5.15.2022 – 5.19.2022 || Palm Springs | California
La Quinta Resort and Spa tennis facility is what initially drew us to the greater Palm Springs area in Southern California, but upon further research this was a perfect location for a four night getaway. Check out where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did in greater Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.
Where to Stay:
La Quinta Resort & Spa: The hotel opened in 1926 as a desert getaway and has expanded to a 45-acre luxury resort set in the Santa Rosa Mountains in the resort town of La Quinta. Truly a desert oasis for relaxation and fitness. It was an incredible place to play tennis with 20 courts (both hard and clay court options), 41 pools across the property, a spa, various bungalow style casitas to choose from, and several of the best dining options in La Quinta. We were never too far away from a pool or a mountain view no matter where we were on the property. Highly recommend staying here for the full experience.
Where to Eat & Drink (in order of how we experienced it):
Jake’s: Our first stop in Palm Springs after a 4 am east coast wake up and two flights. Jake’s is a cute American bistro with a charming courtyard in downtown Palm Springs. They have plenty of umbrellas and misters which were key for eating outside when the temperature was over 100 degrees. The heroin margarita pictured below came with syringe of Grand Mariner to complete my drink tableside. When in Palm Springs?
Adobe Grill: Does it get any more picturesque than this? Authentic Mexican dining right at La Quinta Resort. The margaritas and crispy chicken mole were the stars.
Cork & Fork: About a five minute drive from the resort is an understated wine bar in a strip mall. It was vibrant and the place to be on a Monday evening. The wine menu featured lesser known wines but the food was unique and well-prepared. Try the shrimp cakes and poke nachos from the small plates menu. I hear they are moving to a larger location so be sure to look it up before you go.
1501 Uptown Gastropub: Found this gem by accident. We planned to eat lunch in downtown Palm Springs on Tuesday before checking out some shops when we discovered a lot of restaurants were closed on Tuesday. 1501 Uptown had glowing reviews and did not disappoint. They opened in 2020 during the pandemic and created an airy space with mid-century modern décor. It felt like I was eating in a Room & Board store! The blue crab and lobster beer cheese sandwich pictured below was incredible – it consisted of crab and lobster smothered in this delicious cheese sauce with pickles and pickled red cabbage on Texas toast – do yourself a favor and get this and a glass of rose bubbly to wash it down.
Okura: Less than a 15 minute drive from La Quinta resort is a sushi restaurant located in a strip mall. The ambience was the best part of this place but that could be due to poor ordering our time time there.
Morgan’s in the Desert: A very memorable birthday meal at La Quinta Resort’s signature dining venue located adjacent to the lobby. Great wine list and delicious food that definitely showcased the best of the Coachella Valley. I want to try and recreate the halibut dish later this summer.
TWENTY6: Another dining option at La Quinta Resort that is a good sit down breakfast option. On mornings that we played tennis we opted for something quick at the marketplace but decided to sit down for breakfast on the last morning. The huevos rancheros were some of the best that I ever had.
What to Do:
Joshua Tree National Park: The Mojave and Colorado deserts come together in Joshua Tree National Park and offer incredible views over the Coachella Valley and plenty to explore in the park. Seeing how it was over 100 degrees every day of the trip we opted to drive through the park one afternoon. We drove ~1 hour to the West Entrance Station, grabbed some sandwiches to go at a place called Roadrunner’s before exploring the park and exiting at the Cottonwood Visitor Center. Round trip from La Quinta we spent ~2 hours driving there and back and ~3 hours driving through the park with several stops along the way to take in the scenery. Here are some of my favorite photos from the day.
Shopping in Downtown Palm Springs: I read that Palm Springs is known for rest, relaxation, and retail. There was no shortage of shopping from what we could tell. We spent some time in downtown Palm Springs on two different occasions and mostly explored boutiques and shops on North Palm Canyon Drive between W El Alameda and El Granvia Valmonte (it was way too hot to walk around in my opinion). The Trina Turk flagship store is located in this area and was such a fun experience to try on some of her signature dresses!
Tennis at La Quinta Resort & Spa: INCREDIBLE facility, staff, and all around a memorable tennis experience. We took one lesson and played on clay courts three times during our stay. THIS is why we came to Palm Springs and absolutely why I would return again.
The Spa at La Quinta Resort: Pretty sure this is the prettiest spa that I have ever been to. The massages were great and the scenery idyllic. The one down side is despite having 41 pools across the property there is not a pool at the spa and the other amenities are pretty basic.
That’s how we spent four days of relaxation, recreation, and retail in the greater Palm Springs area. Until next time, Palm Springs!
Question: There are several restaurants that we did not get to try, plenty of other parks to explore, tennis at Indian Wells, etc. to fill weeks of fun in the desert. What did we miss that we should check out next time?
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