travel tuesday : the desert

"one of our favorite family (pack up and go) weekend escapes is palm desert, california. just a short road trip, under 2 hours (without traffic) from orange country / los angeles, yet the complete weather change evokes a new resort feel and transports you to a dry heat oasis. the desert has a little something for everyone. as a wellness hub, you'll find natural hot springs, spas, tennis, golf, hikes, pools and great shopping from antique finds to flea markets to high-end boutiques. all things to make for a recharge and relaxing weekend away," says morgan, founder of minnow. 

  to stay : 

  • la quinta - waldorf astoria   - one of our favorite family-friendly stays is at the la quinta - waldorf astoria in la quinta, ca. dubbed "the original desert hideaway" just 30 minutes past palm springs on the 111 HWY, you'll find this expansive lush resort filled with lemon trees - an iconic spot since the 1930's. 

to eat :


  • cheekys : always a line for brunch, but if you get there early enough with the kids the food is good, and it's fun and quirky. 
  • normas : i always love a stop at the parker hotel, and norma's has a great happy palm springs ambiance, with it's colorful outdoor patio.
lunch - order poolside with the kids, best part of vacation!
dinner - workshop, birba or purple palm 

    to see + do:  

    I always have big plans when I get out to the desert, but truthfully in a quick weekender we end up just enjoying the resort. if you are able to venture out, these are some of our favorite activities:

    • aerial tram - this really is a neat activity. the palm springs aerial tram is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. you can jump on at the valley station, and then it's just a 10 minute ride up the mountain (elevation 8,516 ft) to see the views of chino canyon from the rotating tramcar are so beautiful. at the top you can grab a snack at the cafe or there are hikes as well.  
    • oasis hike - if you're an outdoorsy family and need a little adventure, this hike is beginner and family-friendly with a nice real oasis to cool off in and a waterfall to enjoy at the end.
    • poolside - the best part of vacation, right?! along with la quinta resort + spa, the desert is filled with family-friendly resorts that offer great pool setups for families; water slides at the omni, sandy lagoon pools, boat rides at the JW Marriott - you name it. 
    • ride bikes around property - this is one of my favorite amenities at la quinta resort and spa, perfect at sunset when the weather starts to cool down. 
    • tennis or golf (mini putting green) - kids camps, lessons and privates. the resort has it all.