On Saturday Luke didn’t have to work, so we woke up and decided it was time to meet our first Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree National Park is located almost directly east of Palm Springs. Since we were staying south of Palm Springs we entered the park through the southwest entrance. Not sure what we were thinking but we were the most ill-prepared of park- goers. We had no water or food when we got to the park and neither of those are sold inside the park. BUT it still was amazing. Here are our pictures. The park is totally psychedelic/Dr. Seuss land but really cool to see in person.
Spotted… our first official Joshua Tree.
Luke, the mountain man
My attempt at an “artsy” picture. Not sure it works.
We stumbled upon this cactus garden in the middle of the park. I am weirdly obsessed with the inside of a cactus – I don’t know why, but the pattern and texture is so cool. I know, I am a dork.
After Joshua Tree we had lunch at Cheekys which was delicious and needed after no food or water during our Joshua Tree trip. Definitely recommend – it serves solid “California” fare that is local/sustainable and all that good stuff. But, be warned that the wait gets LONG. So don’t go hungry. We did and the 20 minute wait felt like 2 hours.
That night we had dinner reservations at Jake’s, Copley s and Spencer’s (I like to be prepared) but since the resort we were staying at was about 30 minutes from those restaurants and I was ready to tear into some red wine, we decided to eat at Morgan’s in the Desert, one of the resort’s restaurant. If you ever want a well cooked steak and happen to be in Palm Springs, this is the spot for you. The restaurant was beautiful inside and out.
Halfway through dinner and a bottle of this, one of the waiters opened a door we were seated next to, too quickly and the force from the door shattered a light bulb over Luke’s head. Yeah, that really happened in the middle of dinner. Glass everywhere. BUT… this proved totally worth it since the restaurant felt so bad about shattering a light bulb over Luke’s head that they bought us dinner! (oh yeah and Luke was fine too). Looking back I should have gone for the most expensive wine….
Sunday we woke up early and started the drive back to San Francisco. Instead of taking the fastest route, we decided to take the scenic route up the 101. We stopped for lunch in Los Olivos which is an incredible wine enclave in the middle of the Santa Ynez Valley.
We weren’t planning on wine tasting really, especially since we were walking around with Chumley and had a 4 hour car ride ahead of us, but we stumbled upon Alta Maria. Amazingly Chumley was welcomed with open arms into the tasting room (which was a first) and we did a tasting of their amazing wine. Here he is, what a wino.
We ended up buying two bottles of their Cabernet because it was fantastic. After I had a sufficient wine buzz (Luke was driving us home) we wandered over to Paninos for a late lunch.
I highly recommend checking out Los Olivos if you are ever looking for a new wine spot to try. There is only 1 hotel in Los Olivos, but it is so close to Santa Barbara that it could be a great day trip.
Made it home to San Francisco, exhausted but had a great weekend. Can’t wait to do it all over again one day.
If you are looking to take a trip to Palm Springs or just in a wanderlust mood, here is my guide to Palm Springs, Los Olivos and some of the resources I used when planning:
La Quinta – I thought La Quinta was a great resort. Like I mentioned before, the rooms are a little dated, but the grounds are amazing. This would be a great spot for a girls weekend or a romantic getaway where you just wanted to lounge around.
Parker - if we were to go back and had an unlimited budget, this is where I would stay.
Cheeky’s – Like I mentioned before, the wait gets long, but it was worth it.
Jake’s – I had lunch here and it was wonderful. They serve lunch and dinner and seems like a mellow place to grab some good, solid food.
Spencer’s - Didn’t eat here but the menu looks amazing.
Copley’s – I wanted to try this place not only because it got good reviews, but mostly because it was Cary Grant’s old house that they turned into a restaurant. Old-school Hollywood glamour.
Morgan’s in the Dessert – Go for the steak. The rest was pretty good. If you do go, watch out for falling light bulbs.
Shop: (Palm Springs and surrounding area have many amazing stores, these are ones that I wanted to try)
Dazzles - Bakelite heaven
Also - Design Sponge has a great guide to Palm Springs and is more in-depth on where to eat/stay/drink/play.
Panino – sit outside in the sun and enjoy a relaxing lunch
Side Hardware and Shoes: heard that this is a great spot, I love the weird name. We didn’t make it there but will do so next time.
Alta Maria is the only place we stopped (and we loved it). But there are dozens of wineries in this area, so you can’t go wrong.
If you want any more information on my experiences in Palm Springs or Los Olivos, please contact me, I would love to help.