Day Tripping: Possibilities in Palm Springs

ImageIt’s bound to happen. A few months staying put in town and I start to feel a tad stir crazy, a bunny rabbit in a pen too long. The tipping point is usually this: We’re having dinner with friends when our casual conversation sways to someone’s upcoming plans to travel. I later think to myself, “Hey! I deserve a vacation, too. Something beachy and breezy, perhaps, or something urban and raucous.” Then I check my savings account and start regretting that string of recent impulse buys that have made my balance dwindle to near zero.

Though I love L.A. more than I ever thought I would, all of us locals need a short respite from the beastly speed of city living every now and then. Just a day or two away helps us recharge, and makes me appreciate my neighborhood, my house, my bed. So when the dollar bills aren’t stacked as high as I’d like, I plan a day trip — the kind of vacation that happens sans airplane ticket, sans five nights of hotel fees, and sans mucho stress. L.A. has so many neighbors worth a visit. By The List’s first day trip spot: Palm Springs, baby.

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STAY:

The Ace Hotel hardly needs introducing: simple yet hip, comfortable and gorgeous without excruciatingly high prices. Highlights: 1) the pool area, complete with mod, circular sun shades (b/c we’re over 30 now and need to be more mindful of burning and wrinkles), ping pong tables, a cocktail bar, and mountain views, 2) the colorful, artsy grounds (particularly fond of the giant white wall painted in the vein of Jackson Pollack), 3) plenty of outdoor fireplaces (should you visit when it’s not 100 degrees), 4) in-room record players (Clapton? Don’t mind if I do), and 5) private patios if you’d like to bring Fido (small fee applies).

EAT:

I hear people gripe about the shortage of decent eats in PS, but I honestly don’t think it’s all that bad. Sure, we’re not talking Son of Gun competition, but there’s enough to get you through a few days. We love Tyler’s Burgers — cheeseburger, potato salad, and milkshake, please. Norma’s in the Le Parker Meridian Hotel has a seriously good menu though a tad pricey — our vote goes to the banana macadamia nut flapjacks pictured below. Then for dinner we like LuLu California Bistro — they have a killer all-day happy hour menu if you opt to sit in the bar area, which I actually think is the best place to be.

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DO:

1) Take pictures with the 26-foot-tall Forever Marilyn Statue, which will leave PS later this spring. 2) Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway or go for a hike around the same grounds. 3) Hit the Palm Springs Living Zoo to spot desert animals in their natural habitat. Perfect for kiddos.

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