In a city like Palm Springs, there are many different perfect days. While these stories only highlight three days, there are still 362 left each year for you to experience for yourself. With so many amazing places to stay and such a varied assortment of fantastic things to do, your own unique perfect day is waiting for you in Palm Springs.
I’m no stranger to Palm Springs. I like to escape from LA to the relaxing, carefree vibes in the Coachella Valley a few times a year. And, along with my furry friend Juniper, I was amped to get back to exploring nature.
Sometimes, reconnecting with nature means doing so au natural—I just feel so much more relaxed when my shorts come off. My favorite place to let loose in Palm Springs is Santiago Resort. There’s just something so relaxing about the grounds at Santiago. The desert serenity rings throughout, and the rustling palms and chirping birds guide you along on your connection to paradise.
First things first, I needed to shed my casual attire for my even more casual birthday suit—Juniper was already in hers, of course. To get fully into vacation mode, lying nude in the hammock was at the top of my priority list. Once tucked into the gentle sway with the warm breeze as my blanket, everything back in LA became a distant memory.
I woke up from my nap about an hour later—Juniper was still sleeping on the ground next to me. After gently nudging her from her doggy dreams, I zipped up my shorts and grabbed my CamelBak and some dog treats. It was time to get into the real nature surrounding Palm Springs instead of just the oasis provided at the resort.
For dog-friendly hikes, I have always appreciated the climb—and the view—along the Museum Trail. Just behind the Palm Springs Art Museum, the short one-mile trail takes you up about 850 feet in elevation. As we started the trail, Juniper could barely contain her energy—no doubt well rested after her nice nap. Once we got to the top, the picnic tables were the perfect spot to have a quick snack and soak up the gorgeous view of Coachella Valley. You can see for miles from this view, and it always helps me appreciate just how beautiful this region of California is.
Alex is a veterinarian in Los Angeles who likes to spend his weekends in the outdoors with his Golden Retriever puppy, Juniper.
When you want to do some shopping for quality handmade furnishings, it’s no secret that Palm Springs is the perfect place to go—especially if you’re looking for mid-century modern. I personally don’t get to explore the Coachella Valley too often, so my wife suggested we make a full vacation out of our shopping excursion.
Arriving nice and early, my wife, Gabriella, and I pulled into the parking lot at Alcazar with grumbling stomachs. Thankfully, Cheeky’s is right on property and serves up excellent breakfasts. With the smell of bacon wafting in the air, we had no choice but to order the bacon flight. I’d say the jalapeño-flavored strip was my favorite, giving just enough kick without knocking me over.
Walking through the resort to our room was like entering an oasis. All lush and green, the pool area was such an inviting sight. But I had to stop myself from sitting on a chaise lounge under a shady palm tree; this trip was mostly for Gabriella and I to find new home décor pieces. We were sure one of the stores along Palm Canyon Drive was sure to have the perfect mid-century end table for our living room.
Up in the Uptown Design District, the local boutiques are filled with a mix of everything from kitschy gifts and antiques to high-end furnishings and designer apparel. Our search for authentic mid-century furnishings brought us to The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five, a collection of 13 stores under one roof—and that roof itself sits atop a mid-century building. After debating between a couple different pieces, we ultimately decided on a beautiful end table from Towne Palm Springs.
Back at the resort and finally ready to relax, we got a better chance to explore. Within the Spanish Colonial style plaza, the pool area was serene and peaceful. Surrounded by mature greenery with plenty of shade, it wasn’t long before I fell asleep under the warming Palm Springs sun while Gabriella floated in the pool. I’d say it’s a shame my first nap wasn’t on the luxuriate Italian linens in my suite, but I can’t complain about my outdoor relaxation.
Liz works as a graphic designer and spends her free time fixing up her new house in Oceanside with her wife, Gabriella.
After college, my gay group of friends ended up split with hundreds of miles between us. Ever since, the five of us have tried to meet up in a new city and paint the town red. This year’s destination was Palm Springs and we opted to try something different—a clothing-optional resort.
I arrived at Inndulge after two of my friends got there, and I already found them soaking up the sun by the pool. We hugged and chatted as I dropped off my bags and shucked off most of my clothes—none of us were yet bold enough to try full-on nudity in public. The three of us caught up and waited for the stragglers while taking a dip in the chilled saltwater pool. With stunning views of the mountains in the background and friendly chatter with friends I hadn’t seen in a year in the foreground, this was sure to be an idyllic reunion.
By the time the ever-late couple in our group arrived, it was getting close to lunchtime. The staff, well versed and happy to help in everything involving Palm Springs, recommended Lulu California Bistro for lunch, and then reminded us about the social hour coming up at 6pm. Every evening the owners host a social hour for hotel guests to mix and mingle with each other—and who knows, maybe add another friend to our group!
Keeping the theme of warm outdoor escapes going, we opted for patio seating at Lulu. The menu was immense and seemed to offer something for everyone—I even noticed specific sections for various dietary needs. I think this is the only restaurant I’ve been to that has cotton candy on the menu—good thing Inndulge includes complimentary gym access! I always love visiting new restaurants with this group because we all know that every dish is for sharing, and with five people we had quite the assortment to taste. After stuffing our faces, we were eager to get back to the pool.
While we sat in the Jacuzzi reminiscing and catching up, the more adventurous guy in the group asked if we should strip under cover of the bubbles. When in Rome, right? But the rest of us weren’t up for it just yet. And maybe we won’t be—clothing optional also means nudity it isn’t mandatory, so you’re free to relax and unwind however you’d like.
Hunter works as a university administrator in Las Vegas and can often be found dining in newly opened restaurants.