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The Palm Springs Guide

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Palm Springs first drew crowds as a wellness destination in the early 1900s (dry heat), before evolving into a super-mod Hollywood escape in the ’50s. It’s changing again—a little more hipster, a little less swinging ’60s—though the awesome dry heat remains. And did we mention that it’s just two hours from LA, assuming you don’t get stuck in traffic? We’ve rounded up the best accommodations, restaurants, and cultural highlights.

Bar

340 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Movie Colony | 760.537.7337

At a little over two years old, Bar (yes, it’s really a bar called Bar) is one of the newer, hipper watering holes in downtown Palm Springs. The vibe is more on par with a Silver Lake dive than a dessert oasis, though the backyard takes full advantage of mild temps and killer sunsets. There’s a modest but totally respectable small bites menu (deviled eggs, wings, and various pizza options) that goes perfectly with the lengthy whiskey, beer, and craft cocktail menu. They’re also really good about organizing comedy nights, burlesque shows, and live music.

Bootlegger Tiki

1101 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Movie Colony | 760.318.4154

Brainchild of Jaime Kowal and Chris Pardo (the dynamic duo behind neighboring Ernest Coffee), Bootlegger Tiki—with its totem poles, novelty lighting, and various pictures of topless ladies on the walls—is the epitome of a kitschy tiki bar. Best part: happy hour is a daily occurrence here, meaning the elaborate rum-centric concoctions (Mai Tai, Daiquiri, Blue Hawaii, and more) can be enjoyed at deep discounts from 4 to 6.

Ernest Coffee

1101 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Movie Colony | 760.318.4154

In case you were wondering what a bunch of tiki torches are doing outside a coffee shop (Portland-based Stumptown is the bean of choice here), they’re relics of a time when the space served as Don the Beachcomber's tiki restaurant in the 1950’s. As an homage to its former life, the coffee shop works double duty as a casual wine and beer lounge, which is why no one under 21 is allowed inside. For something a little more substantial, there’s a selection of baked-fresh croissants during the day and artisanal cheese plates at night—all best enjoyed on the outdoor patio.

Tinto

1800 E. Palm Canyon Dr., South Palm Springs | 760.322.1900

Add this to the list of stellar establishment situated on the Saguaro hotel property. As much as we love exploring the Basque tapas menu (the Pulpo a la Gallego and sautéed mussels are musts), it’s the Spanish wines and really stellar sangria (we recommend ordering by the pitcher) that are the main draw at this bar/restaurant hybrid. Thought the space is ideal for hosting small groups and romantic enough for a date night, the dining room does spills out onto a shady outdoor patio, making Tinto an excellent private party venue. We hear great things about the weekend brunch as well.