It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog post but I’ve been super busy lately planning 2 big upcoming trips. I have a trip coming up in July to Iceland and another one coming up in August to Oregon.
I also went back to LA, Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park last month (April 2018) with my hubby and daughter so I’ve had little time for my blog. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things as I have many upcoming and past trips that I would like to blog about.
Even though this trip was only 5 nights and 6 days, I’m going to break it up into 3 different posts because it’s just too much information for one blog post. I’ll do Joshua Tree next and then LA & Malibu after that one.
So, let’s get started. My daughter, as you all know by now, is a fashion blogger and fell in love with LA after we visited for the first time last April. She asked if we could go back this year since we had so much fun last year.
Read my blog post from our trip in 2017 to LA, JTNP & Palm Springs here.
I happened to have 60K + points on my Southwest credit card so I looked online to see how many tickets to LA I could get…turns out, it covered all 3 non stop, roundtrip tickets! That was a value of almost $1200!
Not only that, I had points left over! I have applied many times for the Southwest credit cards simply for their points. I will use the points and then close the card only to apply later for another card in my hubby’s name. I have flown free many times.
We flew in on a Monday and flew back home on Saturday and it’s the best way to visit the area without dealing with a ton of traffic because people are working during the week.
Once again, I booked our car rental with Alamo and I would never use anyone else when visiting LA. They truly have the easiest, most efficient car rental process that I’ve ever dealt with.
When you book your car, you simply choose “skip the line” option. You will have to enter your credit card and your drivers license information to be able to choose this option. You can do this during or after you book your car.
I booked through Travelocity as I find them to usually be the cheapest with car rentals.
After you deboard your plane and pick up your luggage, you will follow the car rental signs. Once outside, you will get on the shuttle bus that will shuttle you over to Alamo’s car rental location.
It’s about a 15 min ride. Once you arrive, you get off the bus and go directly to the size car you rented.
There are employees that can direct you to the exact location but it’s as soon as you step off the bus under the covered parking garage. The cars are arranged by size (compact, midsize, full-size, etc) and you just pick the size you reserved and hop in and drive.
The keys are already in the vehicle. You just show your credit card and drivers license at the booth before you exit the garage. It’s so quick and painless. This is the third time I’ve rented from Alamo using this feature and I wish every car rental agency would start doing this!
I’ve read and researched the horrible traffic stories about LA and have learned that certain times of the morning and certain times in the afternoon are the best times to be on the 405 (the major interstate).
Since our plane landed around 8:30 am, I decided that we would head to Palm Springs first and then back track to LA since we could get on the interstate during the “off peak” hours….is that a thing in LA? Not sure but thankfully, it was for us!
We started our drive to Palm Springs around 9-9:30 am and we never hit any traffic at all. This is the second time I’ve made a good decision about driving on the 405 during “off peak” hours. 😉
The drive to Palm Springs takes approximately 2 hrs from the airport. After arriving, our first stop was to find somewhere to eat lunch.
My hubby, the food connoisseur, had picked out a few places that he wanted to try out so we made our way to one of those places on his list.
We arrived at Tyler’s Burgers and there was a short line. You had to walk up and write your name on a small chalkboard and wait to be seated. There was indoor and outdoor seating.
As usual, my hubby and daughter ordered the burger but I opted for something a little healthier, the chicken salad sandwich. We all raved about the food…it was very good and I definitely recommend a stop here if you are ever in the area.
After lunch, my hubby wanted to check out all of the cool homes that Palm Springs are known for…my daughter also wanted another picture at the “pink door”, the only door that has it’s own Instagram page.
However, after arriving, we noticed the owners have now put up no trespassing and no photography signs. The owners have stated in a recent article that I found online, that it has been turned into a nuisance for them and their neighbors so they no longer allow photography.
So, we drove around the nearby neighborhoods in the area admiring all the beautiful architecture..I would highly recommend checking out the houses in PS …it was like taking a drive back in time and they all have beautiful, colorful doors!
During my research of Palm Springs, I read that Frank Sinatra had a house built for himself in the area and that it was now on the National Register of Historical Places. Of course, we had to find it and with address in hand, it wasn’t very hard.
If you would like to see it, it’s located at: 1148 East Alejo Rd and as of Oct. 2017, the house was listed for sale for a measly 3.7 million! I’ve also read that you can rent it for $2600 a night plus a $350 service fee. Not bad huh? 😉
The house is located just around the corner from residences once owned by Al Jolson, Jack Benny and Cary Grant in the famous Movie Colony neighborhood but we never found any other homes that had signage indicating who the home used to belong to.
The next house on my list to visit was Elvis & Priscilla Presley’s honeymoon home. They lived here in 1966 & 1967 and honeymooned here on May 1, 1967 after their wedding.
The house can be rented for weddings and conferences. They also offer tours for $35 pp for adults and children under 12 are $15. You can buy tickets online with the link I provided above.
It was built in 1965. It has a very cool design and I recommend a quick stop here to check it out if you are ever in the area. They sell souvenirs here as well.
Right next to the visitors center is a road that leads to the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. We drove the road up to the point where you have to show your ticket for the tram and then turned around. You had some nice views of Palm Springs from this point.
You can purchase tram tickets online and the cost is $25.95 for adults and $16.95 for children ages 3-10. You can also purchase tickets at the visitors center.
Later, we headed to our hotel to check in. Last year, we stayed at the Saguaro Hotel but we opted for a cheaper hotel this time and stayed at the Best Western Las Brisas. They offered a free breakfast and were centrally located …and I must say, the rooms were nicer than the Saguaro.
We had 2 queen beds, free parking, free breakfast and free wifi and the rate was $215 with taxes. I am not a hotel snob …just give me a clean, safe place to stay and I’m good to go.
We spend such little time in our room while on vacation that I personally don’t see the need to spend a lot on hotels. Of course, some people go on vacation for the hotels…I’m just not one of those people. 😉
After checking into our hotel, we headed to another food spot my hubby had found. I actually had this place on my list when we visited last year but we never had the opportunity to eat here.
It’s called the The Sandwich Spot and it was delicious! If you like deli sandwiches, I highly recommend this place. The ingredients were so fresh and their bread was out of this world! They had several different kinds.
Read reviews here.
After looking at the menu for several minutes, we finally decided on the Federer which is #19 on the menu. It’s warm turkey, prosciutto, avocado & swiss cheese. We all loved this place.
The sandwiches were so big that we could only finish 1/2 of it.
After dinner, we headed to the Ice Cream & Shoppe. There’s always room for dessert, right? 😉
It’s a cute, colorful, Instagram worthy ice cream shop with a few gift items that you can purchase.
They let you sample as many of the flavors that you want. I opted for the mango sorbet and after going a few weeks without having a lot of sugar in my diet, I thought it was way too sweet but I did end up finishing it. I mean who lets “ice cream” go to waste? 😉
They also have free toppings..that’s a big thing! The prices were very reasonable and the staff was friendly and helpful. If I can remember correctly, they had around 12 different flavors.
We then headed back to the hotel for the night as we had an early start the next morning. We were heading to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s approximately an hours drive from Palm Springs….depending on which entrance you go to…as there are 3.
We woke up early the next morning and had breakfast at the hotel but wished we had opted for a restaurant instead. The breakfast was very basic and the breakfast room was small and crowded. However, we were trying to save some time since we had a long day planned at JTNP.
After breakfast, we checked out of our hotel and headed to another favorite place that we had discovered last year, Koffi. Their coffee is the best I’ve ever had…seriously! They have 4 locations in Palm Springs and actually won “best of the best coffee” in Palm Springs.
We discovered this place last year when we had breakfast at the Mod Cafe. They have a location right next door to this cafe so my daughter tried it out and was hooked….Starbucks has nothing on this place!
I bought a bag this time to bring home and it can be ordered online. Which by the way, I just placed an order and got 2 bags for $25. Not bad for really good coffee!
If you are ever in the PS area, I highly recommend you make a stop at Koffi and the Mod Cafe…the views alone are worth the visit!
Look for the Walk of Stars near Koffi. Yes, Palm Springs has their own walk of fame. Mostly honoring the celebrities who have lived in the area. It’s nothing like the walk of fame in LA but neat to see.
After Koffi, we stopped for a fill up on gas and bought some ice for our cooler. I highly recommend that you have plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat and a full tank of gas before venturing out to JTNP as it’s a very hot place.
Passing the windmills on the way to Palm Springs. You can book tickets for a tour. The cost is $49.
Click here for more things to do and see in Palm Springs.
Well, that ends our day in PS. Thanks for reading and I’ll have my next post on JTNP up soon! 🙂