Words by Becky Hutner
With holiday pressure mounting, it’s hard to even imagine life after New Year’s, but Palm Springs has some killer incentive. On January 2, party season kicks off with the star-studded Palm Springs International Film Festival. Then on February 12, it’s Modernism Week, a celebration of the area’s historic and cutting edge design. Between red carpet turns, star home tours and poolside shindigs, be sure to hit the hotspots below.
Brunch on farm to fork fare at Workshop Kitchen + Bar (800 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite G, Palm Springs, CA 92262, 001 760.459.3451, workshoppalmsprings.com), like market veggie enchiladas with roasted poblano peppers and tomatillo sauce. Wash down with local blood orange juice or a classic American cocktail.
Shop easy resort wear in Pucci-esque prints from local designer Trina Turk (891 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262, 001 760 416 2856, trinaturk.com). Take a bit of “California modernism” home with one of her graphic throw pillows.
Score vintage threads from designers popular in Palm Springs’ heyday at The Déjà Vu Room (664 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262, 001 760 321 6556, dejavuroom.com).
Iconic shift dresses by Lilly Pulitzer and mod pieces by Corrèges are on regular rotation.
Explore mid-century neighborhoods and cactus-fringed foothills on a cherry-and-cream Vespa from Scoot Rentals (701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264, 001 760 413 2883, scootpalmsprings.com).
Catch Leonardo DiCaprio if you can at his new £3.27 million desert estate (432 West Hermosa Place, Palm Springs, CA 92262). The polished wood-and-glass bungalow sits in the historic Old Las Palmas neighborhood, once home to Liberace, Katharine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas and Lucille Ball.
Lounge poolside with a mint-flecked cocktail at Ace Hotel (701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264, 001 760 325 9900, acehotel.com) while the DJ spins Ray Charles, then retreat to your room’s outdoor fireplace to watch the sun go down.
Enjoy panoramic desert views from a rotating cable car at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, 001 888 515 8726, pstramway.com). Bring a parka – it’s often snowing at your high-altitude destination of Mount San Jacinto.
Indulge in caviar and Cristsal in a quilted leather booth at Mister Parker’s (4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264, 001 760 770 5000, theparkerpalmsprings.com). Crammed with psychedelic art, the dimly lit lounge is like a stop on the Magical Mystery Tour.
Party like a Rat Pack-er at Melvyn’s Restaurant (200 West Ramon Road, Palm Springs, CA 92264, 001 760 325 2323, inglesideinn.com) where live jazz and stiff martinis keep patrons swing dancing ‘til the wee hours.
Sleep like make-up royalty at Max Factor’s impeccably restored compound, The Fontenell (238 Ave Ortega, Palm Springs, CA 92264, 001 760 534 4714, oasisrentals.com). Sip your morning coffee in an original mod kitchen -- each of the seven pool-facing suites has one in turquoise, yellow or pink.