A Local’s Guide to Palm Springs

You guys know I am down for all things Palm Springs, hence why we decided to invest in our rental property there because we love it so much- it’s such a vibe and super easy to get to from OC! I grew up in the desert when I was little and after I had kids we always vacationed out here several times of year because it’s the perfect getaway.

I always get asked for recs so I wanted to share this in-depth post with all of our favorite spots in one place for you all to refer back to or save for later! Btw if you’re planning to vacay in Palm Springs, BOOK HERE to stay at our rental!

Best of Brunch

We go out to brunch more than any other meal while we’re out in the desert so this list is pretty long. Lots of cute options depending on what you’re going for!

The King’s Highway at The Ace Hotel

The food (and people-watching) is amazing here and love the super retro diner vibes! It’s probably our most visited breakfast spot! 


A Palm Springs classic. Go early because it is a staple brunch spot right downtown and there’s always a line! Insider tip: If you can’t wait for breakfast, the Colony Hotel is a couple of blocks over and has a hidden gem of a restaurant (see my next rec below).

The Colony Club

Formerly Purple Palm, The Colony Club is a hidden gem with the prettiest view at one of my favorite boutique hotels in the colony.


This is a new spot we tried out a few months ago with Ava and her friends and it is super cute! If you’re looking for girly, fun, and that eccentric Palm Springs vibe, this place is for you. 

Norma’s at the Parker Hotel

The Parker Is definitely an iconic Palm Springs photo-worthy spot. We’ve been coming here for years and always love eating at Norma’s. You can go for breakfast but also dinner with the kids is great too. Make a reservation as you can’t really cruise around the property if you’re not guests of the hotel.

Where to Lunch 

Lots of people watching at these lunch faves!

The King’s Highway at The Ace Hotel

The King’s Highway also has poolside dining outside of the Ace Hotel and it’s def a great spot to hang out and take in all the sites.


A super charming spot tucked away in a courtyard right in downtown Palm Springs. It’s a farm-to-table concept and is always a great spot to kick off coming into town. 


This is a new spot that opened up and is a must if you have dogs as they are uber pet friendly and have built their restaurant around that concept. Not to mention the design is amazing.


The desert has added so many awesome restaurants over the years- these are our go-to’s.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar 

We’ve been going to Workshop for pretty much a decade now and highly recommend it. Be sure to make reservations in advance but the cocktails are amazing and I love the minimal design of the restaurant. We’ve been there with our kids but would probably recommend it for more of a date night or a nice night out spot.

Norma’s at the Parker Hotel

I mentioned this one above but Norma’s is definitely one of our favorite places to go with the kids for dinner!

Mr. Lyons Steakhouse

I love Mr. Lyons! Think sexy steakhouse in the desert. The food tastes amazing and they also have a great speakeasy inside that I love to go to for a cocktail before or after dinner.

Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey

This place looks so cute and is still on my list to try! 

Grab a drink 

Hubby and I usually try to sneak away for a drink while we’re out- and these are on the must list for girl’s weekends, bachelorettes, etc!

Amigo Room at The Ace Hotel 

High Bar Rooftop at the Rowan Hotel


Truss & Twine 

Bootlegger Tiki 


So cute! A must if you’re traveling with your pup.

Where to stay 

Obviously my first pick is our Honeybee Hideout rental (mention you’re a reader when booking for a discount!) but if you need more space or want a hotel, here are more recs…

The Colony 


The Parker 

Activities For the kids 

We’ve done most of these with the kids at one time or another – the four-wheeling is still on my list though!

Four Wheeling at Off-Road Rentals

I pass this place every time I’m driving to the Honeybee Hideout and always want to try it! I feel like Luca and Ava are at a good age now to try this four-wheeling spot and it looks like a great daytime adventure!

The Aerial Tramway

If you’re feeling adventurous definitely check out the aerial tramway- it’s another iconic spot in Palm Springs! I went there when I was a kid and did cross-country skiing, but you can also hike into the restaurants at the top with stunning views if skiing isn’t your thing.

The Living Desert

It’s wild to see how much the living desert has grown since when I was a kid and used to go there. Even at Ava and Luca‘s age now they still love it! It’s not super massive like other zoos, but you can easily spend a couple of hours there and it’s a great option to get the kids out. Insider tip: Definitely go as soon as it opens if you’re going in the warmer months when it’s super hot by 11 AM. Also, you want to go earlier because they have a giraffe eating there which is super fun and starts pretty early around 10 AM.

The dinosaurs at The Cabazon

I mean it’s kind of a must! It’s iconic, I remember my dad taking us here when I was a kid. They’ve now added a gift shop inside the dinosaur so bring your spending money 😉 You can easily miss the exit so be on the lookout for exit 106! 

Great Shakes

A must! If you’ve been following along with us you know Great Shakes is the spot we always recommend and go to when we’re in PS! Seriously the best shakes in town! It’s located right downtown on the main strip so it is a perfect little spot to pop into after dinner and grab a sweet treat.

Fam-Friendly Dining on The Strip

Great if you have large crowds and need a larger reservation or table! These are all a lot of fun- def more family-friendly vs. vibey but since we usually have the kids with us, we usually go to a couple of these spots each trip.

Las Casuelas

Can’t go wrong! Make sure you book the Teranza location (they have a super small original location on the strip too so it’s easy to get confused). 

Tommy Bahamas

I know it feels wrong to eat at a chain in the desert but this location is great and it’s pretty family-friendly! 


The vibe is a little more low-key for Palm Springs but our favorite spot for Mexican food in the desert. 

Places I Still Need to Try

I haven’t been to these spots yet but they all come highly recommended! They’re on my list, for sure.

The Tropicale

Same retro fun vibes as GiGis.

Bar Cecil

On my list for date night!

Paul Bar 

Tailor Shop 

I hope this was helpful for you guys! Feel free to check leave any other Palm Springs questions here and I will try to answer them!

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