka March showers bring April wildflowers!

No superbloom, they say, but the mountains have been celebrating St. Paddy’s Day the entire month of March by turning green! I have lived here for nine years and this is only the second time this has happened. The last time was 2019 and that year we were lousy with wildflowers. We also flooded, but that’s so 2019. Those rains that brought the superbloom came in February. This year they came in March so April should be bursting with color. And pollen. But they have pills for that ish.

Let’s get started on the rest, shall we?

The main events

April 1: Palm Springs Cruisin Association Car Show

April 1: AmDocs Festival at Palm Springs Cultural Center

April 1: Palm Springs International Dance Festival Nickerson Rossi Dance Studio

April 1 – May 7: Desert X. That link describes and shows photos. This link gives you options for a map and an app. (Learn more about a few of the art installations here on our blog.)

April 1: Desert Mountains Art Show. It is art in the mountains, what more can I tell you?

April 2: Palm Springs Vintage Market. Great market for vintage everything. You’d think they’d have run out of clothes by now, but not so much.

April 14-17: Coachella (Weekend 1). Waitlisted. Listen, if you don’t know what Coachella is, you’re never going to go. But here is my favorite YouTube clip from Coachella.

April 21-24: Coachella Weekend 2. Tickets still available at the time I am writing this.

April 23: South Palm Canyon Art Collective Sunday Soirée, 1500 South Palm Canyon. Work on display from five resident artists and several guest artists. The soirée is free.

April 28-30: Stagecoach. The country version of Coachella. Less drugs, more booze.

Saturdays and Sundays: College of the Desert Street Fair. If you’re down valley for Desert X or a music festival you have to stop here. It’s huge. I accidentally drove past it one weekend and was blown away by the size of it. I just made a plan to go.

This year’s Coachella lineup.

Repeat contenders

Hockey games and big name performers at Acrisure. April has Reba McIntyre and John Mayer. Concerts are pricey, but the hockey games are affordable.

Dinner and a show

Ticketed 

Oscar’s

Purple Room 

PS Underground 

PS Air Bar

Come On Up at the Palm Springs Cultural Center (Mildred’s small menu)

Come on up to Come On Up!

Reservations

Melvyn’s – Piano man.

Yaas Queen

Mondays: Bella da Ball, Palm Springs’ 6’4” Drag Mother at King’s Highway for Bingo, followed by Trivia in the Amigo Room.

Drag me to brunch

Great drag roundup article here

Roly China Fusion

Oscar’s

Chill Bar

PS Air – Mile High Boozy Brunch 

Reforma (Saturdays) Different date, different show. And in You Need To Calm Down news, the last one was a Taylor Swift drag brunch.

Nightclubs

Reforma (nightlife and dinner)

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge

Hunters

Pretty Faces

Cascade Lounge — Mixed entertainment, all A+, and home of Jazzville.

Sammy G’s Upstairs Bar — Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, The Evaro Brothers. Great pop dance music you can sing along to while dancing.

Theater

Dezart PerformsThe Garbologists

CVRepHand to God

Desert Ensemble TheaterFuture Thinking

Desert TheatricalsJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Musicals Under the Stars). Act fast and you can snag a dinner seat too.

An iconic Palm Springs windmill farm. Photo: Nadine Conger

Just for fun

Windmill Tour — You’re driving, someone else is talking, but they aren’t in your car. How do they do that? 

Desert Tasty Tours — Eat your way through Palm Springs history on a walking food tour.

Red Jeep Tours – San Andreas Fault, Jeep-y stuff 

Celebrity Tours

Cannabis Express Tours – April is National Cannabis Awareness Month. Get yourself educated on everything cannabis. It’s fun and educational too. 

PS Historical Society Walking & Biking Tours — There are 14 to choose from.

MOGO Silent Disco — Their tagline? “Shut up and dance.”

Pro VR — Virtual reality gaming, including escape rooms.

Escape Room — Actual escape rooms.

Movies in the Park — Old-timey movies under the stars.

Hiking: Indian Canyons is closed April 1-8; Tahquitz still open. Here’s a great article from Visit Palm Springs on where to go. Keep in mind numbers 1 and 6 are part of Indian Canyons.

That’s it for me this month. As always, please shop and stay local. And that includes cannabis because it’s National Cannabis Awareness Month. I might have said that already. I’m hungry… 

See you next time!