Palm Springs Travel Guide: What to Eat & How to Burn it Off

The ultimate Palm Springs travel guide: I’ll tell you where to stay, what to eat and how to burn it off! 

Palm Springs Travel Guide

Up until recently, what little knowledge I had about Palm Springs was limited to Don Draper’s brief visit during season two of Mad Men. Truth be told: that 30-minute episode was enough to pique my interest so when Palm Springs kept popping up in my Reader Survey, I knew it was time.

Palm Springs Wellness Travel Guide

Between the rich history entwined with Hollywood stars, attractive desert climate and mid-century modern architecture in every direction, there is much to be desired about Palm Springs. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to explore this city for the 14th edition of my wellness travel series, What to Eat & How to Burn it Off.

Green Lake Whistler Liz with Backpack

Be sure to check out the other 13 destinations we’ve already covered including WhistlerVancouverChicagoDenverCharleston, TucsonNew Orleans, Grand RapidsSan DiegoVailMiamiUtah and Banff.

ARRIVE Pool at Night

If you’re looking for a great hotel to stay in during your next visit to Palm Springs, look no further than ARRIVE. Truly, from the moment you arrive, you are treated like royalty. (Pun intended.)

ARRIVE Pool Bar Liz Sitting

In fact, while my luggage was routed to my room I was ushered to the hotel bar for a complimentary cocktail upon arrival. Is there anything better after a long travel day?

ARRIVE Hotel Palm Springs Guest Rooms

Stylish, modern and sleek are a few words that came to mind when I stepped into my guest room.

ARRIVE Pool Liz

Of course, this Michigan gal didn’t fly to California to spend much time in her hotel room. The pool was calling my name.

ARRIVE Pool Panorama

If there’s one thing Palm Springs makes very clear: you’re here to relax, recharge and unplug.

ARRIVE Palm Springs Ping my Pong

Worried about the desert heat? Don’t worry, there are misters for that.

ARRIVE Seating Area by Pool

As much as I could have relaxed poolside the entire trip (and I highly urge you to do that if you wish!), I had too much to eat, see and do during my first visit to Palm Springs!

Reservoir at ARRIVE Breakfast

When it comes to What to Eat, Palm Springs has everything you’re looking for whether it be farm-to-plate California cuisine, Southwest flavors or hearty comfort food. Hands down, the best breakfast of the trip was at Reservoir located right at the hotel. Pro Tip: Let the well-trained wait staff bring you a selection of their favorite menu items which rotate frequently. The crispy potatoes were worth every calorie and the shakshuka was one of the best I’ve ever tasted.

Kings Highway at Ace Hotel and Swim Club

For lunch, head over to King’s Highway Diner located inside the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. It’s hard to step inside this retro diner without feeling like you’ve immediately stepped back into time.

Kings Highway Diner Palm Springs

From the scratch-made Mexican food to the watermelon radishes to the charcoal beverages on the menu, you can’t eat here without feeling like a true Californian. We’re not in the midwest anymore, Toto.

Cross Roads Cafe Joshua Tree

For a tasty lunch spot near Joshua Tree, Crossroads Cafe has everything you could want before or after your hike: juicy burgers, vegan options, fresh salads, homemade soups and more. More about Joshua Tree shortly!

Evzin Mediterranean Cuisine

If you find yourself in the El Paseo neighborhood, be sure to grab a bite to eat at EVZIN, a Mediterranean restaurant. The lamb burger is moist, flavorful and big enough to split with a friend.

Evzin Mediterranean Cuisine El Paseo

Craving a salad instead? The Chicken Tawook Fattoush was perfectly spiced and full of fresh, local California veggies.

El Revolucionario Mexican Restaurant

Of course, there was no way I could visit Palm Springs without getting my hands on authentic Mexican food. Lucky for me, my photographer has family in the area so he knew just the spot for us to visit: El Revolucionario in Cathedral City. Go for the sopes. Go for the homemade salsa bar. Whatever you do, just go.

Citrus and Palm at the Miramonte

For a slightly more upscale dining option, grab dinner at Citrus & Palm located in the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort. You can dine indoors or sit outside near the beautiful fire pits. The menu changes seasonally but you really can’t go long with their wide variety of locally sourced meats, vegetables and seafood.

Eight4Nine Restaurant Palm Springs

If you want a great restaurant for a girl’s night out, Eight4Nine is a super trendy restaurant and lounge located in the fashionable Uptown Design District of Palm Springs, just down the street from ARRIVE Hotel. The staff is extremely friendly and the menu has a little something for everyone.

Workshop Restaurant Palm Springs

My final dining recommendation in Palm Springs is Workshop Kitchen + Bar. The 2015 James Beard Award winning restaurant for best restaurant design offers a seasonal menu made with food sourced from local farms.

Workshop Kitchen Restaurant Palm Springs

The seafood dishes and the duck fat fries really stole the show for me. You can’t be the atmosphere and the service is top notch. This restaurant would be ideal for a fancy date night or girl’s night out.

Bootlegger Tiki Bar Palm Springs

Of course, you can’t visit Palm Springs without exploring the cocktail scene. Tiki bars are all the rage right now but I knew I had stumbled upon a gem when I stepped inside Bootlegger Tikki and my favorite song from the movie Beetlejuice, Day-O, was blasting through the sound system. Pro Tip: Order the beef jerky from the bar snacks menu.

Truss and Twine Cocktail Bar Palm Springs

My second recommendation for incredible cocktails in Palm Springs is Truss & Twine which is the second venture of the same team who started Workshop Kitchen. Truss & Twine’s menu of classic cocktails is broken down by era including the Golden Age, Prohibition, Tiki and more. The place spoke to me so much that I went back twice. Don’t miss out on this gem!

Customs Coffee Palm Springs

Last but not least for What to Eat (and drink!) in Palm Springs, don’t miss Customs Coffee. The neighborhood coffee joint is located right at ARRIVE Hotel, making it a great spot to fuel up on your way out the door each morning to explore the local area.

Palm Springs Palm Trees

Speaking of explore, now that we’ve covered What to Eat it’s time to talk about How to Burn it Off! Of course, with weather as beautiful as it is in Southern California, there was no way I was going to spend my time inside a gym this trip.

Saguaro Hotel Palm Springs Yoga

Whenever I travel, I love to carve out time for yoga to stretch my body out a bit after a long day in a tight airplane seat. The Saguaro Palm Springs offers outdoor yoga classes which are ideal for all levels.

Saguaro Hotel Palm Springs

Even if you don’t take a yoga class, be sure to grab a drink at The Saguaro just to check out this colorful, retro hotel.

Palms to Pines Scenic Byway Aerial Photo

For incredible photo opportunities and various hikes of all lengths, hit the road and explore the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway. Offering a full variety of ecosystems in the Lower Sonoran region, it is located in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Untitled Panorama3

Be sure to bring your camera, the sunset views from Coachella Valley Vista Point are incredible. While you aren’t facing the direction of the sun, you can’t beat the candy colored purple sky that appears.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Another fun activity that is ideal for people of all fitness levels is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Offering guided nature walks, hiking, snow shoeing, cross country skiing and more, there is truly something for everyone, no matter what time of year you visit Palm Springs.

Biggest Loser Resort Desert Springs

If you’re a long-time fan of the Biggest Loser TV show like I am, you might want to experience the Biggest Loser Resort, a JW Marriott property located in Palm Desert.

The Biggest Loser Resort Palm Desert CA

Offering high-quality health and wellness programs, a full service spa and first class amenities, it offers everything you’d expect from a JW Marriott plus hands-on nutrition counseling and exercise programs. The total body assessment tool was hugely eye opening and helped me learn more about my total body health, muscle mass and more.

Joshua Tree Skull Rock

The true highlight of my visit? Joshua Tree National Park. In fact, I loved it so much I’ve decided to write an entirely separate post dedicated to spending one full day in Joshua Tree. Keep your eyes peeled for that post coming soon!

ARRIVE Hotel Liz Poolside Palm Springs

In the meantime, let me know what destinations you’d like to see me cover in the future! I’m always taking recommendations and love hearing from you.

Palm Springs Liz Dress

Your passport is waiting.

Disclosure: Greater Palm Springs coordinated my hotel accommodations, meals and activities during my stay.

Curious to see more of my travel destinations? Check out my Pinterest board!

2 thoughts on “Palm Springs Travel Guide: What to Eat & How to Burn it Off”

  1. Hey Liz!

    I follow you on Instagram and I was just googling Palm Springs recipes and there you are!

    We are on our way there now, so hope to visit a few of these spots.

    Hope you’re well!

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