So, Palm Springs. It’s been a while since we got home- but I’ve fallen out of the habit of blogging over the last 12-18 months or so and that’s why this has taken me so long to write. If I’m totally honest- I shared SO much of our trip over on Instagram stories- I thought that a blog post too might be on the over-kill side. But here I am anyway, because I’ve still got a whole bunch of photos and things to share with you. It’s mostly pictures anyway, I promise.
We had some bits and pieces to do while we were in town for Alt Oasis (Michael painted his mural of Frida at the Saguaro, and I was hosting a Bullet Journaling workshop just up the road at the Ace) but in the time in between and after those things- we did a whole bunch of exploring. Palm Springs is the most wonderful, surreal dreamland of a place- and while it can be a little sleepy at times- it does not disappoint when it comes to aesthetics.
The weather is glorious (although I’ve heard it can reach crazy highs of 50 degrees celsius over the summer) and there’s plenty to see over a couple of days. Here’s what we did:
1. Visiting all of the Colourful Doors
All of the architecture in Palm Springs is like a cross between the set of Thunderbirds and the inside of Wes Anderson’s head, but there’s a few streets in particular that are delightful. I referred to this guide by Salty Canary to start off with- but there are SO many gems in between the ones on the map too- that it’s definitely worth having a good wander around the neighbourhood.
There’s plenty on East Sierra Way, which is a short walk from both the Saguaro and the Ace- but we also LOVED Kings Road off of Murray Canyon Drive. When we were there, there was an army of groundskeepers manicuring the lawns too- it was lovely to see that so much care was taken in keeping the whole area looking wonderful.
2. The Saguaro & The Parker
While they’re both totally different in style- these two hotels are a treat for the senses. The Saguaro’s rainbow hues are one of the things that drew me to Palm Springs in the first place- and the tacos and mezcal margaritas in El Jefe are what had me coming back for more.
The Foyer has been updated recently with the most perfect colour pop panelling and furniture pieces by Amigo Modern, which were designed specifically for the space.
The Parker’s famous facade is matched only by the interior. There’s a million instagrammable nooks and crannies there- but our main reason for going was that Shining hallway:
3. Indian Canyons
Palm Springs isn’t far from Joshua Tree- but after a long day of driving we opted for a morning in Indian Canyons which is much closer. It was only $9 entry- and there’s a couple of trails of varying length that you can choose from. We picked the easiest one (Andreas) but probably arrived a little too near to midday and without enough water to do the whole thing. It was really beautiful though- even if we didn’t get to see the whole trail.
One kind of weird thing we encountered here was LOADS of caterpillars crossing the road on the way up to the Canyon. I’m not kidding when I say that there were hundreds of little fuzzy black caterpillars shoogling across the tarmac track (Michael insisted on slowing down to drive around them all, so it took us ages to get up and back down). I’ve never heard of caterpillars crossing the road being a thing, but it was up here.
4. Salvation Mountain
If you’re in Palm Springs then a trip to Salvation Mountain is pretty tempting. It’s a bit of a drive (with some of it being through deserted areas that’s a wee bit on the sketchy side) but a fun trip nonetheless.
Created by Leonard Knight, Salvation Mountain is his multi-coloured tribute to his love of God that’s built almost entirely out of straw, clay and a whole lot of paint. Whether you’re religious or not- it’s an incredible feat of ingenuity, creativity and dedication that’s quite wonderful to explore.
Oh and the other thing- the road out to Niland / Salvation mountain was swamped with butterflies crossing the road. So surreal.
5. The Salton Sea
We stopped on the road to Salvation Mountain at the Salton Sea (you guessed it, a very salty sea) where there’s not much else going on. The visitor centre has lots of interesting history about the area and how it became so darn salty- along with some bits about the local birds and wildlife that lives there. We’d brought a Ralph’s picnic, so we ate that in one of the bbq spots- there’s nowhere nearby to buy food- so if you’re heading out that way be sure to pack your lunch before you go!
6. Desert X
On one of our last days, we drove around looking for the Desert X art and sculptures we’d heard about. They ranged from small installations in vacant shops, to big pink structures in the sand like this pink behemoth. There was an app that helped you find them all- it was like a fun art treasure hunt. I’m not sure how long these are around for- but I’m sure the website has updates.
7. Moorton Botanical Gardens
If you’re into plants then Moorton is a must. It’s not massive in the grand scheme of botanical gardens- but it was only $5 entry and fun to see. There’s loads of hummingbirds around here too- I loved watching them zip between plants in the cactarium.
8. All The Cute Signage
I wish I’d taken more photos on my bog camera of the amazing signage around town (instead lots of it was shared on IG stories) but here’s my favourite. We never did get to see the carwash at Rancho Mirage illuminated at night time, but I’m pretty sure it was spectacular.