Things to do in Palm Springs

Riviera sign

I met my sister in Palm Springs for a short 48 hours, a reprieve from a work assignment in Las Vegas.  She wanted to stay at a mid-century modern hotel, so we chose The Riviera.  The interior was definitely retro, and we liked that.  But the Saturday pool techno music was a little much for me.

Riviera green lounge


We found a few places we would recommend.

We ventured out to the main shopping/tourist area fairly early and found L’Atelier.  The breakfast there was very tasty and fresh.  The cafe latte was just what I needed.

Iconic atomic

Iconic Atomic card

iconic atomic 2

Our favorite shop was Iconic Atomic, voted the best vintage clothing store in Palm Springs.  I found a cute vintage dress, and the owner took the time to give us dining and sight-seeing recommendations.  He was very helpful (and colorful).

pink building

bike rack


Quite a few things about Palm Springs are colorful, including buildings and bike racks.

Riviera pool

During the mid-day heat, the downtown streets are empty.  It is too hot to walk around, so lounging by the pool is the only acceptable past time.  The Riviera has two pools, one very busy and one less so.   We chose the less busy pool where the lunch was good, but the music was not to my taste.

Buzz brochure

Buzz route

The Buzz, a free trolley around the busy tourist area was great.   It has a stop right across the street from The Riviera.  The Buzz trolleys come by every 15 or 20 minutes, and it is free.  No worries about having a glass of wine and then driving.  We used it both evenings we spent downtown.


purple palm

purple palms lanterns

purple palms lounge

purple palms pool (2)

selfie (2)

A stop in at the Purple Palms for a drink had us wishing we had stayed there.  It has a beautiful and quiet pool area and a wonderful historic restaurant and bar.  We enjoyed a glass of wine and then walked to our dinner spot.

Lulus sign

Lulus from above

Dinner at Lulus on the main drag was quite good.   We tried the cold Cucumber Avocado soup, and the Chilean Sea Bass.   We were very happy with our meal, and happy we had made reservations.   We walked right in to our table while those without a reservation waited outside.

cucumber and avocado soup

Chilean sea bass

lemon sorbet

flourless triple chocolate cake

Our outdoor table next to the sidewalk (under the misters) gave us a great view of the busy main street, where we saw groups of women on a Girls Night Out, straight couples, gay couples, families with kids, and quite a few bachelorette party goers enjoying the night.


A free ride back to The Riviera was appreciated.

top of the tram

Sunday morning we got a breakfast packed by L’Atelier and rode the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway from the valley floor up to 8,516 feet.  As advertised, it really was 30 degrees cooler at the top.  The tram was full of hikers, campers and rock climbers.   We did a short 1.5 miles trail and took in the view of Palm Springs from 2.5 miles up.

park sign

There are 14,000 acres in the state park and wilderness and over 54 miles of hiking trails.  It was our favorite part of the weekend.

looking over Palm Springs

trail sign





aerial tramway

The drive between Las Vegas and Palm Springs is about four hours and fifteen minutes.  We spoke to a woman from LA, a much shorter drive.  It appeared to us just from observations that Palm Springs is a “Girls Weekend” destination, and also seems quite gay friendly.  We think the Palm Springs vibe is changing from the old rat pack feeling to a younger and edgier crowd.   There were a lot of new structures under construction too.

We enjoyed our 48 hours in Palm Springs.  A ride up the Aerial Tram is a must do.

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1 Response to Things to do in Palm Springs

  1. augie's says:

    Nice break from your training. I imagine there are golfers on tour there, too.

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