Welcome to the first of my travel posts from my west coast road trip. I thought of doing this as one big post but I saw and ate so much that it made much more sense to break it down into my favourite places. I’ll tell you what to see and do as well as what to eat. They’re the most important bits right?
I thought I’d start with a place I hadn’t really given much thought to when planning our road trip. I’d heard very little about Palm Springs before our trip and whilst we only stayed there for 1 night, in hindsight I wish we had been there longer.
The first thing we noticed was how hot this place is. 95 degrees and counting was quite a shock having left Laguna Beach a balmy 75 degrees! Surrounded by mountains with lots of palm trees was our hotel the Renaissance Palm Springs. The sign on the floor by the lifts echoed the exact mantra we had set for this trip so I had to take a photo.
We were lucky to be upgraded to a pool view room which also had the most spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. The beds were incredibly comfortable and this hotel is just outside the main centre of Palm Springs making it a quiet spot to stay. The hotel also provides a free taxi shuttle so you can get to and from the main town with ease and I’d definitely recommend you do that as the road up to this hotel is very dark at night.
This hotel is perfect for some rest and relaxation so I would definitely suggest you spend some time around the pool topping up your tan. After that you need to head into town and try Blue Coyote.
Margaritas featured heavily on this road trip and a friend had suggested Blue Coyote due to their world famous wild coyote version. We managed one each, these are potent! The tequila is certainly the star of this show. My only complaint is the straws. Why would you serve a cocktail with a salt rim and then with straws? Easy to take them out though.
There’s some excellent clean eating options at Blue Coyote with mountains of salad and grilled meats as well as a low carb section of the menu. I chose the chopped salad del sol with cobb lettuce, chicken, avocado, tomatoes, feta, bacon and chopped egg topped with fiesta strips. I expected the chicken, bacon and egg to be warm but this is a cold dish. I think this would have brought out the flavours better but this was a huge plate of salad and was really satisfying after spending the day sweating by the pool!
We were up bright and early for a quick breakfast at Café Jasmin which serves fresh fruit with yoghurt and toast. A lovely little place where you can sit outside and watch the world go by. They also serve the best mimosas in the area at a bargain price!
Checked out we hit the road for Lake Havasu City but not before a stop at Joshua Tree National Park and, with it being less than an hour’s drive from Palm Springs, you can definitely see it if you are staying in Palm Springs. I’d definitely recommend stopping at the visitor’s centre for advice on getting the best from the park in the time you have. You also need to make sure you have plenty of water because this place is hot and barren!
Joshua Tree National Park is where the Sonoran and Mojave deserts meet. The landscape is home to many cactus, prickly pair and the obvious Joshua tree with thousands of unique rock formations formed by the harsh dry weather conditions. The national park is vast and we felt alone at many points with just the wildlife for company.
At one of the most amazing sights in Joshua Tree National Park was the San Andreas fault line viewed from Key’s View which is easily accessible by car. You can also see Palm Springs in the background which is easy to spot as it is the only built up area in view. Just incredible.
Another amazing sight is Skull Rock which is part of a short easy walking trail that also takes in other aspects of the nature in this unique national park. The rock has been naturally formed over time where rain has eroded the granite. It’s not sign posted very well so keep your eyes peeled!
Bring a picnic for lunch and eat at one of the many picnic spots around the park. A cool box for the car is definitely recommended due to the heat.
If you have longer in Palm Springs I’d recommend hitting the hot springs. Just prior to Joshua Tree National Park you will find the hot springs that claim to reduce stress, increase blood circulation, boost the metabolism and rebalance the body’s natural systems. Book into one of the spas in advance and spend a few hours relaxing after a long day exploring the park.
So there you have it. How to spend 48 hours in Palm Springs, would you add anything?
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