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Palm Springs Romantic Getaway

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Mid-way through our Palm Springs romantic getaway, I asked my husband why we hadn't done this sooner. It had been eight years since we embarked on a grown-ups-only trip, and that's just far too long! With great places to stay, a tasty locavore food scene, and plenty to do (or not do), Palm Springs provides a lovely retreat from parenting and cold winter weather.

A Palm Springs romantic getaway provides a respite from parenting and cold weather!

A Palm Springs romantic getaway provides a respite from parenting and cold weather! (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Indian Canyons

Hiking trails vary in length and intensity at the Indian Canyons, Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. If you’re looking for an easy hike, try the Andreas Canyon loop trail that takes you past a fan palm oasis, interesting geology and rock formations, and some beautiful views of the canyon area. If you have more time, hike the longer Murray Canyon or Palm Canyon trails. Admission fees are required.

Beautiful views of Indian Canyons from Andreas Canyon Trail, Palm Springs

Beautiful views of Indian Canyons from Andreas Canyon Trail (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Shopping in the Desert

There is more shopping than you can shake your purse at in Palm Springs. From vintage modern furniture stores in Uptown Palm Springs and high-end designer boutiques along chi chi El Paseo shopping district, to the gigantic Desert Hills Outlet Mall west of the city, shopaholics will be giddy with excitement in this desert town.

Volunteer working in painstaking detail on WWII aircraft at Palm Springs Air Museum

Volunteer working in painstaking detail on WWII aircraft at Palm Springs Air Museum (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Palm Springs Air Museum

If you're interested in history or aviation, don't miss the Palm Springs Air Museum dedicated to the airplanes and air war of World War II. Two huge hangers include informative displays from both the Pacific and European theaters of war, with over 25 flyable WWII aircraft, including a B-17 bomber open for interior touring. The knowledgeable volunteers are veterans who share their incredible memories and enthusiasm about the aircraft and experiences. Our visit coincided with a live flying demonstration and fly-past of a WWII Spitfire plane. I hope your visit will be as memorable!

The Richard Neutra-designed Kaufmann House, Palm Springs

The Richard Neutra-designed, mid-century modern Kaufmann House, Palm Springs (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Architecture Tours

Palm Springs is home to celebrity residents and wealthy owners of impressive mid-century modern architecture. The region is blessed with some of the best modern homes in the U.S., like the Kauffman house by Richard Neutra. Admire and learn about these houses via a guided Modern Tour, or with the Modern Tour Mobile App and guide.

Romantic selfie on Mt. San Jacinto

Romantic selfie on Mt. San Jacinto Park (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mt. San Jacinto

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway boasts the world’s largest rotating tram cars, which climb 2.5 miles up Mt. San Jacinto in just 10 minutes. The views of Coachella Valley are stunning both during the journey and once you reach 8,516 feet at the top. Pack your fleece or jacket (it’s chilly!) and some good hiking shoes to enjoy a hike on one of several trails within Mt. San Jacinto State Park. The Desert View trail is a short 2-mile loop with five notches (viewpoints) for photo opps. The weather can change quickly at the top of the mountain and snow is often present in winter months.

Date samples? Yes please! Shields Date Garden offers a wide variety of tasty dates to try

Date samples? Yes please! Shields Date Garden offers a wide variety of tasty dates to try (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Shields Date Garden

Take your date to Shields Date Garden, which has been operating in Indio since 1924. Tour their date palm farm for free and watch the history of dates (and their sex lives) in the old theater. You can purchase some of their excellent date varieties, date sugar crystals, or confections, too. Don’t leave without trying one of their renowned date ice cream shakes. They're super sweet but delicious.

Zipping along canyon roads and California freeways in our Honda Accord Coupe.

Zipping along canyon roads and California freeways in our Honda Accord Coupe (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Getting To and Around Palm Springs

Located in the Coachella Valley in Southern California, Palm Springs is less than a 2-hour drive east from Los Angeles (without traffic) and just over a couple hours drive from San Diego. You can also fly into Palm Springs directly from many U.S. and Canadian destinations. The airport is less than 30 minutes from most hotels and resorts in the region.

If flying, it's best to rent a car to explore the Greater Palm Springs area, which encompasses several towns along Highway 111: Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs and the Palm Springs Metro Area. My husband and I flew into LAX and picked up a car courtesy of Honda USA. (The sporty, six-speed manual Accord Coupe MT provided a smooth, comfortable drive through LA traffic to Palm Springs!)

Morgan's in the Desert at La Quinta Resort, Palm Springs

Morgan's in the Desert at La Quinta Resort (Photo credit: La Quinta Resort)

Palm Springs Restaurants

El Gallito in Cathedral City (just outside Rancho Mirage) has served down-home, tasty TexMex cuisine for 36 years. It’s a local favorite and line-ups are common. Sit outside in the sun and wait your turn to enjoy crispy tacos with well-seasoned shredded beef, or a Burrito Especial with green chilies.

Located at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, bluEmber is a large family-friendly, higher-end restaurant that serves California New American cuisine with a pool-side view. It’s romantic in the evenings with the tiki torches, firepits, and live band.

Birba in Palm Springs is all the buzz. If you’re visiting on a weekend, make a reservation in advance. The maitre d' practically hugged me when I told him we had reserved our table; I think he was tired of turning people away. The outdoor setting, thin crust pizzas with toppings like Indio dates, smoked mozzarella and homemade sausage justify this restaurant’s popularity.

With a kitchen ruled by celebrated, James Beard award-winning Chef Jimmy Schmidt (who’s super nice to boot), Morgan's in the Desert at La Quinta Resort features a locavore menu with a focus on regional products and traditional techniques. The menu changes with the seasons. Our visit coincided with a spotlight on Meyer lemons and blood oranges – yum! The service is impeccable and the location is perfectly fitting for a romantic getaway.

The garden-like pool at Hilton Garden Inn, Rancho Mirage

The palm-lined pool at Hilton Garden Inn Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Palm Springs Romantic Getaway Hotels

Located in central Rancho Mirage, just 15 minutes from the Palms Springs Airport, Hilton Garden Inn Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage provides travelers with comfortable beds, complimentary WiFi, an in-room fridge and Keurig coffee maker. Choose a full hot breakfast (bacon waffles!) or cold buffet (complimentary to Hilton Honors members). A good-sized pool and hot tub provide a welcome retreat after a day exploring. A handy 24/7 Pavilion Pantry convenience mart in the lobby offers snacks, drinks (beer!), and any forgotten necessities for purchase. Grab a cup of citrus water on tap from the lobby or a complimentary warm chocolate chip cookie in the afternoon.

The private pool surrounded by haciendas at La Quinta Resort

The private pool surrounded by haciendas at La Quinta Resort (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

La Quinta Resort and Club is a desert hideaway where Greta Garbo and Bette Davis once sought rest and relaxation. The Spanish-style haciendas, casitas and white-washed cottages have been a favorite of Hollywood celebrities and common folk since 1926. La Quinta boasts 41 pools and 53 hot tubs, tennis courts, shops, the full-service Spa La Quinta, and five challenging golf courses, including PGA West.  For the ultimate treat, book a casita with its very own private yard and hot tub. This Waldorf Astoria property was refreshed and updated with modern touches in 2014.

No matter when you go or where you stay, you're sure to make lasting memories with your honey during a Palm Springs romantic getaway!

A Note from The Curious Travel Mama: Thank you to Visit Palm Springs, Honda USA, Hilton Garden Inn and La Quinta Resort for hosting our visit to Palm Springs. As always, my opinions are honest and my own.

What do you think you'd enjoy most about a Palm Springs romantic getaway? Let us know in the comments below!

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons (ages 18 and 20). She started travelling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about family travel and about educating children through the travel experience. She is the author of the thetravellingmom.ca, and contributes to many online and print media publications. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom.

Comments

  1. Colleen Lanin says:

    My husband and I went on a brief romantic getaway in Palm Springs years ago and have been back a few times with the kids since then. I think it’s time for another grown-ups-only retreat!

  2. I think Palm Springs is more than a romantic getaway. It is a party destination. My mom and all of her sisters met up for my Aunt Jean’s birthday party in Palm Springs, and they had a wonderful time. Palm Springs is a great place for any occasion.

    • Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama says:

      Thanks for your comment, Lissa. I agree, Palms Springs is a great destination for so many reasons!

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