Posts in Travel
Palm Springs Travel Guide
Palm Springs Travel Guide

If you haven’t been to Palm Springs, I recommend you add it to your bucket list STAT. As a beach bum, I was a little hesitant to book a vacation to Palm Springs because obviously there is no beach, but this place has easily topped my list of favorite places I’ve visited and I can’t wait to go back. Palm Springs is filled with great restaurants, coffee shops, boutique hotels, amazing architecture, colors (oh, the colors!) and it’s the place to go for ultimate R&R. If you’re planning a trip to the desert anytime soon, bookmark this post because below I’m sharing a recap of our favorite restaurants and bars, hotels, coffee shops, and things to do!

Palm Springs Travel Guide

RESTAURANTS, BARS + COFFEE SHOPS

Ernest Coffee, Koffi, and Custom Coffee — All three are great little coffee shops in the heart of downtown. Honestly can’t go wrong with any of them, or if you have time, go to all three!

Coachella Valley Brewing and La Quinta Brewing — We are craft beer drinkers in our house, so we couldn’t book a trip without visiting local breweries. Both breweries are a little outside the town of Palm Springs, but if you have a car and are willing to make a 15 minute drive, these are both good spots for a refreshing brew. La Quinta also has a taproom on North Palm Canyon Drive, the main strip in town, if you prefer to stay local.

Draughtsman — This place is right in downtown Palm Springs and is a great place for both beer and food, and they’ve got a ton of outdoor games if you’re in to that sort of thing!

Bootlegger Tiki — A perfect place for the person who loves funky cocktails and tropical bevvys.

El Jefe Tequila Bar — Located in the Saguaro Hotel this place has great margaritas and the perfect happy hour apps!

Palm Springs Travel Guide
Palm Springs Travel Guide
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Palm Springs Travel Guide

HOTELS

It’s no secret that Palm Springs is loaded with cute hotels, so in our few days there, we made it a point to try and visit as many of them as possible, you know, so we could scope out where we’re going to stay next visit :) The best thing about hotels here is that even if you’re not a guest, you can stop in for a visit and a few drinks.

ACE Hotel — Perhaps the most popular hotel in town. Very hipster, very cool, very good happy hour. Also the home of the Kings Highway restaurant — we didn’t eat here this trip, but it’s received good reviews.

Holiday House — This place is CUTE! The hotel is all shades of blue and white and has a great little bar. The night we were there the hotel was setting up a family style dinner for all of its guests. Fun, right?

The Saguaro Hotel — The hotel you see all over Instagram that’s famous for its color blocking. We stopped by to check out the colors in person and to grab a drink at El Jefe.

Arrive Hotel — This place has a rad outdoor space — think fire pits and fun seating. It’s right next door to Custom Coffee and Ice Cream & Shoppe.

La Serena Villas — Home of the Azucar Restaurant and rooftop bar. You cannot miss this place on your trip. Dinner reservations were completely full, so we didn’t get to partake in dinner, but we had drinks at the rooftop bar and crushed on all of the Moroccan decor.

Parker Palm Springs — You haven’t been to Palm Springs without going to the Parker, right? Definitely the most iconic hotel in Palm Springs and another can’t miss spot while on your Palm Springs Tour. We quite possibly had the most expensive cheese board & drinks ever here, but the experience was so worth it.

Palm Springs Travel Guide

THINGS TO DO

R&R — Duh. I think this goes without saying. Palm Springs is the ultimate place to chill out and slow down.

The Door Tour — We rented bikes from BIKE Palm Springs Rentals and had the best time riding around. We were on a mission to do The Door Tour, the one where you visit all the houses with the bright colored and fun front doors. It was great and I V recommend. I will say though, that #thatpinkdoor now has “no photography” signs out front and there are also a handful of houses that are in a private neighborhood that has a big bold sign saying trespassers will be prosecuted, but that didn’t stop us. #rebels

Aerial Tramway — We were told this is a “must do” while in Palm Springs, but unfortunately while we were there it was closed due to it being the off-season. So, I can’t share about my experience but will check it out on my next visit.

Moorten Botanical Gardens — I was SO looking forward to visiting this place but like the Aerial Tramway we didn’t make it here while it was open. We visited PS in the middle of September, which is supposedly a really slow time in town, so a lot of places either close for the month, or have abbreviated hours. Sadly, we ended up missing this place because the hours online didn’t match up to when the gardens were actually open. Major bummer!

Shopping — Palm Springs is the home to a bunch of boutique shopping. My two favorite places were The Shops at 1345 and Thick as Thieves.

Palm Springs Travel Guide
Palm Springs Travel Guide
Palm Springs Travel Guide
Palm Springs Travel Guide
Palm Springs Travel Guide
Palm Springs Travel Guide

I hope you find this post helpful in booking your trip to the desert! Any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Turks & Caicos Travel Recap // Where to Stay, Eat, Shop + Swim
Turks and Caicos Travel Recap.jpg

A few weeks ago we FINALLY took our trip to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos.  We were originally scheduled to take this vacation in September 2017 but mother nature/hurricane season had other plans and we were forced to postpone.  Welllll let me just say that Turks and Caicos was so worth the wait! Ed and I took a two week trip back in November to Thailand and the Maldives and if there’s one thing you know about me it’s that I’m as honest as they come, and I have to say that the water in Turks and Caicos is on par with that of the Phi Phi Islands and the Maldives, anddd not to mention, you can get to T&C without having to travel halfway around the world. #win

If T&C isn’t already on your bucket list, I highly recommend adding it (and bumping it to the top!)  Not only is it a quick flight from the US, but they also speak English, accept USD, and the country is really safe.  I love all the Caribbean destinations, but there are some I just wouldn’t feel safe venturing around, but we rented a car and drove all over the whole island without any issues.  We did get a flat tire one night after slamming a massive pothole, but that’s a story for another day...

Below I’m sharing my favorite places to stay, eat, drink, shop, and swim in Turks and Caicos.

STAY

We rented one of the White Villas in the Long Bay area for our week stay. We originally found the house on AirBnb, but ended up booking directly through the owners Simon and Pina.  The house was perfect and came with all the amenities we needed, had its own pool, and was a quick 2-3 minute walk to the beach.

For more information about the White Villas, you can visit the website here, or any AirBnb or Google search of vacation homes in T&C will bring up a bunch of other rental options to accommodate a variety of budgets and family sizes.

 White Villas in Turks and Caicos

White Villas in Turks and Caicos

EAT + DRINK

Cocovan - Who wouldn’t want to get served a meal from an airsteam!? Not only does this place have a super cool vibe, the food and drinks are really good.  I recommend the sesame beef tacos, fried shrimp and mac n’ cheese balls, the gorgonzola fries, and really anything on the menu….

Turks Kebab - Order #14 off the menu with a side of hummus and pita.  It was so good we went here for lunch two days in a row.

Infiniti - The Infiniti Bar at the Grace Bay Club is a must visit.  Think lanterns, string lights, chill seating, sunset views, and good drinks.

Las Brisas - Sadly the existing restaurant was hit pretty hard by the hurricanes in 2017 so the original spot is closed while undergoing construction to rebuild, but they’ve set up an outdoor deck area as a temporary space.  It’s beautiful, is right on the water with good views, and the food was really good.

Turks Head Brewing - If you’re a beer drinker, this place is for you, but if not, feel free to scroll down :)  Because almost everything is imported, it can be pretty expensive to shop on the island, especially for alcohol.  Buying the local brands will not only save you money, but it’s always nice to support small businesses! The beer here is good, and they have a taproom where can sample everything before you buy.  Not to mention they have some really fun, creative beer names.

 Cocovan in Turks and Caicos

Cocovan in Turks and Caicos

 Infiniti Bar in Turks and Caicos

Infiniti Bar in Turks and Caicos

SHOP

Lemon 2 Go Coffee - Located in the Salt Mills Plaza is this gem of a coffee shop.  Good coffee and pastries, and attached to it is the cutest little gift shop.

Weekly Fish Fry - Every Thursday outside the Gansevoort Resort is a public fish fry.  This is a great place to eat and drink, and it also has a lot of vendors set up you can purchase from.

 Lemon 2 Go Coffee Shop in Turks and Caicos

Lemon 2 Go Coffee Shop in Turks and Caicos

SWIM

Long Beach - This is the beach within walking distance from our rental.  It’s mostly a wild beach with a few houses along it and away from the touristy hotel zone. The water is the prettiest blue, but we noticed that the ocean on this side of the island tended to be a little more choppy and wavy due to the location.  If you take a walk on this side of the beach you’ll see thousands of conch shells (and no I’m not exaggerating!)

Grace Bay - Named one of the world’s most gorgeous beaches and rightfully so.  The shades of blue throughout Grace Bay are amazing, and on some days the water was so blue that the sun was reflecting off the water and made the clouds look turquoise.  Just amazing.

Sopadilla Bay - No words describe this place.  It’s a little off the beaten path, but it’s worth it once you get there.  Gorgeous, calm, and shallow water with multi-million dollar homes right on the beach.  All of the beaches in T&C are public, so even though the beach has homes right on it, you can still sit down in front of them and enjoy sunset.

Taylor Bay - This is the most secluded beach we found during our stay.  It neighbors Sopadilla Bay, but it’s tucked back in a neighborhood and really tricky to find.  The road to get there will actually say “Private” but if you ignore the sign and drive through you can park on the side of the road and walk through the one and only public entrance.  It’s definitely hard to find, and admittedly we needed to ask a police officer to direct us, but once we were there it was so. worth. It.

Turtle Cove - We found this place by means of a morning yoga class one day and it was such a good find!  The water on the shoreline is pretty rocky, but it’s gorgeous nonetheless and is a great place to check out some swanky homes and search for sea turtles.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful if you are planning a trip to T&C!  I love a good conversation about travel, so if this post leaves you with any questions feel free to drop me an email at hello@caitlinjancalligraphy.com!

 Turtle Cove in Turks and Caicos

Turtle Cove in Turks and Caicos

 Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos

Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos