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Are you planning a trip to the Coachella Valley in California? If so, you are in for a treat! Palm Springs is a destination that has been on my USA bucket list for quite some time, and I finally made it over there!
When you hear about Palm Springs, you may instantly think of the Coachella Valley Music Festival, drinking by the pool, or the ultimate bachelor/bachelorette party destination. However, I found all those things plus so much more!
Palm Springs is a USA destination that you should visit at least once in your life!
Offering beautiful views of palm trees, snow-capped mountains, and windmills for days while having a warm climate makes for an absolutely perfect weekend getaway! This 24-hour adventure included great food, a trip to Joshua Tree, and picture-taking galore!
Here is my exact 24-hour Palm Springs itinerary.
Check Into Palm Springs Hotel
During our girls’ trip to Palm Springs in March, my sister and I stayed at The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort and Spa. It is a Marriott Property that sits on 360 acres and offers everything you could imagine in a resort. There is even a bowling alley on-site!
During the drive to the hotel, I could see the intensity of the sunshine coming through the car windows, so I assumed that we’d be stepping outside to scorching hot desert temperatures. This was my first time in Palm Springs, and I had no idea what to expect. However, we stepped outside to cool weather, sunshine, and snow-capped mountains. It was perfect!
The next time I visit Palm Springs, I hope to stay at one of these three properties:
Enjoy a Late Lunch in Palm Springs
Next on the list should be a mini road trip to Joshua Tree National Park. But first, stop for food!
My sister and I knew we wanted to stop and eat somewhere on the way to Joshua Tree, and that’s when we found La Perlita Mexican Food. They had many positive online reviews, so we had to try it. Good thing we did because we absolutely loved it!
La Perlita is a family-owned restaurant that serves delicious Mexican food. It’s a bit off the beaten path (not located in Downtown Palm Springs), making for a quieter dinner. Also, the service was excellent!
I highly recommend La Perlita for a late lunch/early dinner on your next visit to Palm Springs!
Drive From Palm Springs to Joshua Tree
You should also make the 40-mile trek to Joshua Tree National Park when visiting Palm Springs. Since it is less than an hour’s drive away, it is absolutely worth visiting, especially if you’ve never been before and want to check a National Park off your list.
Unless you plan to hike long distances, you can make the journey to Joshua Tree, spend a decent amount of time in the park, and return to your hotel in about a half day’s time.
Check out 20 photos to inspire you to visit Joshua Tree here.
Looking to explore more of California?
36 Hours in Monterey and Carmel
Staying at the Seabird Resort
Weekend in Los Angeles
Visit Elmer’s for Breakfast
This next itinerary item is a MUST! Elmer’s is a diner-style restaurant specializing in comfort food. They serve a variety of breakfast items like crepes, omelets, ranch-style breakfasts, and waffles. Elmer’s also serves cinnamon roll pancakes, French toast, and German pancakes if you love sweets in the morning.
Elmer’s is easily the breakfast heaven of Palm Springs!
Pro tip: Eat a filling, farmer’s style breakfast in the morning to snack your way to dinner. You’ll save time by eliminating a sit-down lunch, get to sample lots of different snacks without being too full to enjoy them and save money too. Win! Win!
A filling breakfast followed by a churro here or a boba tea there? Sign me up!
Check Out the Moorten Botanical Garden
Plant lovers will love this next activity! The Moorten Botanical Garden is a privately owned arboretum that was established in 1938. It is about 1.5 miles from Downtown Palm Springs and costs $5 to enter. There is a large variety of cacti and succulents to explore and a nursery to shop if you’d like to purchase items to pack home with you.
Take Pictures of the Architecture
Palm Springs is one of those places where there is a photo opportunity everywhere you turn! Many of the houses have palm trees in the front yard and mountains in the back. During my visit in March, there was snow on the mountaintops, so it made for a scenic photo op.
The juxtaposition of the desert and the snow-capped mountains was captivating!
One of the many reasons I love taking pictures on vacation is because it allows me to come home and relish the memories of my trip. It’s easy to see pictures of places on Instagram or in a magazine. However, looking at your own photos hits differently!
You’ll want to check out the neighborhood of the famous pink door and other iconic photo spots you may have seen online. Those beautiful architectural properties are located in the Indian Canyons neighborhood, which should appear once typed into Google Maps.
If you enjoy taking pictures on vacation, Palm Springs will feel like paradise!
Other Things to Do in Palm Springs
Here is the list of places I plan to visit on my next adventure to Palm Springs:
- Indian Canyons
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
- Salvation Mountain
Since this was a quick 24-hour trip, I only got a taste of everything Palm Springs offers. Think of it as a sample or an appetizer, and I’ll be back another time for the main course.
You will have a great experience regardless of the length of time you have to spend, but I would recommend a two-night stay, especially if you plan to visit Joshua Tree National Park.
Have you been to Palm Springs before? Leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing to eat, see, or do!