City Guide: 24 Hours in Palm Springs

If you read my previous blog post about my mom’s 60th birthday surprise, you’ll know I surprised her with an overnight trip to Palm Springs for her birthday. I only booked us for one night (since that weekend was Easter weekend), so here’s a recap of how I planned our bomb dot com 24 hour whirlwind Palm Springs weekend!

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It being Easter day and a Sunday, I did not have a whole lot planned for this day besides going out to dinner since a lot of places were going to be closed by the time we arrived. We left around 1245 from church, stopped for lunch at Rubios along the way, and hit the road at 2pm.

4pm: Arrived to The Ivy Palm Resort & Spa
I snagged this hotel at a steal of a deal for a one night stay! The grounds were very pretty, and the pools (yes, poolS as in more that one) are amazing. We got a lovely two bed right next to the bigger pool, on the second floor.

5pm: Wandered N. Palm Canyon drive
While we were waiting for our dinner reservations, we wandered around North Palm Canyon drive, noting which shops we wanted to check out the following day. We found a cute hidden oasis behind Koffi (a yummy coffee nook) and sat at a bench to relax a bit, and enjoyed the desert views. I love all the architecture Palm Springs has to offer, and there are so many cute hideaways along the street that are perfect for photo ops!

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530pm: Dinner at Trio
This restaurant was the best choice I could have made for my mom’s birthday dinner. We got a great table next to the window with a view of the entire restaurant, the staff had the table decorated with confetti in honor of my mom’s birthday, and our waiter couldn’t have been nicer. The food was SO amazingly mouth-wateringly good. Their atmosphere is super hip, too!

They had such a diverse menu, it was hard to choose an entree…but I ended up picking the lamb shank with green beans and mashed potatoes, and my mom had a seasonal greens salad with civiche as her appetizer. And of course, I had to get a strawberry margarita to celebrate! 😉 And at the end of dinner, our waiter brought out a super yummy birthday brownie ice cream with a candle on top for my mom. So sweet!

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7pm: Jacuzzi at the hotel
We ended up camping out in the huge jacuzzi because it was slightly windy and getting cooler as the sun set. The Ivy Palm is located right at the entrance to N. Palm Canyon drive, and has an AMAZING view of San Jacinto Mountain. We could even see the tiny lit up dot of the aerial tram going up and down the mountain late into the evening!


8am: Up bright and early for breakfast at Cheeky’s
This is THE spot if you want a trendy experience and AMAZING breakfast in Palm Springs. Apparently Cheeky’s is the spot to be for breakfast any day of the week, because it was packed, and it was a Monday! I ordered the french toast which was topped with blueberries and raspberries, and had the yummiest vanilla bean sauce on top. I didn’t even need syrup! My mom got a breakfast quesadilla that had guac, veggies, and eggs in it and we both ordered the fresh squeezed orange juice.

10am: Hit up the Aerial Tram at San Jacinto
I was so excited to go up the tram, as it’s been years since the last time I did it. My mom used to go up with my dad all the time to cross country ski (something I have yet to try)!  The weather difference from Palm Springs to San Jacinto Peak is about 30 degrees (which meant it was 37 degrees at the top, holy cow) so once we got up we didn’t stay too long since it was FREEZING.

Not much snow at the top though, just gorgeous views and brisk winds. I didn’t pack a ton of warm clothes for us to hike in, which is another reason why we only stayed at the top for about an hour…something to keep in mind for next time, because the hikes/nature walks you can do on the mountain are breathtaking and could take all day. It was also good that we got there early because when we left, the tram wait was over 2 hours! We only had to wait 30 minutes.

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The tram is really REALLY cool, it turns 360 degrees twice on the 10 minute ride up, allowing you to see the best views of the valley and the mountain as you ride! My mom did NOT care for how high we were (over 8000 feet) or for the fact that we were suspended hundreds of feet above ground. But I love heights and loved the views so I didn’t mind the height one bit!

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1230pm: Check out of hotel and walk N. Palm Canyon drive for shopping
Now this was one of my favorite parts of our trip – Palm Springs is really such an oasis for all things fashion forward, retro, vintage, and colorful. If we had more time I’m sure we would’ve found many more trendy places to shop, but here are a few of my favorite ones we found on N. Palm Canyon Drive:

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It’s like walking into a time warp back to retro land! I wish I could afford to buy one of his pieces. The Shag Gallery was so fun to wander around in, and the girl at the counter even gave us a free postcard because of how much we were drooling over his artwork!

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I mean doesn’t this place make you want to redo your entire house with color?! Just Modern is probably one of my favorite home decor stores now. Too bad I live 2.5 hour away!

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I found this gorgeous mod blue bracelet right as we walked in to Pelago. They had it in three other color combinations, but I loved this one the most! They also have these darling three tiered trays that would be perfect for jewelry storage, but I’m sure they were meant to be for food. They also sell some amazing and unique tufted sofa benches. My mom bought herself a ring, and bought me this bracelet 🙂 happy happy.

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Pretty much everything Trina Turk designs is fabulous. Everything is so colorful, well made, and I want it all (again)!! And I LOVED her 20th anniversary collection — so many colors and patterns, I would rock EVERYthing. I didn’t realize how much she makes though, as I’ve only ever seen her clothing for women at Nordstrom and Neiman. But she has things for the home, kitchen decor, books, golf bags (they’re so pretty, and I don’t even golf), and a GORGEOUS ready-to-wear selection. If I had a disposable income…you’d never see me in anything but Trina again.

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What’s funny about this shop is that half the things that are on display (retro and vintage home things, decor and jewelry) I could seriously find in my grandpa’s house. The glassware, the glass grape clusters, the rattan coasters, the pineapple serving trays…sometimes it’s nice knowing your grandparents kept everything from the 60’s and 70’s 😉 There are cases upon cases of vintage jewelry to drool over and for decent prices, too! My mom and I couldn’t get enough.


We didn’t get a chance to walk through this set of vintage shops but I do know that they house the much more pricey retro pieces than other shops in PS. However, their storefront is divine and I love all the textures that are going on!

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Even though we didn’t get to go inside the art museum for lack of time, I filed it in my “must do for next time” compartment. I’m studying to be a museum curator/exhibition designer right now in grad school, and museums have always fascinated me so of course we had to stop here! Plus this museum has great exhibitions going on right now.

230pm: Lunch at Las Casuelas Terraza
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This is the spot if you’re looking for authentic Mexican food with the best atmosphere! Living in San Diego, we frequent Old Town quite a bit and this place reminded me of Old Town’s quaint Mexican atmosphere. I know my mom loves her Mexican food (being half Hispanic), so I picked this place knowing she’d enjoy the atmosphere. We both had a two entree plate, with enchiladas, tamales, chips and salsa, and tacos. The food was amazing and it was nice to sit back and enjoy the breeze after a long day of shopping and hiking around San Jacinto.

4pm: Headed out of Palm Springs to Cabazon Outlets

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We were sad to say goodbye to our fun filled mini vacation, but excited to see what the Cabazon outlets had to offer us for more shopping! We stopped first at Ann Taylor; I bought a pair of adorable striped linen shorts and my mom snagged a perfect two toned sweater. Then we bee-lined to J.Crew, where I found another amazing pair of printed hot pink shorts and my mom bought the cutest pair of flattering taupe pants. After that, we walked all over Nike, Kate Spade, Steve Madden, Gap, and others but at this point we were feeling pretty wiped from our adventures during the day. So we called it quits with two Starbucks hot chocolates and headed for home. ❤

My mom told me I would never get away with a surprise birthday for her again now that she knows all my secrets (dangit), but I’m a pretty nifty party planner so I’m sure I will have more tricks up my sleeves for her next birthday! And there’s always John’s birthdays, too…ideas ideas! ❤

3 thoughts on “City Guide: 24 Hours in Palm Springs

  1. Marlene says:

    I love the blog post! Love it! The whole weekend, plus the element of surprise in being so sneaky about planning the trip, was just WONDERFUL! Thank you so much Rebecca! Any mother would love to have such a thoughtful daughter. Love you!!


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