Palm Springs’ desert oasis is the perfect weekend getaway and the ultimate spot for outdoor adventures, shopping, arts and culture, and spa weekends. Join our stylish explorer Lara Shriftman as she helps you plot your hip retreat.
Palm Springs has been a second home everyone from the Rat Pack to Cary Grant to more recently, Austin-born designer Tom Ford who has helped revive the mid-century mirage. You, too can capture Old Hollywood with a new twist.
THE CLUB SET
A modern interpretation of California’s celebrated old-line country clubs, The Madison Club in nearby La Quinta offers a truly exclusive environment. It consists of a classically designed private golf course crafted by Tom Fazio, 193 estate-sized home sites, 19 villa homes and 5 luxury Clubhouse suites. The club harkens back to the traditional elegant country clubs of the past. Then there is The Hideaway, an exclusive, private-equity golf club and residential development with two sweeping 18-hole golf courses have gorgeous mountain views, cascading waters, and difficult holes that will appeal to the golfer looking for a challenge.
The coolest addition to Palm Springs is a private luxury motorsports facility, The Thermal Club. Renowned racetrack designer Alan Wilson crafted 4.5 miles of road racing that includes three independent circuits with the flexibility to run 19 different configurations. The track is designed to handle anything from F1 to vintage motorsport racing, and is accommodating to drivers at all levels of skill and experience. Thermal also offers an array of activities for the entire family, including world-class dining, go-karting, luxurious spa & fitness facilities, pool facilities, mechanical services, a Kids’ Club and special event services. The developer of The Thermal Club and The Madison Club is Discovery Land Company Chairman and CEO owner Mike Meldman of Discovery Land Company properties.
The hip and cool hotel to book is the Parker. Jonathan Adler redesigned the former Givenchy resort that boasts a spa, tennis courts, and upscale dining for the visiting elite. For less traditional travelers, the Colony Palms Hotel is a luxe, Moroccan-inspired Spanish colonial property, decorated by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard. Another option is the La Quinta Resort and Club; secluded and personal, the hotel feels all at once like a charming village and a luxury destination
In the warmer months, head to the Palm Desert Aquatic Center at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park. Younger kids will love the splash pool while older kids and adults can enjoy water slides in the family recreation pool. An Olympic-size pool is there for lap swimming or diving. Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa features Splashtopia, an expansive swimming and recreation complex with a lazy river, water slides, and artificial beach. The Living Desert has over 450 wild animals. The zoo and accompanying botanical garden represent the desert environments of North America and Africa and covers over 1,200 acres. The Palm Springs Air Museum has one of the world’s largest collections of flyable World War II airplanes, including 27 flyable Warbirds and a working B-17 bomber. Also in the museum are a large vintage car collection and a flight simulator that will delight the kids.
Dubbed the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert,” El Paseo covers several city blocks of stylish and trendy stores, cafés, and boutiques. For chic Palm Springs fashion, check out Trina Turk for the latest in poolside styles and it also has a gorgeous home design collection. If you are looking for upscale gifts to bring home, Just Fabulous is the boutique to visit. Palm Springs also boasts stunning examples of mid-century modern architecture and has become the epicenter of “Desert Modernism” and has become a hotspot for vintage clothing stores and vintage furniture. The streets are lined with boutique shops, art galleries, museums and restaurants nestled in striking desert scenery.
The Uptown Design District is a must for the Modernism enthusiast where I recommend Modern Way for first-rate home furnishings. Boulevard offers unique fine furnishings, both vintage and new and Not Neutral, a former popup store, sells unusual contemporary accessories and tableware. For more vintage goods, Palm Canyon Galleria has eight different shops packed with collectibles from the 1920s through the 1970s So, no matter what your journey is in Palm Springs, you’re sure to find all you seek, and so much more, in this desert paradise.