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The Ultimate Guide to Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a quintessential desert oasis and one of the key inspirations behind our spring collection. This iconic California retreat is the land of rest and relaxation, and the exact locale we imagine wearing our latest breezy separates. Beyond its inspiring aesthetic, Palm Springs is home to the largest concentration of midcentury modern architecture, cool blue swimming pools at every turn, and, you guessed it—palm trees.

A storied haven for Southern California residents since the Golden Age, a retreat here is an escape to nostalgia. Just a short jaunt south east of Los Angeles, this deluxe destination draws crowds all year round. Below, we round up some of our favorite places to stay, shop, eat, and unwind. After all, this town was made for lounging.


Korakia Pensione—A Palm Springs stalwart of hospitality, this family-run pensione (Italian for small hotel or boarding house) is a cluster of Mediterranean and Moroccan-style villas with stunning views of Tahquitz Canyon and the San Jacinto Mountains. With a yoga room, on-site spa, library lounge, outdoor film screenings and a relaxing courtyard, this breathtaking locale is a must for anyone in need of a bit of European charm.

Sparrow Lodge—Built in 1952 by Hollywood actor Don Castle, the hotel formerly known as Castle’s Red Barn boasts 20 rooms with a warm, rustic aesthetic known as Desert Craftsman. Pure redwood accents, furniture and beamed ceilings and bathtubs made from refinished horse troughs, the lodge has a distinct feeling of summer camp for adults. The atmosphere is communal, prices are reasonable, and the lack of television notable—guests are encouraged to enjoy the outdoor fireplaces and horseshoe pits in efforts to reconnect with nature and one another.

Parker Palm Springs—The colorful, saturated interior of this 144-room hotel, recently redesigned by Jonathan Adler, is practically begging to be Instagrammed. A resort spanning 14 acres, the meticulously gardened property has been a premiere luxury destination since the 1960s. Private villas, two restaurants, a retro-meets-modern bar and Hermes toiletries in every room are just a few reasons to stay at this glamorous retreat. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the winding footpaths, traversing through the lushly landscaped gardens.


Purple Palm Restaurant—A former speakeasy opened in 1938, the Purple Palm Restaurant is nestled in the Colony Palms Hotel still retains the spirit of indulgence. The poolside (and dog friendly!) restaurant is dimly lit for dinner, bright and bustling for brunch, and wallpapered with Moroccan-style décor. Brioche French toast is a must for brunch, topped with lemon curd, crème anglaise and lemon ricotta. Pan roasted salmon is one of many delicious choices for dinner—try it with a craft cocktail, like their signature lavender-infused mojito. 

King’s Highway—All the charm and none of the is-this-real-cheese vibe of a roadside diner, this is a charming eatery located at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. Occupying a former Denny’s and run by the team behind Brooklyn’s Five Leaves, this spot gives a much-needed fancying up to classic American fare. Consider the Albacore Tuna Melt—made with sumac and caper aioli, this is a (very welcome) far cry from road food. Pick up a date shake on your way to Joshua Tree, dine in for brunch or stop by to check out the late-night scene.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar—Locally sourced ingredients are the root of the innovative dishes at Workshop Kitchen + Bar, located in the historic El Paseo building in uptown Palm Springs. Farmhouse-style tables and shareable plates always draw a crowd, and its “industrial chic” design is renowned for being an architectural feat in itself. Fried cauliflower steak, oxtail risotto and duck fat fries are just a few of the innovative dishes found at this this James Beard award-winning eatery, serving brunch, dinner, wine and cocktails.

Art & Design

The Modern Tour—For the aesthete, take a two-and-a-half-hour curated tour of some of the finest examples of midcentury modern architecture and design. Complimentary admission to the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center is included, and it’s worth every penny.

Twin Palms—Frank Sinatra was the first to bring the celebrity factor to the sleepy desert town. After signing a lucrative contract with MGM, Sinatra hired architect E. Stewart Williams to design what was first intended to be a “Georgian-style mansion.” Thankfully, Williams steered Sinatra away from the ornate and convinced him to go with something more desert appropriate—and thus, Twin Palms was born. The house set a standard for Hollywood glamour, and is now available for vacation rentals, weddings and private tours.

Palm Springs Art Museum—The Palm Springs Art Museum represents collection of modern and contemporary paintings and sculptures from some of the most prolific artists of the West Coast and beyond. The museum is free every Thursday evening and second Saturday and is currently showing a collection of famed Andy Warhol prints from a private collection.  

The Great Outdoors

Joshua Tree—Sprawling desert scenery and a quiet calm are reason enough to make the trip to Joshua Tree, where spindly yucca trees and rock formations lend an alien-like quality to the national park that spans two deserts (230,000 acres straddle the Mojave and the Sonoran, representing vegetation of both). A recent flock of artists and creatives have migrated to the oasis for its inspiring landscape and respite from urban living. And, some might argue that the Integratron lends a bit of that nebulous “energy” so often reported in the park’s limits. If sound baths and time travel isn’t your thing, climbing, hiking, and camping in Joshua Tree’s many campsites are sure to appease even the most cynical of skeptics.

Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium—Since 1939, the Moorten family has owned and operated this botanical garden, specializing in cacti and desert plants. The garden is broken up into geographical regions, serving as kind of a world tour of botany, boasting specimens collected from Baja California, Mexico, and as close to the equator as Guatemala. It’s only $5 to tour the 1.5 acres of every cacti and succulent imaginable, $2 for children 15 and under and free for children under five.
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Photos by Morgan Pansing