Why wait for the honeymoon? Cruise in early for spa days and pool time. Then linger as long as you can after the festivities wind down. Planning a wedding can test the strongest will. A week or two in the desert is just the antidote for stressed-out nerves and runaway jitters.
Check in to a tricked-out suite with pampering amenities to reboot all those giddy feelings that used to annoy your family and friends. It feels good to feel like yourself again. Palm Springs has a reputation for such restorations.
This sun-washed SoCal desert has called out to honeymooners with its laid-back setting and supreme privacy since the days of Elvis and Priscilla. That’s 50 years of letting lovebirds live in the moment. We’ve perfected the art of being present.
You deserve every lazy morning over alfresco breakfast, every long afternoon on a chaise lounge, and every inviting night under these big starry skies. Take as many moments as you can grab.
This is one hot honeymoon hideout, and it’s all yours to customize.
A setting this gorgeous simply won’t let you stay in bed all day. Hiking trails wind up and down the mountainsides and through twisting ancient canyons. Scenic neighborhoods are made for exploring on bicycles. Tee off together on a championship course or play a rousing game of doubles. Then check a Coachella Valley specialty off your list.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DESERT ADVENTURES ECO TOURS AND EVENTS
Take your party of two outside, where hiking through age-old canyons and Jeep tours across the desert landscape give way to mountaintop pleasures.
PHOTO BY STEVEN WAYNE PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTO COURTESY OF PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY
√ Feed a giraffe or ride a camel at The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens.
√ Get acquainted with the desert frontier on horseback at Smoke Tree Ranch.
√ Cruise along the San Andreas Fault on an afternoon Jeep tour.
√ Step into the world’s largest rotating tram car at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and whirl 8,500 feet up Mount San Jacinto. At the top, trek through the forest, look out over the valley floor, and toast all the highs your new life will surely bring.
√ Book a rock climbing instructor for an afternoon at Joshua Tree National Park.
√ Pack a picnic and head to scenic Vista Point up Highway 74.
√ Spend a day amid the ponderosa pines in the mountain town of Idyllwild.
If you never leave the perimeter of your hotel or resort, your honeymoon will still be perfect. Wake at your leisure, greeted by mountain views. Duck into the shade of a private cabana between swims and sun. Sip poolside cocktails, a Palm Springs mainstay. Check in to the spa for an afternoon of scrubbing, rubbing, and Jacuzzi tubbing. When you decide to venture out, take your mellow mood to town.
√ Shop, lunch, and people-watch along El Paseo in Palm Desert or along North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.
√ Lift off in a hot air balloon or settle into a horse-drawn carriage with a coachman who knows the backstreets of Old Palm Springs.
√ Float your cares away in healing mineral waters at a Desert Hot Springs day spa.
√ Soak in a “sound bath.” The Integratron of the High Desert obliges with floor blankets and quartz-crystal singing bowls.
PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN HORAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Relaxation comes easy here. Shop and stroll along El Paseo in Palm Desert or book a couple’s spa day at the Agua Serena Spa at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GREATER PALM SPRINGS CONVENTION AND VISITOR’S BUREAU
Scout the Scene
Slip into your honeymoon finery and show this town your best side. After dinner at one of the area’s top restaurants, try your luck at a casino or take in live entertainment at McCallum Theatre, Annenberg Theater, Rancho Mirage Amphitheater, or The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. Every Thursday, the streets of downtown Palm Springs host the VillageFest street fair, a blend of art, crafts, food, and music. It won’t take more than one night to appreciate Palm Springs’ multigenerational cocktail culture.
√ Lounge-hop at these hotels: Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Arrive Palm Springs, Avalon Hotel and Bungalows, Colony Palms Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, Parker Palm Springs, Riviera Palm Springs, and The Saguaro Palm Springs.
√ Embrace the tiki at Bootlegger Tiki and Tonga Hut.
PHOTO COURTESY OF AGUA CALIENTE SPA RESORT CASINO
Attend a concert at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL HOLMES’ PURPLE ROOM
Enjoy live music at Michael Holmes’ Purple Room.
√ Behold the valley’s ritziest views over sunset cocktails atop the bluff at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, where the fire pits blaze after dark.
√ For old-fashioned entertainment, park at Melvyn’s piano bar, a Rat Pack fave. New-school cabaret acts accompany dinner at Michael Holmes’ Purple Room.
√ Sample local craft beers at Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse, Coachella Valley Brewing Co., and La Quinta Brewing Co.
PHOTO BY JIM + KELLY
Find a quiet corner and share a cocktail.
Art and Architecture
Revered in design circles across the globe, Palm Springs is said to have one of the highest concentrations of midcentury architecture in the world. Everywhere you look — from banks to churches to civic buildings — there are stunning relics of the desert’s modernist architects of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. Midcentury junkies can score vintage finds and furniture in the Uptown Design District and Sunny Dunes Antiques District in Palm Springs or the shops at Perez Design Center in Cathedral City. But don’t miss our other cultural facets, from enclaves of Spanish Colonial homes to an exploding art scene.
√ California’s rich history comes alive with creative works on display at Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, and Palm Springs’ Architecture and Design Center.
PHOTO BY JIM + KELLY
Reserve utmost privacy at a midcentury modern estate.
PHOTO COURTESY OF PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM
Tucked downtown is the Palm Springs Art Museum, featuring new and permanent exhibits for art lovers.
√ Galleries invite your attention on El Paseo.
√ Stroll through the 35 rooms of a Hopi-inspired dwelling constructed from repurposed materials at Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs.
√ Walk among aircraft that once ruled the skies at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
√ The jewel of Rancho Mirage, Sunnylands Center & Gardens, has entertained diplomats since 1966 and is open to the public.
√ Take a crash course in midcentury modern architecture from one of several Coachella Valley tour companies.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUNNYLANDS CENTER & GARDENS
Visit the gardens at Sunnylands Center & Gardens.