The Designer’s Guide to 24 Hours in Palm Springs

Jun 24, 2019 | Travel

I spent last weekend on a 24 hour mad dash to Palm Springs–it was a total blur! I feel like we barely made it anywhere on the list we had put together, especially since the trip was centered around I shoot I did with BHLDN in Joshua Tree (post coming soon.) It’s definitely hard to do much in such a short amount of time and when it’s so stinkin hot outside! Nonetheless, between my research and our time zipping through the city, I feel like I got a good grasp on the layout and general whereabouts of things in the town. Given more time I definitely would’ve wanted to eat more and look at more architecture!
We stayed right outside of Downtown Palm Springs, which was a great jumping off point for the quick trip. We we’re just minutes from the main downtown shopping area and central to other places like The Parker or Ace Hotel. We didn’t get to go inside either of these, but I would’ve loved to take pictures in them! Definitely next time.
 The first thing we did was go downtown so my friend Rachel could find some vegan food and I could get pictures of the architecture. There were so many buildings that I wanted to stand in front of and marvel at, but we had Hudson with us and the pavement was a little too hot for his paws. We ended up going back to the hotel to drop him off, and then went back to look at some shops. We grabbed a coffee at Grand Central, which I honestly wouldn’t recommend going back to for coffee. Rachel had a cocktail that she said was really great, so I think it’s more of a spot for dinner and drinks than actual coffee. We went into a few vintage shops that weren’t anything great, except for Thick as Thieves. I was on a tight budget so I didn’t get anything, but there were lots of cute bags and handmade goods that I would have loved to get. I love finding local shops when I travel and this was definitely the highlight of Palm Springs.

I had a photo shoot at Joshua Tree that was set to start at 5:30, so we left Palm Springs at 4 to head over that way since I needed to drive to the middle of the park. The scenery definitely gets more interesting the deeper you go, so I highly recommend driving in to the middle if you take a trip! I would love to go back and camp in Joshua Tree for a few days in the next year or two. It was the highlight of the entire trip for me, and spending an hour and a half there was not enough! Just a heads up, you can’t do paid photo shoots in Joshua Tree. The one we were doing was free so it was fine, but you can’t take anyone there if they’re an actual paying client. Also, no dogs :(.
After we were done in Joshua Tree we rushed back to find food because I was starving! And when I’m starving, things get bad quickly. All I wanted was a massive salad with a lot of good protein and avocado. We ended up grabbing food at Palm Greens Cafe, which was a total God-send for me as a celiac, and for Rachel as a gluten-free vegan. We got it to go and ate it in the hotel room, and then passed out. Not quite the glamorous Palm Springs dining experience I was hoping for, but I didn’t care, because Joshua Tree was so great. I have to say, it’s probably not fair of me to judge the Palm Springs food scene because I didn’t actually eat much at all, but I think the food in AZ is way better. There were a lot of Italian options that looked decent, but I can’t eat Italian food, so I figured I would just eat some sandwich meat I brought with me and save my money for eating out on our upcoming trip to Hawaii (more on that to come!)

The next morning I woke up bright and early with Hudson and went for a walk for about an hour around where hotel is located.   It was Sunday morning so the town was really sleepy, so I got some good pictures without crowds of people in the way. Crowds are not my jam. Afterwards I went back to the hotel and ate some hard-boiled eggs from the hotel breakfast. They were pretty gross, as with all cheap hotel buffets. But then Rachel and I went and foraged for coffee and smoothies, which made my stomach a little happier.   We walked around downtown for a while and found some more shops to go into, and I took some more pictures of the architecture. The tricky thing was that everything was closed, except for some brunch restaurants, so it was hard to find much to do. We ended up packing up a little early and grabbing our bags at the hotel to head back to AZ. But of course we didn’t leave without stopping in at Kreem, the most adorable little vegan ice cream and coffee shop that was right across from where we had been staying. I took lots of pictures and the interior because it was adorable, and Rachel got Some Ube ( purple sweet potato) ice cream for the ride home, that she said was great! I had a taste of some of their ginger ice cream, but my stomach was feeling a little off, so I didn’t get a whole scoop.
The big draw of Palm Springs is definitely a bougie resort with swimming pools and poolside bars (at least when it’s this hot out.)  The designer in me loved the architecture and shooting and in Joshua Tree, but I definitely recommend going back when it’s a little cooler so you can explore and enjoy the area a little more. But if hotel pools are your thing, then you can pretty much go anytime. The highlight of the entire trip was absolutely Joshua Tree. So if you’re planning a trip to Palm Springs, make sure you add a day to explore the beautiful park!



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Hey! I’m Moriah– a commercial food and branding photographer and web designer who is perpetually drinking coffee and covered in dog hair. I write Elle Fait to celebrate the act of making: making food, making travel plans, making businesses, and making a habit of finding joy.  

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