Mid-century modern homes, picturesque poolsides, and of course, the palm trees - it's what Palm Springs is all about. I recently visited my parents' house in the high desert for the weekend. On the way back to San Diego, I decided to treat myself to a solo trip to Palm Springs. The last time I visited Palm Springs was for a bachelorette party a few years ago, so I was looking forward to exploring the town on my own.
First stop: Ernest Coffee (9:50am) - an iced chai tea + glazed donut to kick-off the day.
Palm Springs Architecture (10:15pm) - I love the homes in the desert. There's quality and quantity. I visited the famous Kaufmann Desert House first. It was built in 1946 and is the perfect embodiment of International style architecture. As it is a private home, I admired it from a safe distance. Next, I headed to the home made famous on Instagram that's simply referred to as #thatpinkdoor. Again, I admired it from afar as the owners have requested privacy given its cult-like following. There are plenty of other homes just as enchanting.
Moorten Botanical Garden (11:30am) - it's right off Palm Canyon Dr. and they have an array of cacti and other intriguing plants. The cactus greenhouse is the gem of the gardens. Admission is $5, and you can take free guided tours throughout the day. They also sell plants, so be sure to take a succulent or cactus home with you as a souvenir.
Brunch at Azucar inside La Serena Villas (12:30pm) - downstairs overlooks the pool, while the upstairs has a gorgeous patio area. I chose upstairs and sat in a comfy chair across from the outdoor fireplace. The decor of the hotel and restaurant is desert chic and executed perfectly. I enjoyed a refreshing cocktail and the banana bread french toast topped with a bourbon syrup (drooling as I type this!). The staff was also very attentive and accommodating. I will definitely be returning to this place for another serene outdoor dining experience.
Palm Spring Art Museum (1:45pm) - I actually visited two museums. The first was the Palm Springs Architecture & Design Center ($5 admission). Quick tip: if you go to that one first, the admission will go towards the main art museum admission, so the price will be $7 instead of $12. Just be sure to save the receipt given. I did a quick walk-thru before heading to the main art museum down the street. The main reason I wanted to go was for the Andy Warhol exhibit which is on the first floor. It was amazing! A lot of his works were displayed including famous pieces like Marylin and Mao. The exhibit ends on May 28th, so I recommend checking it out before it leaves.
Ice cream (3:00pm) - it was 70 degrees, but felt like 80+. So... what better way to beat the heat than eating ice cream? I ventured to Kreem, a newly opened artisanal ice cream and coffee shop. They have traditional flavors mixed with more interesting ones like ube (purple yam) ice cream. I chose the coffee lavender in a sugar cone, and it hit the spot.
Headed home (3:30pm) - as Palm Springs shrank in my rear view mirror I thought about how much fun I had by myself. For those of us residing in southern California, there's really no excuse not to visit more often.