This was one of my favorite trips. Ever. Maybe it was the fact that it was spring break, or that we could just pack up our old Honda Civic and go, without the stress of airports and planes. Maybe it was the warm spring air or stark desert mountains or the midcentury modern architecture. Likely it was everything and more, but let me say, this trip was relaxing. Times five.
One thing that definitely contributed to relaxation: the pool. The grounds at Sparrows Lodge are gorgeous. The pool and hot tub are located at the front of the property, at the back is a sweet garden (think raised flowerbeds with nasturtiums, lavender, mint), old olive trees, and a communal table shaded by green-leafed trees growing over a trellis. The faint splash of fountains and the twitter of doves and sparrows basically permeates the air with relaxation. Go for a poolside lunch and try the chicken sando – yum. At night the barn and grounds are lit with lanterns and candles, as well as an outdoor fire pit and an indoor fireplace. The beautiful blending of the primal elements of fire, water, air made it hard to step outside this oasis. Ask for the ingredients for s’mores: the classic graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey’s chocolate (hate it outside the glorious, glorious world of s’mores), and a roasting stick, are all on-hand.
One of the best things to do in Palm Springs is to rent bikes (or grab those from your hotel), and check out the midcentury modern neighborhoods. You can even do this at night, to avoid the heat of the day – several houses illuminate everything from towering palms to the giant, magenta bougainvillea which grow in Palm Springs like nobody’s business. One of my favorite neighborhoods to explore on bike is Deepwell Estates. If you don’t want to spend money on a guided architectural tour through town, you can download the app PS Mod, which suggests self-guided tours, including maps and information about places and architects such as Donald Wexler, Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, and others.
Eat lunch at the Avalon’s Chi Chi, or check out out King’s Highway, Appetito, or Cheeky’s. For dinner we tried Workshop Kitchen and Bar, which was scrumptious, but with smaller plates starting at about $12, won’t be your cheapest option. Unfortunately the Parker Palm Springs was closed for a private event while we were in Palm Springs. Bummer but good reason to return.
We didn’t have time to go to the Palm Springs Art Museum itself, but did pop into the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. Though small, the design center had a good collection of pictures featuring Bauhaus works – the space is open, fresh, clean. And free to visit!