Like most of us, you’ve probably dreamed of picking it all up and leaving it all behind you this year, if only for a few days. What better place to get rid of your worries than a self-proclaimed hideaway in one of California’s most striking natural environments?
Palm Springs, just far enough from the city, was once an escape from celebrity culture and control. Movie stars of the twenties and thirties found a pristine haven in the desert community. Separated from Los Angeles by more than a hundred miles of desert and mountain, Palm Springs was able to develop its own culture due to its growing reputation as a sought-after oasis. The city is now a (not-so-secret) leading destination for all things that are mod, mid-century, and mystical. With Joshua Tree National Park to the east and Mount San Jacinto State Park to the west, Palm Springs is surrounded by a natural grace that inspires its thriving artist community as well as newbies. Let luxury accommodations, international cuisine, and nationally renowned galleries guide you through a desert vacation designed to relax and rejuvenate.
For a stay that reflects Palm Springs’ international influence and emphasis on mindfulness, visit one of the villas of Korakia Pensione in the city center. Regardless of whether you choose accommodation inspired by Moroccans or Meditarran, you will be greeted with a thoughtfully decorated, light-flooded room with a personal touch. Choose from rooms, studios, suites and bungalows with the option of a « Romantic Getaway » package or even the « Under the Baby Moon » package for expectant mothers. Spend the day on one of Korakia’s rental cruiser bikes before returning to enjoy the Moroccan tea lesson, heated saltwater pool, and a candlelit stroll through the grounds and take in the mountain views.
Another visually rich and carefully curated option is the Andalusian courtyard, just steps from the main drag. There are eight villas to choose from, each with antique furniture, Spanish architecture and lots of green space outdoors. The buildings on the other side of the property are decorated with colorful tiles. Features like the heated pool, local wine, and even grocery delivery make it difficult to leave the resort. The Andalusian is, in a word, absolutely exuberant.
If you’re more comfortable in a large home, Homestead Modern has the desert condo you’ve been looking for. The company offers short-term rentals outside of Palm Springs that get you closer to Joshua Tree and further away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Every modern home has its own distinctive features, including fire pits, hot tubs, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the horizon. Most homes are a short drive from Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, or Joshua Tree, but feel private enough to call yourself.
The Palm Springs area has a knack for attracting you and the Thermal Club is there to tailor a luxurious living experience to your personal preferences. Located about 45 minutes outside of town, the club is best for car enthusiasts who want to be permanent residents of the area. In addition to custom built houses and villas with large garages, the club offers access to a prestigious racetrack right in your backyard where professionals are available to meet your driving needs. Though remote, the community is easily accessible by car or the nearby airport, and restaurants, shopping, and other services are within driving distance.
With exclusive long-term benefits like fine dining, spa access, driving routes, and even karting -Racing training, membership in The Thermal Club is an investment in your passion and your future.
The State Fare Bar & Kitchen prides itself on calling its menu purely “Californian”. This means products and cuisine from the region, prepared with the diverse population of the state in mind. The Ritz-Carlton’s restaurant, Rancho Mirage, is a great first or last night dinner during your stay in Palm Springs. The menus are big and the culinary innovation is huge.
Then head to the Persimmon Bistro & Wine Bar and tour the Palm Springs Art Museum. With an extensive selection of local and European wines, light bites, and even wood-fired pizza, it’s a perfect complement to the museum’s changing exhibits.
If you’re traveling north to Pioneertown, don’t Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace miss to enjoy classic dishes and open air concerts. Exploring Pioneertown and its many shops by itself can take a full day. So top it off with a homemade meal from the nearly forty year old restaurant and venue. Next up on the concert schedule is Superwolves in June and Waxahatchee in September!
One of the best gifts or souvenirs to take home from Palm Springs is an original work of art by a local painter, sculptor or designer.
The Woodman / Shimko Gallery, which opened in 2013, is a relatively new addition to the Galerieweg in Palm Springs and has become a mainstay in the eight years since its conception. In addition to local artists, the room also houses the gallery owner Woody Shimko’s own furniture designs. Most of the featured works are for sale, and a visit to the venue is a great way to support local creators and the gallery’s belief in art as a sacred cause.
« SpaceWoman in Yellow » – current art by Richard Prescott from the Mod City Gallery, basks in the intense …  sunlight of its surroundings in Palm Springs.
From there you can see a selection of works of art by Richard Prescott from Palm Springs in the Mod City Gallery. Constantly aware of the city’s modern history, Richard’s work claims that the mid-century is famous like its iconic architecture. In addition to custom indoor and outdoor work, the artist produces contemporary prints with a knowing nod to another era of design.
As mentioned above, Pioneertown is a must for film and history buffs. Built in the 1940s, the movie set features western architecture from the late 19th century and a number of local businesses that keep the community alive. Celebrating western outlaw culture as well as old Hollywood, Pioneertown is full of curiosities and one-of-a-kind photo ops. Spend your day peering into craft shops, admiring wooden facades on Mane Street, and enjoying live music over dinner. If you need more than a day to explore, there are lodging options right in the heart of the city.
No Palm Springs experience is complete without a drive to Joshua Tree National Park. In the park, two deserts meet to form an ecosystem like no other in the world. There are tons of hiking trails, oases, and viewpoints to visit, and the Cholla Cactus Garden is the ideal introduction to the desert flora (and fauna, if you’re lucky)! Closest to the park’s northern entrance, the garden features a nature trail that winds through the home of the teddy bear cholla. This is the largest group of teddy bear chollas in the past, and the cozy name is just one of their special assets. Stunning all at once, the cacti grow alongside blooming hedgehog cacti, desert lavender and forget-me-nots.
If you expect Joshua Tree to stun during the day, you will be even more amazed when you see it at night. Joshua Tree Workshops’ 2021 Milky Way Photography Workshop allows you to take the night sky home with you with the help of your camera and specially trained instructors. This limited workshop takes place overnight and includes dinner and the option to camp or use local accommodation. Aspiring photographers have the opportunity to practice shooting the golden sands of Joshua Tree at sunset and starry skies at night. The next morning, participants will learn how to use Adobe Lightroom to make their photos perfect for magazines. Sessions are still available for June through September!
Alicja Kwade’s art installation ParaPivot (sempiternal cloud) in this year’s Desert X, a …  contemporary art exhibition taking place in the Coachella Valley in Southern California.
The Open to mid-May 2021, Desert X is a multi-faceted art exhibition featuring brand new works by some of the most influential contemporary artists. Desert X is produced by Desert Biennial, a nonprofit that focuses on desert installations and includes artists such as Felipe Baeza and Christopher Myers. The exhibits are in multiple locations around the Palm Springs area and include sculptures, installations, sound-based works, and more.
Housed in an incredible dome-shaped structure near the Landers community, the Integratron Sound Baths provide a memorable one Experience for those looking for sound healing. The acoustics of the building are suitable for the echoing tones of crystal singing bowls. The entire 60 minute session will leave you calm and in awe. Shared Sound Bath sessions can be booked from June and beyond.
If you’ve spent enough time in Joshua Tree, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in Mount San Jacinto State Park is a great way to get a bird’s eye view enjoy. The rotating tram is the largest of its kind in the world and gives you a 360-degree view of the park’s peaks and canyons. After the tram has dropped you off at the mountain station, visit the viewing platforms, the museum and the network of trails to get to know the park. Head to the Forest View Restaurant and enjoy a varied menu at heights where you least expect it.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens takes you one step closer to the wild with family-oriented activities and learning opportunities. Feed a giraffe, learn about Australian animals, and in the meantime, check out the Wildlife Wonders Show. The gardens include a network of nature trails, which are best accessed on foot from October through late May. Book a guided tour to learn more about the pristine desert ecosystem and how The Living Desert works.
While Palm Springs is doing a great job preserving its glorious past, it is definitely an ever-evolving and cutting-edge travel destination . The modern retreats continue to attract visitors and new residents, and it’s easy to feel the pull of desert housing as you step into town. Thanks to the huge Joshua Tree and San Jacinto State Parks on either side, the city will feel like a lifetime away. Palm Springs merges perfectly with the strong forces of nature and remains an outdoor hideaway. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, relaxation, or a change in yourself, go out there and let yourself be found.
A girl from Sonoma County, California, was born and raised. Bitten by the travel bug at a young age, which led me to study abroad in London. I’ve worked under top lights
A girl from Sonoma County, California, was born and raised. Bitten by the travel bug at a young age, which led me to study abroad in London. I’ve worked among the top giants of the big Burberry and Christian Louboutin fashion houses while graduating from Central St. Martins and the London College of Fashion. After returning to the States, I fell in love with photography and film. I find inspiration at the height of the automotive, art and fashion world. My work has been featured in a variety of publications including Forbes, Town & Country, Road & Track, and Rolling Stone. After traveling far and wide from Monaco and Cuba to Thailand and Tunisia, my focus is on capturing the typical luxury travel experiences and the best design in the world to fuel your imagination and inspire your own travel adventures and creativity.
To see or learn more, visit:
Shelby Knick Pictures (www.shelbyknick.com)
Ebene Magazine – Explore Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, and everything in between