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“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
– Coco Chanel

Named after Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers, epileptics, and beekeepers (weird three to lump together, but whatever), Valentine’s Day somehow took on the persona of the Greek god of love, Eros, which then morphed into Cupid, the god of desire. So now Valentine’s Day is symbolized by a chubby baby flying around with a magical bow and arrow shooting people in the heart with expectations of a lusty outcome. Fun!

The expectations and nerves leading up to Valentine’s Day are also (à la Gwen Stefani) B.A.N.A.N.A.S. Candy, a card, flowers, a fancy dinner, and perhaps a piece of jewelry are de rigueur, and while those are nice, why not do something different? Something that shows the object of your affection your creative streak. Here are some ideas to make the day a little easier (I got you!):

Date One: The Outdoor Adventure Date

What you’ll need: hiking shoes, a backpack, and dress in layers

Breakfast: Cheeky’s for breakfast. It’s very popular and it’s busy. 

Coffee: Koffi is great, but try something new, like Ernest Coffeehouse

Lunch to go: The Sandwich Spot. Pre-order your sandwiches and put them in your backpack. Or try On The Mark for a fancier fare.

Adventure: The Tram. Take it up the mountain (wear your mask, you are in an enclosed gondola). Once you get to the top, there are great views, telescopes, and two places to eat. Explore the manmade stuff and then hike your trail. You can see all of them here, and make your choice with your date.

Alternative adventure option: Replace the tram with a hike in either Indian Canyons (so  many trails!) or a lazier sexy hike at Tahquitz (tah’quits) Canyon to Tahquitz Falls. Once you get to the falls, it’s lunch time. Dangle your feet in the clear pool and enjoy. Don’t forget to pack up everything (no littering please) and hike back to civilization.

Dinner: The Rooster and Pig is only doing takeout at the time of this typing, but check the website. Things are opening back up. In keeping with the Asian theme, we have Fusion Five for pho, and 533 Viet Fusion on the south end of Palm Springs. If you want the best burger in town, head over to The Heyday. They also have a delicious magic mushroom burger (the magic is it tastes like beef, it doesn’t get you high). If you choose the Heyday option, you can go to the casino after and try your luck! 

Date Two: Bagels, Antiquing, Thrifting, Smok’em If You’ve Got’em

What you’ll need: A sense of adventure and a car. This date takes you to the south end of Palm Springs.

Breakfast: Townie Bagels — a very busy breakfast spot, but it gets you across the street from your first stop.

Cannabis?: If you’re cannabis friendly, there are three dispensaries in this area. Have an edible and let’s get on our now merry way.

Antiques, thrift stores, trading posts are across the street from Townies, and all along Industrial Place.

Antique Galleries, 505 Industrial Place gets you to the Antique Galleries and you can use your eyeballs from there.

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall, 507 E Sunny Dunes Rd. Sprawling shop featuring antique dealers selling vintage furniture, jewelry, and other collectibles.

Little Shop of Treasures, 616 E Sunny Dunes Rd. Unassuming store selling an array of antique furnishings, collectibles, clothes, and dishes.

Q Trading Co., 606 E Sunny Dunes Rd. Get your car and go to Sun Center Mall (turn right on Palm Canyon, then it’s less than half a block on your left).

Revivals, 611 South Palm Canyon Drive. This is a great little thrift store that benefits Desert AIDS Project.

Lunch options at Sun Center: 

Palm Greens Cafe — Organic and vegan

PS Air inside Bouschet — Yummy salads

Spaghetteria for pizza

Lunch options at The Plaza (near your next stop):

Farm — Outstanding lunch selections, French inspired

More antiquing and thrifting:

P S Trading,140 N Palm Canyon Dr.

Bon Vivant, 766 N Palm Canyon Dr · Near Trio Restaurant, (760) 534-3197

a La MOD INC, 886 N Palm Canyon Dr · Near Trio Restaurant, (760) 327-0707

Deja Vu Vintage Finery, 664 N Palm Canyon Dr.

Flow Modern, 768 N Palm Canyon Dr.

Mohave Flea Trading Post, 383 Indian Canyon Dr..

Angel View Resale, 462 N Indian Canyon Dr.

Dinner: Birba — New wave Italian American fare. Sit on the twinkly patio.

Date Three: Spaaaah Date

Yoga in the Park

Breakfast: L’Atelier in the Plaza. Pastries, quiche, salads, and champagne.

Spa options: 

Our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels have some exceptional spa options in gorgeous settings.

Palm Springs Beautiful Spa Massage, 109 S Indian Canyon Dr. (760) 656-1028

Palm Springs Spa Massage, 471 E Tahquitz Canyon Way #226. (760) 808-4205

Lunch: grab and go eat in the new park (on Museum Way down from Marilyn). 

Haus of Poke

Stout Burgers

After the spa, check out the Palm Springs Art Museum, Marilyn Statue, and art installations. Behind The Block on Museum Way.

Dinner: It’s been a nice relaxing day, and dressing up and going out to dinner might be a bit much. If you’re a planner, a few weeks in advance you can order a custom dinner from Three Queens Catering. I recently went to an event they catered and the food was awesome! Plus, I know two of them, and they are some of the funniest people on the planet.

Bar Cecil (pronounced Sess’-ill) — Super fancy and the trendiest place in Palm Springs right now.

John Henry’s — Off the beaten path on Tahquitz on the way to the airport. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Date Four: Classic Palm Springs and the Rat Pack

Breakfast: Spencer’s, Grand Central, Melvyn’s at the Ingleside Inn

Coffee: Gre Coffeehouse — Great cup of java and vinyls to peruse and purchase.

Adventure: You’ll need a car. Download the Palm Springs Life tour app. It will take you on three different tours. That should take up most of your day.

Alternate plans: Open houses! This site tells you where they are the day of.

Lunch: Holiday House

Drinks: Del Rey inside Villa Royale or Melvyn’s

Dinner: Johnny Costa’s is super old school Italian fare with a Rat Pack vibe. The chef was one of Frank Sinatra’s favorites. Try the chicken parm.

Date Five: Traditional Valentine’s Day

Toffee from Brandini’s

Flowers (in advance) from Jensen’s (a beautiful plant will remind them of you year- round)

Valentine’s Day card from Just Fabulous

Dinner at Tropicale, Copley’s, Roly China Fusion (by the pool)

Finish up your evening at Dead or Alive Wine Bar or Seymour’s (inside Mr. Lyons) on the south end of town. Both are quiet and great before sexy times — if that’s your goal.

Happy Arrow-Slinging Chubby Baby Day everyone! I hope you’re with someone you love, and as the song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

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?