Guide To Palm Springs
Mary & Crew’s Guide To Palm Springs
We are joined by tastemaker, style icon, and woman who knows how to live life with a certain joie de vivre Mary Everard of Mary & Crew for a blog takeover. From the best place to go antiquing to her favorite restaurants–think: mouth-watering menus with a touch of glam–, Mary gives us an inside scoop to one of the chicest communities–Palm Springs, California, below.
Shop Mary’s Look:
I’m so excited to finally introduce what is by far the most popular request on Mary&Crew. My Palm Springs Travel Guide! My husband and I fell in love with Palm Springs shortly after moving to Los Angeles over a decade ago. We’ve traveled there pre-kids, with babies, and loved it so much that we purchased a home there in the fall of 2018 before our third was born. During the pandemic, when life really slowed down, we enjoyed a good amount of time there and really got to know the city, and had plenty of time to seek out our favorite spots. The desert is always changing and always
always changing and new spots are constantly popping up so I will try and keep this guide up to date!
About Palm Springs
Palm Spring started gaining its fame in the 1920s when Hollywood actors would make the two-hour drive from the Hollywood studios to the desert. It has lovely weather year-round and was just close enough that they could sneak away for a few days and not be as recognizable. As time went on, Hollywood’s elite would flock to the desert by the dozen to golf, relax by the pool and enjoy cocktails in the warm evening air.
Modernist architects also made their way to Palm Springs starting in the 1920s, attracted by the desert environment, creating an aesthetic called desert modernism. The architects were forced to flex their creative muscles and design with the desert climate, strong sunlight and Rocky Mountain landscape in mind. You can see their work scattered throughout Palm Springs and the surrounding desert area, often marked by block walls, long & low roof lines and large upper windows to allow in light but keep the interior of the home cool. The homes are often marked with a bright pop of color greeting you at the front door and a minimalist desertscape surrounding the exterior of the home.
What To Wear Around Palm Springs:
Vintage Shopping & Where To Shop
If you’ve been following for a while, you already know this, but my favorite thing to do while in Palm Springs (besides enjoying an early evening cocktail ) is to go vintage shopping. The desert is a treasure trove for vintage finds, with shopkeepers scouring the desert and southern California for the best pieces for their shops. Furniture, lighting, glassware, and clothing… you really can find it all here. You must do it if you’re in Palm Springs and are guaranteed to come home with something that is truly one of a kind!
My absolute favorite shop in the Coachella Valley is Pink Cactus. The shop owner, Julie, not only has exquisite taste but has styled her store like a Bergdorf window display, perfection! Everything is bright, cheerful, and as unique as she is. Make sure to tell her Mary sent you if you swing by! Antique Galleries is also a must and just around the corner from Pink Cactus! There are about 40 vendors in the building, each with their own taste and unique flair. You can also stop by Sunny Dunes Antique Mall.. it’s a bit of a hodge podge but in the best of ways! I love combing through this market as you truly never know what treasure you may find. If you come out to the desert and hope to do a bit of thrifting, make sure one of the Revivals locations is on your list. They always have really interesting treasures! Angel View thrift stores can also be a good spot! The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five is another really fun spot with some unique vintage and new finds (clothing & home).
If you find yourself in Palm Desert, make sure to stop by The Fine Art Of Design for vintage apparel and J.McLaughlin for desert and sports attire. Think all the fabulous attire and accessories that J. McLaughlin offers in their brightest and happiest prints. Mary&Crew heaven!
My Favorite J.McLaughlin New Arrivals:
Where To Stay
There are some truly fabulous hotels in the Palm Springs area that I’ve come to love over the years, not only for their service but also their impeccable design aesthetic. One, of course, to not miss is The Parker. Known around the world for its cheerful, mid-century design, you’ll have yourself swooning the moment you drive up to their iconic white brick wall and orange double doors. Even if you don’t rest your head here, you can book a brunch or dinner reservation at their iconic restaurant, Norma’s, and get a glimpse into the lobby and grounds. Make sure to pick your jaw off the floor as you walk past the nailhead-trimmed velvet doors that welcome guests into the bar area. You’ve been warned!
What To Wear To The Colony Palms Hotel:
We of course stay at our home in the desert (although I always fantasize about sneaking away for a night to one of the beautiful properties!) and I definitely recommend families and large groups check out Airbnb & Vrbo for home rentals. There are so many options. It can get rather windy in the desert (especially in the movie colony neighborhood) and there is an airport in the center of the city so just be mindful of that! Indian Canyons, Vista Las Palmas, and Old Las Palmas are a few fabulous neighborhoods in the event you can score a home there! It’s certainly a great way to spend a weekend in the desert, enjoy the pool, whip up some cocktails, and enjoy a few meals at home.
I personally love venturing into the hotels in Palm Springs to enjoy a meal at their lavishly designed restaurants. It’s no surprise that some of my favorite restaurants also happen to be on some of my favorite hotel properties. You can’t go wrong with a dinner at the Art Deco glam restaurant at the Colony or dinner at The Pantry at the Holiday House (blue & white heaven). The Pink Cabana at The Sands Hotel in Indian Wells is another feast for the eyes (and mouth) with Moroccan-inspired interiors and courtyards that will have you stopping at every corner with cheerful cocktails and a
great menu. And then of course there’s my favorite restaurant in the desert, Bar Cecil with their delicious American brasserie menu and the best cocktails in the desert. Reservations book up quickly so make sure to book well ahead. They take same-day seatings for the bar if you can’t snag a resi.
What To Wear To The Pink Sands Hotel:
Things To Do In The Desert
There are so many things to do beyond the brunching and poolside lounging (although you can fill an entire weekend doing just that and be completely content!). Here are a few things we’ve done as a family or just the two of us while the kids have stayed home:
- Go for a hike! There are several trailheads in the desert, we’ve hiked this one as a family and its’ definitely manageable. Make sure to pack plenty of water as they check before you enter the trail and will require you to purchase a bottle if you don’t have the required amount. Indian Canyons is also very popular!
- Visit the tram and head to the top of Mt. San Jacinto. There’s snow in the winter so dress warmly. It’s about a 10-minute tram ride to the top of the mountain (around 8,500 feet) and you can grab a bite to eat while up at the top. The views are absolutely unreal!
- I just LOVE love love the Palm Springs Art Museum. It’s especially wonderful on a hot summer/fall day when you need to cool off for a bit. They have a little cafe downstairs that is great too!
- No trip to Palm Springs is complete without a door tour!
- If you have kids, the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens makes for a really fun day trip. My kids love that they can feed the giraffes!
- There are plenty of golf courses in the desert and racquet clubs if you’d like to play while in town. So make sure to pack some gear and attire!