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3 West Coast Weekend Getaways

Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs.

Photo: Jessica Schwartzberg

Palm Springs Insider’s Guide

Where to Stay

The New Kid

Great Value The hippest hoteliers in Seattle have turned a once-basic motor lodge into the Ace Hotel & Swim Club (701 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 877/223-5050 or 760/325-9900; acehotel.com; doubles from $99). The compound includes outdoor fireplaces, poolside yurts, and the darkly atmospheric Amigo Room, where the tables are covered in Mexican pesos.

For Romance

Great Value A 1930’s Spanish colonial spread built by an alleged mobster, the Colony Palms Hotel (572 N. Indian Canyon Dr.; 800/557-2187 or 760/969-1800; colonypalmshotel.com; doubles from $189) has an exceptional restaurant and a mansion-size pool.

Architectural Icon

Great Value Desert Modernist William Cody designed the low-slung 1952 Horizon Hotel (1050 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 800/377-7855 or 760/323-1858; thehorizonhotel.com; doubles from $149) with glass walls to maximize the impressive mountain views.

Sinatra Style

Great Value After a $70 million renovation, the Riviera Resort & Spa (1600 N. Indian Canyon Dr.; 866/588-8311 or 760/327-8311; psriviera.com; doubles from $169) reopened with eye-popping Hollywood Regency-on-helium décor, including a bedazzled billiard table in the lobby. For quieter accommodations, book in Buildings 4 or 5.

Where to Eat & Drink

Lakeside View

The rustic-chic Bin189 (27984 Hwy. 189, Lake Arrowhead; 909/336-1551; lunch for two $40) has a hunting-lodge ambience and hearty dishes like Hungarian goulash and meat loaf.

Brunch Stop

The menu changes weekly at Cheeky’s (622 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/327-7595; brunch for two $35), a mostly organic spot with vegetarian-friendly yam or persimmon sandwiches, five varieties of bacon, and killer blood-orange mimosas.

Smokin’ Section

This downtown lunch counter ain’t fancy, but it is authentic. At the Cowboy Way BBQ (317 N. Indian Canyon Dr.; 760/322-0265; lunch for two $25), rancher turned restaurateur Daniel Placencia dishes up tri-tip, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken with crunchy Kansas City coleslaw.

Cocktail Hour

Drinking alfresco will have you seeing stars in the cabanas at Dink’s Restaurant & Ultra Lounge (2080 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/327-7676; drinks for two $24). The ambitious cocktail menu includes nine fruit-infused mojitos and a martini with muddled jalapeños (ouch!).

Casual Bite

Comfort food with a Continental touch (like filet-mignon chili and Florentine stuffed chicken) packs ’em in at Jake’s Ready to Eat (664 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/327-4400; dinner for two $60).

What to See & Do

Hot Pots

An often overlooked gem, the American Museum of Ceramic Art (340 S. Garey Ave., Pomona; 909/865-3147; ceramicmuseum.org) showcases clay as an art form, from ancient vessels to contemporary works.

Prime Lookout

Bring a jacket—even in summer—to ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (1 Tramway Rd.; 760/325-1391; pstramway.com) aboard the world’s largest rotating gondolas. The 2 1/2-mile, 10-minute trip up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon affords views of the Coachella Valley and the briny desert lake known as the Salton Sea.

Design Tour

Pick up free maps or a $5 guide to Midcentury buildings (by Albert Frey, Richard Neutra, and other masters) at the Palm Springs Historical Society (221 S. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/323-8297; pshistoricalsociety.org).

Spa Day

Behind the Parker Palm Springs hotel’s decorative façade, the Palm Springs Yacht Club (4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/770-5000; theparkerpalmsprings.com) offers full-on pampering. Arrive early to savor designer Jonathan Adler’s naughty nautical twist on Hollywood style.

Spotlight: Palm Springs Shopping

A mix of 20th-century galleries, consignment outlets, and eclectic boutiques makes this town a magnet for design fans. Here are eight stores not to miss.

1. House 849 Hide-covered ottomans, religious and Asian sculpture, even framed insect art: it’s a destination for designers of every stripe—particularly zebra stripe. 849 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/325-7854; house849.com.

2. Modern Home Design Showroom Remodeling ideas for the Midcentury enthusiast. 2500 N. Palm Canyon Dr., suite B5-B; 760/320-8422; psmodhome.com.

3. Studio 111 Palm Springs Twentieth-century furniture alongside vintage tiles by famed sculptor Stan Bitters and contemporary pots by Josh Herman. 2675 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/323-5104; studio111palmsprings.com.

4. Palm Canyon Galleria Arcade with 10 furniture and decorative-arts galleries, including Bon Vivant, a good place to score collectible Blenko glass and Raymor pottery. 457 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/323-4576; palmspringsgalleria.com.

5. Trina Turk Residential Sister store to the fashion designer’s atelier for poolside couture. 895 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/416-2856; trinaturk.com.

6. Modernway Palm Springs classics like glass and Lucite coffee tables and chrome-base sofas. 745 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/320-5455; psmodernway.com.

7. Stewart Galleries Antiques and oddities—seashell-encrusted coquillage next to People’s Republic of China figurines—plus 20th-century paintings, from plein-air landscapes to Cubist canvases. 191 S. Indian Canyon Dr.; 760/325-0878; stewartgalleries.com.

8. Asylum Mod is god at this quirky establishment. 844 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/864-1171; asylumhomestore.com.

The Route

Los Angeles to Pomona: 29 miles
Pomona to Cabazon: 76 miles
Cabazon to Palm Springs: 22 miles

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