The last time I visited Palm Springs, I was 12 and in 6th grade. I still remember it well and it has been high on my list of places to return. When my friend, Samantha, asked if I wanted to go because she had a BOGO ticket on Alaska, I jumped at the chance to visit again.
It was a completely different experience to visit as an adult! From working at Ernest Coffee in the mornings (which doubles as a tiki bar at night!) to eating our way through downtown, Palm Springs made for the coziest girl’s trip destination. We also spent an overnight up in Joshua Tree, which was a destination on my bucket list for 2018.
I wanted to share a few of the trip highlights, which may sway you towards checking out Palm Springs and Joshua Tree as your next vacation. Keep reading, friend!
Where we stayed
I wish I could say that we stayed at Parker Palm Springs (maybe someday!), but alas, we did not. Our Airbnb was only a minute or two drive from the main drag in Palm Springs, so it made for the perfect home base. It also had an immaculate pool and hot tub, which I wish we used more!
Where we ate
Around noontime, we’d venture out and find some brunch. We went to FARM one morning and Cheeky’s another, and I’d wholeheartedly recommend both. Samantha is a major foodie and picked out most of our meals, so I have to credit her great taste. We ate well.
For dinner, we went to Sandfish Sushi + Whiskey the first night and stuffed ourselves silly with spicy tuna. The second night we ate at Birba, a phenomenal Italian restaurant. We had the burrata and pear appetizer, pizza for the main course, and the flourless chocolate torte for dessert. Needless to say, I rolled home and slept off my food coma that evening.
We visited Moorten Botanical Garden one afternoon, which was an absolute dream come true for a cactus-lover like me. With cacti tucked into every corner and desert tortoises, the Moorten Garden made for the most picturesque backdrop for our Palm Springs adventure.
After a couple days in Palm Springs, we hopped in the car and drove the hour drive to Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree has been on my list for what feels like forever, so it was a major life moment for me to finally experience it.
Where we stayed
Our Airbnb in Joshua Tree was an absolute midcentury modern dream! I would highly recommend staying here if you’re planning a trip to Joshua Tree. It had three bedrooms, a cozy living room, gorgeous renovated kitchen, and two outdoor patios.
Where we ate
Places to eat in Joshua Tree are extremely limited, so it was challenging to find restaurants that were up to our standards! We settled on Steak n’ Shake for dinner (lol… my first time!), and The Natural Sisters Café for breakfast the following morning. The Natural Sisters Café was totally veggie/vegan and made up for the sins of the previous evening.
What we did
Joshua Tree National Park is enormous, so even though we spent most of the day in the park, we barely saw 1/10th of it. It sits in the Mojave desert, so it’s extremely desolate with little to no natural resources. We made sure to bring lots of water and snacks in the car and stopped for a bathroom break before entering the park.
A major highlight of the park was the Cholla Cactus Garden, with cholla cacti as far as the eye can see. I was in total cactus heaven! They may look soft and fluffy in photos (nicknamed the ‘teddybear cactus’), but make no mistake – these guys are super prickly! I definitely schemed ways to take one of them back on the plane with me. ?
Four days was the perfect amount of time for our little girl’s trip to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. Another one checked off the bucket list! Until next time!