I recently traveled to Palm Springs, California for the first time with my mom for a chance for us to reunite and celebrate my engagement. We went in the middle of summer which is considered their off-season since it is seriously SO DAMN HOT! Unfortunately, a lot of the shops and restaurants were closed until September but we still got to visit so many gorgeous spaces the city has to offer. What’s really nice about Palm Springs is it’s such a small city and everything is so close, you can see just about everything in only a day or two. Here are a couple of things I absolutely fell in love with out there and highly recommend for future visitors.

Pit Stops:

Salvation Mountain is located at 751-949 E Beal Rd. Basically it’s in the middle of nowhere and about an hour and a half detour from Palm Springs. Make sure you plan your time accordingly if your going to make this journey, it really is quite the trek. While I’m not a religious person this mountain and space is still a sight to be seen. The art work is so incredible and the location makes it all the more captivating.

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The Cabazon Dinosaurs are located at 50770 Seminole Dr. They are a bit closer if you’re coming from the California side VS Arizona but a great pit stop to make before you leave Palm Springs since it’s just outside the city. It’s basically two random dinosaurs in the middle of the desert, I mean whats not to love about that?! They also have a little museum you can pay to enter that I think is aimed more towards kids and families. Another bonus to this pit stop is it’s right next to all the outlet stores (Cabazon Outlets) and those fascinating energy windmills!

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Places to Stay:

The Saguaro is located at 1800 E Palm Canyon Dr. This hotel is full of amazing bright colors and so many great photo opps. The contrast of the rainbow hues against the bare desert is so beautiful. One thing to know is it is definitely more of a party hotel and probably a great place to stay if you’re looking to let loose with your friends for a weekend. During our visit they were hosting a huge pool party called Splash House, it was quite the scene and the whole set up was really cool.

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The Parker is located at 4200 E Palm Canyon Dr. This place was hands down one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve seen. The decor is GOALS! Every inch of this very retro space is designed to perfection. We didn’t get the chance to stay here because not only were they completely booked but even during off season their rates were the highest at a little over $400 a night. One thing that I also didn’t get to see when we visited was the pool because you have to have a room key but I’ve heard it’s really amazing.

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The Ace is located at 701 E Palm Canyon Dr. What I loved about this place is that it appears so simple and doesn’t really look like the nicest hotel but it has a lot of cool little gems hidden through out the property. One of my favorite things there is this roll away alphabet sign that they change to different cute phrases every so often. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to sit down and eat at their restaurant The Kings Hideaway but judging by the wait, the food must be really good here as well!

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Destinations:

This neighborhood holds some of the nicest houses in Palm Springs. The instafamous Pink Door is located at 1100 Sierra Way. If you go to Palm Springs and you don’t get a picture in front of this door, did you really even go?! One of my other favorite houses in this neighborhood is just a few doors down, the house with the two lions. Apparently the home owners change the lions goofy accessories pretty frequently which makes it a fun spot to keep revisiting.

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Moorten Botanical Gardens is located at 1701 S Palm Canyon Dr. There is a $4 entry fee but totally worth the experience if this is the sort of thing you’re into. My favorite part of the garden is the green house that holds all these crazy cacti that look like little snakes hanging from the interior. I always think it’s interesting to see how botanical gardens vary in different cities. This one is almost completely filled with cacti, I don’t think I saw a single flower in the joint.

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If you’ve been to Palm Springs before and have other suggestions on must see places I’d love to hear about them in the comments. I will defiantly be making another trip back out there in the near future!