Palm Desert is one of my favorite California hideaways.
Its a quick 9 hour drive from my house in Springville, and it makes for such a great road trip because we pass through St. George, Vegas and Joshua Tree on the drive – oh, and the scenery is drop dead gorgeous!
Early spring is the perfect time to go because the weather isn’t hot AF yet, so you are able to enjoy your adventures around town and by the pool without sweat stains, or death by dehydration.
To be honest, my favorite time is early March, because unless you want to hang with spring breakers, or plan on going to Coachella (late March/ early April), the desert comes alive with parties and everything gets really crowded…which is great if you are actually going to events, but utter hell if you aren’t!
This town is the perfect place for some RnR where dining, developing the perfect golden glow and shopping are the main focus of your ‘to-do’ list. Speaking of lists, I’m doing this travel diary a little bit differently. I am sharing a few of my fave corners of the desert I have discovered over my last few trips down in a few top 5 lists + sharing a peek inside my suitcase of the threads I wore while I was there!
WHAT TO SHOP + EAT + PLAY IN PALM DESERT
For starters, there is a lot of shopping there…like, A LOT. So if you are a shop til you drop kinda person, this is the place for you!
SHOP TIL YOU DROP: My top 5 favorite shopping destinations in Palm Desert
- The Cabazon Outlet Mall: There are so many rad stores here…Allsaints, Zadig & Voltaire, Billabong, Wildfox, Vans, adidas, Jimmy Choo…you catch my drift. John surprised me with a fringe suede leather jacket at Allsaints, for 50% off its outlet price, so it was like $250, plus I also scored 2 pairs of boots for $150. The shopping here is next level.
- 29 Palms: The main drag in 29 Palms, just outside of Joshua Tree, is littered with cute vintage shops and bohemian vibe boutiques. Some of my faves were The End and Promised Land but there are cool antique stores, a record shop and other second hand stores so plan a day for this – you really have to take some time to look through each place.
- Forever 21 at The River: Just trust me, not all Forever 21 stores are created equal, but this one is STOCKED with cute stuff. I always come home with a bag of new goodies from this one that we don’t have in Salt Lake City, such a great place to pop into before or after seeing a movie.
- Goodwill: I have found some really cute threads at the Goodwill in Palm Desert. including a romper that I shot while I was down there because it was SO cute. I found it at Goodwill with tags still on it, for $10…so good. Again, some place you have to dig a bit so plan some extra shopping time.
- El Paseo: This is such a fabulous luxury mall and the perfect place to take those insta-worthy OOTD’s! They have everything from an Escada, to this fabulous 2nd hand designer store (click here for more deets), so even if you are balling on a budget, its worth checking out for the scenery alone!
TAKE A DRIVE: MY TOP 5 INSTA-WORTHY PLACES IN PLAM DESERT
Here are some of my faves to help you get that insta-worthy shot…for posterity sake, naturally! 🙂
- Highway 74: This is such a fun windy rode with picturesque opportunities at every turn! The drive is beautiful and goes up a mountainside then gives you this gorgeous view at the top with a scenic turnout for you to snap those pics!
- The Pink Palm Springs Door: The door that inspired 1,000 doors…literally. Before I had been to Palm Desert I had seen the door before and was totally obsessed with it. So much, that I went to the hardware store and painted my own front door pink! See the post here! Unfortunately, as of March this year – the people living there have requested people no longer take photographs on their property. Soooo, if you are looking for a good alternative my I suggest the Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs!
- The Windmills: Just off the 10, are the most stunning field of windmills along the road. They are one of my all-time favorite pieces of scenery on the drive into the desert. They also make such a fun backdrop for photos! I love pulling off the overpass to one of the back streets. So much fun!
- Joshua Tree: This place is gorgeous! I am so obsessed with the cotton candy skies and the beautiful silhouette of Joshua Trees at sunset. Day or night, this place is a must…even if photographs are the farthest thing from your mind. Its beautiful there.
- The Wall-Art in 29 Palms: My favorite pieces are at The End. They have two turquoise and pink murals that I simply adore. As you drive along the main street in town you will see them along the side of the road!
WHAT I’M EATING LATELY: My top 5 Places to Eat in Palm Desert (at all price points)
There are SO MANY yummy places to eat in Palm Desert, you will have no shortage of options when you get there! Here are some of my absolute faves, at all price points:
- Pieology: If you’re in the mood for pizza, this place was the bomb! We ordered one of their specials (the meat-eaters one) and got the stuffed crust and some frozen coca-cola Icee’s. The most amazing, and legit cheat meal ever.
- Juice It Up: If you are an Acai lover, this place is going to be your main squeeze. John’s mom ordered me a with lime, blackberrys and chocolate and it was AH-mazing!!!
- Macario’s Grill: This is my hands down favorite place to eat in the desert, I should probably have better photos of their food, but it never lasts long enough for me to take them. They have the most bomb green chili enchiladas and guacamole that I have every tasted. So good, go there, just go!
- Lemon Sharke Pokè: This place is located in a mall, but just trust me when I say…they know how to make a wicked pokè bowl. So yummy and their ginger lemonade is good too, yes its $4.oo…but totally worth every penny.
- Hadley’s Date Farm: This place is going to be your dream date…if you are into that kind of thing, see what I did there? Their date shakes are soooooo good! If you love dates you can even take some to go and make some of your own at home.
WHAT I’M WEARING IN…PALM DESERT