A Palm Springs weekend escape for you and your dog
By the Get Leashed Travel Team
Palm Springs is a surreal place. It’s where vintage meets glamor in a perfectly balanced and somewhat strange melting-pot of old and new. Retro hotels span palm-lined boulevards and seniors mix with party kids in an odd, yet awesome, sort of harmony. Palm Springs is everything you’d expect it to be and much more – and by “more” we mean a pet destination that you won’t want to miss. Like, totally!
A brief 90-minute drive from West Hollywood, Palm Springs is where LA escapes on weekends. It’s common to hear bronzed and beautiful locals drop that they’re “heading to the desert this weekend.” And who wouldn’t want to head there, when nearly every day is 85 degrees and sunny, with next to no humidity (Umm, can you say hellooo good hair days?).
ROLL IN ON FRIDAY
So, why Palm Springs? First, let’s talk vintage cool. When you’re rolling in from LA on a Friday afternoon you’ll want to check-in at one of our favorite retro-inspired, dog-friendly hotels.
Our top pick is the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, an edgy boutique hotel that combines hipster cool with an eclectic mix of mid-century modern design. Here two pets of any size are welcome for an additional fee of only $25 each, per night. Be sure to book in advance because there are only a limited number of pet-friendly rooms, including the Patio Garden room, and the Patio Fireplace room. If you’re traveling with your partner, or plan to hook-up Tinder-style, we suggest the Fireplace room for extra romance. Nothing like floor pillows, a starry sky and a crackling fire to help you turn up the heat. And just when you thought it couldn’t get better, the best part of the Ace Hotel is that pets are welcome throughout the entire hotel AND poolside (although not in the pool or inside the restaurant). That means banking some pool-time with your pooch is a must during your visit.
Other pet-friendly crash pad options include the bright and cheerful Saguaro Hotel, where a total of two pets under 60 lbs stay for free, although be prepared for a $25 resort fee per night. If you’re more of a glamor-puss than laidback kool kat, we love the style-savvy Viceroy Palm Springs Resort & Spa. This hotel allows two pets of under 40 lbs each, for an additional fee of $100 per pet for the entire stay, and is bound to impress even the pickiest of weekend dates.
After check-in, be sure to take you dog for a walk down the main drag. There are plenty of charming shops and cafes to pop into, like the dog-friendly, Peabody’s Cafe. Then head back to the Ace for some yummy room service and a bottle of your favorite red, served up in fireside fashion, on your own private patio.
SHOPPING THERAPY ON SATURDAY
Saturdays in Palm Springs are always bustling, but we suggest leashing up your four-legged friend and making your way back into the desert for some serious shopping action. Desert Hills Premium Outlets is renowned as one of the world’s best shopping centers. We know what you’re thinking, “ew, outlets,” right? Not so fast–this amazing indoor/outdoor shopping experience offers one of the largest selections of designer retailers in the country. And before you roll your eyes, some of its more noteworthy shops include Prada, Helmut Lang, Salvatore Ferragamo and Brunello Cucinelli. Oh, you read that correctly, BRUNELLO CUCINELLI! Clearly, this is not your regular outlet mall!
We took the liberty of perusing some of our fave Desert Hills shops for some vintage-inspired finds we thought you’d love…
What could be more SoCal than these retro-style beige sunnies? These pretty little puppies are a must-have for hanging poolside in Palm Springs. Tory Burch, Panama Sunglasses, $195.00
A timeless pair of kicks can take you anywhere, including up those canyon hills! We love these Chuck Taylor Classic hightops in buttery, natural white. Converse, Chuck Taylor Classic, $55.00
After a long day of shopping, head back to Palm Springs proper for some patio dining at Citron restaurant, at Viceroy Palm Springs Resort & Spa. This place is like Saint Tropez meets Alice in Wonderland, and the food is spectacular. Let them know you’re coming with your dog and the friendly staff will bring out a water bowl for your pup to enjoy.
HIKING IN THE HILLS AND BANKING POOLTIME ON SUNDAY
On Sunday, be sure to wake up bright and early and head out to hit the South Lykken Trail. This dog-friendly hike should take you about three hours, as it’s about 3.5 miles long and moderately difficult. But be warned that casual hikers may find this trek a bit overwhelming. We recommend getting out there before the sun gets too hot, so you and Spot can enjoy its epic views in relative comfort.
Though, you may see other hikers and their pups going leash-free here, we always recommend leashing up. Remember, this is SoCal and there are most definitely rattlesnakes to worry about. Additionally, there are no bicycles allowed on the South Lykken trail, which is a big bonus when considering hiking with Spot. All accounts seem to agree that if you’re new to hiking in Palm Springs, this is where you should start. For useful tips on where to park and what to avoid, be sure to visit Hiking in Palm Springs.
After your hike, head back to the Ace Hotel & Swim Club for some much needed rest and relaxation! You guessed it! We’re talking about pooltime!
The Ace has a reputation for hosting a great pool scene on Sunday afternoons. Beautiful people sip cocktails while listening to a live DJ spin some chill beats. After securing a prime lounging position, we opted to sample the Spicy Bloody Mary, Classic Mimosa and the refreshing Pimm’s Cup, but if those don’t tickle your taste buds, the thoughtful menu won’t leave you wanting. The poolside fare is delicious and the vibe is casual and comfortable. And guess, what? Spot is allowed to join. Be sure to grab a place with plenty of shade so your pup can rest, while you take in some sunshine. The staff will be more than happy to bring out a cool bowl of doggy water, or move over a shade screen at your request. Really, what could be better?
We bet that as you sit back and ponder the happenings of your weekend escape, you’ll fall in love with the wonderfully quirky Palm Springs. So take that last moment to unwind, enjoy the view, sip on your poolside mojito, and pet your pup! And above all things, try not think about the drive back to LA.