We just got back from Palm Springs, and despite it being the middle of October, the temperature was well into the 90’s every day. The sunshine was beautiful, and we had a great time walking around the shops and admiring the gorgeous scenery.
The downtown strip had fantastic restaurants, and we tried out a few:
Wilma & Frieda – I got a homemade pop-tart and it was great; would also recommend the sticky bun and the mimosas
Tac/Quela – Great outdoor area, took reservations, I loved the Taco Chips
El Patron – Outdoor space, but you order at the counter. However, they let you grab a table first, so there’s no hovering/waiting for people to get up. I got the tiny tacos, and they were yummy.
Mr. Lyons – we were a party of six, so they put us in a private room in the back; They said that was only because no one else was back there, but it was nice to be in a quiet space. The indoor seating seemed a bit loud and congested, but the food was delicious.
Our friends went out to Joshua Tree. I’m not going to lie, I skipped it. The thought of climbing up a mountain in the heat just sounded awful, so B and I went to the casino instead. It was air-conditioned, barely crowded and we won money! All in all, a big win.
My suggestion is to go to the Agua Caliente Casino; there was one located directly downtown, and another located in Palm Desert. We won at both. Skip Morongo. We lost so much.
We also went to check out the Cabazon Dinosaurs. If you have kids, I think it’s a fun activity if you’re bored. If you’re an adult, you have to pay to get into the T-Rex, but you can get into the Brontosaurus for free, and there’s a little gift shop there. The gift shop has nothing you can’t find on Amazon, though, so I wouldn’t waste your time if you’re just looking for a fun souvenir.
Finally, we did the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you know I’m terrified of any contained, unsteady vehicle. The tram was basically my worst nightmare. The inside even spins. However, my peer pressure, and my want to see the town from ‘up high’ made me get on it, so here’s how I coped.
- The spinning is really slow, but the outside handlebars are stationary. I gripped onto the interior handlebars which turn with the spinning floor, and focused on the floor.
- I’d also suggest bringing your headphones. My friends that don’t have fear of heights all shared with me after that the incline was a bit intense, and the voices around me affirmed that. If you don’t want to hear how high you are going, even though you’re not looking, get those headphones on.
- The first, second and third shift at the incline stations make the tram swing. It’s expected, and gets better with the fourth and fifth shift. The third shift was the worst.
- The tram takes only 10 minutes. Maybe put on TSwifts ‘All too Well’ and by the time you remember how much you hate Jake Gyllenhaal, it will all be complete and you’ll be on top of the mountain.
- We took the tram back down in the dark, and I LOVED it. I couldn’t see how high we were, and the shifts at the stations were barely detectable. Also, the guide plays dancing music on the way down, and it’s much more of a party feel than anything else.
- Suggestion: Go up at 4:30ish for the sunset views, and by the time you’re ready to head back down, it’ll be dark. Plus you can get a drink at the top, and food if you want.
Crowds / Loud Noises – ***
Palm Springs was pretty tame in October. It’s at the end of their ‘season’ and we didn’t need to make a ton of reservations. That being said, if you find comfort in reservations, Tac/Quela and Mr. Lyons took ours just a week in advance.
I did feel crowded on the tram (there were at least 25 other people in the tram at once), and the bartender shared that the later trams, especially the last one of the night, can be VERY crowded.
I also felt crowded at the Thursday night street festival. They shut down the street to vendors and it was a great way to check out the local art, but the street was a bit crowded and loud. Skip, or go early, if this is a concern of yours.
Tight Spaces / Lack of Exit – *
I definitely felt a ‘lack of exit’ on the tram. Honestly, if you don’t like heights and tight spaces, I would probably skip this venture. Rating is if I skipped the venture, but the Tram rating is **** (More crowded than it should be, and I feel a bit trapped but okay)
Negative Self Talk – **
Everyone seemed really relaxed and casual in Palm Springs. I didn’t feel out of place in jeans and a t-shirt, or a dress. There didn’t seem to be a competitive vibe, or a smugness with anyone we chatted with. Everyone seemed happy, friendly, and generally having a good time. I will say there is a lot of weed going around, so maybe that is why?
Monetary Fears – $$$$
I’d rate Palm Springs a $$$$ on the pricing. Drinks, food, etc. were all about $20 more than I would have paid at home. Drinks around $15, tacos around $25. Even breakfast was expensive. If budget is a concern, there are fast-food and more casual options, but you have to leave the downtown strip for it.
The downtown strip. It was lovely to see the mountains, and I really liked the palm trees and the art-deco vibe.
Ugh, the tram. I was terrified, and while I enjoyed the view, I would not do it again.
Beer of Choice
I drank mostly margaritas, but the Fremont Brewing Golden Pilsner at Tac/Quila was crisp and enjoyable.