Palm Springs Guide

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– Where to Stay –

We stayed at The Saguaro and it was a dream!! The hotel is so cute and colorful and has such a fun vibe!  Each room’s door is a different color and even the pool towels are hot pink!! I was in heaven. The rooms were nice, nothing fancy but you won’t want to be spending any time in your room anyways! The hotel pool was definitely my favorite part and is where we hung out majority of the time.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club is a midcentury modern motel that rocks a retro 60’s vibe. The Ace gave me all of the vintage, hipster feels and I loved it! The pool is really cool and looks out onto the San Bernardino Mountains. If you don’t stay here at least go have breakfast at Kings Highway inside the hotel and hangout by the pool!

Calling all design lovers!!! The Parker Hotel was designed by the famous Jonathan Adler who took an average hotel and turned it into a design lovers dream with a “hippie chic” vibe. A night at the Parker is on the pricier side so if you can’t afford to stay there you have to at least go check it out and snag some Instagram worthy shots.

If you are looking for the ultimate escape the Korakia Pensiona hotel is your place! With its Moroccan/Mediterranean feel you will feel like you are half way across the world, far from Palm Springs.

 

–  Where to Eat & Drink –

Brunch at Cheeky’s is a must!! Be prepared to wait when you go but I promise it is worth it. Get the bacon flight, it comes with 5 interesting flavors of bacon and the jalapeño bacon is to die for!!!

Another really great brunch option is Jakes and it is convinently located next door to Cheekys. If the wait is too long at Cheekys Jakes is a great second option!

Head to the Ace Hotel and have breakfast at King’s Highway! Get the smoothie of the day or the Date Shake, sooo good!

Did someone say breakfast for dinner? Head over to the Park Hotel to eat at Normas. They have great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner but their breakfast all day menu is a game changer.

If you are looking for a casual and yummy lunch Frankinbun has the best gourmet hot dogs.

Go to sunset hour between 3-6 at The Purple Palm for discounted drinks and appetizers! The charcuterie and cheese plate is amazing and pairs perfectly with their famous sangria.

If you are looking for a nice place for diner with a cool outdoor atmosphere, Birba is the place to go.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar is a little on the pricey side for dinner but totally worth it if you want to splurge on one nice meal! They also have a really good brunch menu that is not nearly as pricey!

If you are looking for tacos and margaritas El Jefe is a really yummy Mexican restaurant located inside the Saguaro Hotel!

The Ice Cream & Shop(pe) is the cutest place to get your ice cream fix! They have really unique flavors that will make your mouth water! My 2 favorites are the Lavender and Champagne sorbet!

Y’all… Palm Springs is home to the #4 best shake in the US and #8 IN THE WORLD!!!! Pretty crazy. So go to Great Shakes and get the banana caramel graham shake! It’s made with their home made salted carmel and home made pie crust and fresh banana. Your taste buds will thank you  later.

Bootlegger Tiki its the cutest little speakeasy that offers the best happy hour in town. They specialize in craft cocktails and all of them are cute tiki themed drinks!

If you need a little pick me up you can find the best coffee in Palm Springs at Koffi! They roast their own coffee and serve fast breakfast options, including grilled egg sandwiches, fresh baked muffins, and cinnamon rolls.

Another cute little coffee shop is Ernest Coffee! They serve beer and wine here so weather you are looking for some caffeine or just want to pop in for a glass of wine they have got you covered.

 

– What to do –

For all of the desert vibes visit the Moorten Botanical Garden. It’s the worlds first Cactarium and it is only $5 to get in! It is really cool to walk around and see all of the different types of plants and cactus from around the world and it makes for some pretty cute pictures.

A trip to Plam Springs wouldn’t be complete without visiting That Pink Door. I’m not sure how many doors have their own hashtag or fan following, but if I was #thatpinkdoor I’d feel pretty good about myself. The address is 1100 East Sierra Way

Palm Springs is fairly small and the best way to see it is to rent bikes and ride around! Our hotel had free bike rentals but if yours doesn’t then you can rent them here. All of the houses in Palm Springs are just so cute so it’s really fun to just ride your bike up and down the streets wondering why you don’t move here.

If you are in need of a little retail therapy and want to find unique pieces that you can’t find anywhere else then head over to The Fine Art of Design for a little bit of vintage shopping!

Palm Springs has a pretty great pool scene so take a day to just lay by the pool and relax! The pool at the Saguaro Hotel is definitely my favorite and knows how to throw some awesome pool parties on the weekends! If you will be in Palm Springs for awhile I would definitely suggest hoping around to some of the other hotel pools if you have time! Each hotel has a totally different vibe so depending on what mood you are in you can always find a pool to fit whatever you’re feelin.

If you are looking for the ultimate escape you can head over to the Two Bunch Palms Resort and Spa where you can soak in their heated mineral pools.

For gorgeous panoramic views overlooking Palm Springs and the San Jacinto Mountains, you can jump on the aerial tramway for a 10-minute ride up to 8,500 feet! While at the top, take a hike or just grab a drink a the Lookout Lounge.

If you have a lot of time in Palm Springs take a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park! It is only about an hour away from Palm Springs and I have heard it is definitely worth the trip. We didn’t get to go on this trip but it is on my bucket list for the next time around!

xo-kt

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Yosemite National Park

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Wow. There are really no words or pictures that can show how beautiful Yosemite really is. This has been on my bucket list for a while and it definitely lives up to all of the hype. It is so nice to have a change of pace and be off the grid for a weekend. If you have never been to Yosemite I highly suggest you add it to your bucket list. I think we went at the perfect time because the weather was awesome and it wasn’t very crowded! If you go during peak season, expect the popular hikes and trailheads to be extremely crowded and flooded with tourists.

First thing you need to do when planning your Yosemite trip is to decide where to stay. There are a lot of options between hotels, lodges and campsites. We stayed in one of the heated canvas tents in Half Dome Village. The tents were so cozy and the beds were pretty comfortable. The tents are very simple but it is the perfect balance in between full on camping and staying in a hotel. It was nice that we were still able to get the camping experience without having to bring all of the camping supplies and set it up. It is community bathrooms and showers but they were kept pretty clean. The campground has such a summer camp feel too it and I loved it. One thing we loved about Half Dome Village was all of the food options that were available. In the mornings they have coffee and buffet style breakfast available in the Pavilion. The Pavilion also serves dinner along with the Pizza Deck and the Meadow Grill. There is also a full service bar where you can get beer, wine, cocktails and frozen drinks!  Another really great thing that gives Half Dome Village such an advantage is the location. It is very central and most of the best hikes are within walking distance. They also have free shuttle service that drops off at trailheads throughout the park. Overall our stay at Half Dome Village was great and if I ever go back I will definitely be staying here again.

The first day we were there we hiked the Mist Trail which leads you to Vernal Falls. From there you can continue on up to Nevada Falls if you are willing to make a 9 mile round trip hike. We walked from Half Dome Village to the trailhead and hiked all the way to Nevada falls and it ended up being about 10 and half miles roundtrip. If you catch the shuttle to the trailhead it will only be about 9 miles. I honestly did not think my body was capable of hiking 10 miles but it was seriously worth it. The views at the top are amazing and it is such a beautiful hike that you almost forget how much work it took to get there once you reach the top. The hike to the top of Nevada falls is no joke though. It is very steep and there is about a mile and a half of straight stairs. I am by no means in amazing shape so don’t think you have to be an experienced hiker to do it! There are plenty of places to stop, sit and enjoy amazing views along the way. We took our time and fully embraced all that Yosemite had to offer along the way. We started at 10 and didn’t get back to camp until 5. It is definitely an all day outing so make sure you pack everything you need for the day. We carried backpacks with our lunches, lots of water and snacks that we could eat throughout the day. I would also suggest wearing actual hiking boots rather than just regular tennis shoes. When falls are flowing at their full capacity you actually get wet from the mist of the falls.. Hence the “Mist Trail.” The stairs can get really slippery so it is helpful to have shoes with some grip!

The second day we were pretty exhausted from our 10 mile excursion the day before so we decided to take it easy and explore a different part of Yosemite. We drove an hour through the park to get to Tenaya Lake. The lake was beautiful and definitely worth the hour drive to get there. There is a beach that surrounds the lake which is perfect for having a picnic or just sitting and enjoying the view. You can also walk the 2.5 mile loop that goes around the lake if you want a short and easy hike. Near Tenaya Lake there are several other trailheads and hikes that are easy to access. One short hike with an amazing overlook is Olmsted Point. You will see it on your way to Tenaya Lake and it is the perfect spot to pull off and snag a few pictures or just sit and enjoy the view. It is only about a quarter of a mile to get to the overlook and you get to see amazing views of Clouds Rest and Half Dome. This area was perfect after a full day of intense hiking because there were a lot of opportunities for amazing scenery that required minimal effort.

The last day before we left we had to hike back up the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls so I could jump off the cliff into the base of the waterfall. On the first day we saw several people doing it and I knew I couldn’t leave without doing it. This is really the only time of the year that you are able to cliff jump at Vernal Falls so you have to take advantage. In the spring when the waterfalls are flowing at their full capacity it is too dangerous. Let me just start by saying if you are going to jump prepare yourself for how cold the water is. I was expecting it to be freezing and it was actually 10 times colder than that. It is so worth it though. Ending an amazing 2 days in Yosemite by jumping off a cliff into the base of Vernal Falls was so awesome.

This trip has definitely inspired me to want to get outdoors more and experience all of the natural beauty that this world has to offer. I hope this post inspires you to want to do the same. Thanks for reading, now getting to planning!!

xo-kt

Girls trip to Napa/Sonoma

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Next Stop: Domaine Carnerosdomaine-carneros3-1-of-1domaine-carneros2-1-of-1domaine-carneros1-1-of-1Third Stop: Cline Cellerscline1-1-of-1cline2-1-of-1cline3-1-of-1grape-things-1-of-1vines2-1-of-1vines1-1-of-1Fourth Stop: Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

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Fifth Stop: MUMMmumm1-1-of-1mumm2-1-of-1mumm3-1-of-1

Last Stop: Wine Stomp at Grgich Hillsgrape-stomp2-1-of-1

There is no better place to spend a weekend with your girls than Napa. Since I have been in California I have gone to Napa almost every weekend and it never gets old. There are about 400 wineries with tasting rooms in Napa Valley alone, and 600+ if you include Sonoma too. Every time you go there is always a new winery to be visited and new wine to be tasted.

To start your day off you have to make a stop at the famous Fremont Diner. The diner doesn’t look like much from the outside but the atmosphere of the outdoor patio, amazing view and home-style cooking are what makes this spot so popular. Before a full day of drinking in Napa it is necessary to load up on the carbs in order to survive. You have to order the bucket of biscuits and homemade apple butter to start (my mouth is watering just thinking about it.) For my meal I got the fried egg breakfast sandwich and it was so good. This was my first visit to the Fremont Diner but it is definitely going to become my regular spot any time I’m in Napa/Sonoma.

After you’ve loaded up on the carbs at the Fremont Diner, head 5 miles down Sonoma Highway to the Domaine Carneros. The Domaine Carneros is one of my favorite places in Napa and is the perfect place to start the day. They specialize in sparkling wine and have an amazing 30$ tasting option. If you want to know a little more about the Domaine Carneros here is a link to one of my older posts where I go more in depth about my experience at Domaine Carneros.

Next stop is Cline Cellars. One thing that is awesome about Cline is they have complimentary tasting. I’m not kidding… It is really free! With the complimentary tasting you get to try 5 wines of your choice. The atmosphere at Cline is totally different from the Domaine Carneros. Cline is a lot more laid back; they have picnic tables everywhere and you are even allowed to bring your dogs!! We really enjoyed our time at Cline and I mean who could pass up free wine??

Right across the street from Cline is Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Jacuzzi also offers complimentary tasting and the wine is really good! Since the tasting was complimentary we bought a bottle and we also did a wine shot out of a chocolate shot glass! You throw the whole shot and chocolate in your mouth at the same time! It was so good and a fun little thing to do that most wineries don’t offer.

Next on our agenda was Mumm. Mumm specializes in sparking wine as well and is also one of my favorite places along with the Domaine Carneros. One thing that is really cool about Mumm is you can buy their wine in pretty much any grocery store across the U.S. Before I had gone to Mumm I had never noticed it in stores but now that I have been there I see it everywhere!

Our last stop of the day was Grgich Hills Estate to do a wine stomp. Wine stomping had always been on my bucket list and this is one of the only wineries in Napa that does it daily. The wine stomp costs 30$ a person and includes a glass of wine, a tee shirt and the stomp. It was definitely a cool experience but not something I will probably do again. I was only able to snag this one picture because they rushed us to get out of the bucket after we had only been stomping for 1o minutes. I thought it was very rude that they rushed us after we had paid 30$ to do it but we got a glass of wine a tee shirt and got to check something off our bucket list that we have always wanted to do so I would say it was mostly a success!

Thanks for reading and I hope this makes planning your trip to Napa a little easier!!

xo-kt

24 hours in L.A

First Stop: Melrose Ave.pink-wall4-1-of-1pink-wall1-1-of-1Next Stop: The Beverly Hills Hotelbev-hills-hotel7-1-of-1bev-hills-hotel9-1-of-1milkshakebev-hills-hotel2-1-of-1bev-hills-hotel3-1-of-1bev-hills-hotel4-1-of-1bev-hills-hotel6-1-of-1bev-hills-hotel5-1-of-1Third Stop: Venice Beachvenice1-1-of-1venice-canals1-1-of-1venice-canals4-1-of-1venice-canals3-1-of-1Last Stop: Pink Motelpink-motel-1-of-1diner

Last week I took a quick little 24-hour trip to L.A and it was just what I needed! Since I only had one day I tried to pack as much as  I possibly could into the short amount of time that I had. Whenever I am planning trips, especially short ones, I do a lot of research before I go so I can best utilize my time.

One of my favorite parts of L.A is Melrose Avenue. Melrose is a funky little area full of amazing shopping, food and art. After spending way too much money at Nasty Gal you can’t leave without snagging a picture against the famous pink wall at the Paul Smith building.

A trip to L.A would not be complete without spending a little time at The Beverly Hills Hotel. This hotel has such a timeless and glamorous feel to it, it was definitely my favorite part of my trip. I had been dying to come here for a while now so I was so happy that it exceeded all of my expectations. When we got there we went to the Fountain Coffee Room and got a snack and an iced coffee. The Fountain Coffee Room is so cute and makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time with its vintage feel. The hotel also has two other restaurants inside that are open to the public: The Cabana Cafe & The Polo Lounge. After getting a little bite to eat you have to just walk around and soak it all in. A night at the Beverly Hills hotel is not cheap by any means but it is so amazing. It is very obvious why it has the reputation of being such an iconic part of Beverly Hills. I have already started saving up so I can spend a weekend here my girls.

Next stop of the day was Venice Beach. We walked around by the beach for a little bit and then we spent the rest of our time on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Abbot Kinney is an area of Venice that has a lot of really cute restaurants and shops that are definitely worth checking out. Abbot Kinney was named after the man who built the Venice Canals, which was my favorite part of Venice. I had no idea this even existed and was so happy when I stumbled upon it. The canals were built to resemble the ones in Venice, Italy. Along side the canals are the cutest little houses that each have their own docks and canoes. The houses were so cute and some of them are Airbnb’s!! If you want to stay in the Venice area you should definitely look into staying in one of the houses along the canals.

Our last stop of the day was the Pink Motel. If you have never heard of it before you have definitely seen it in a movie whether you realized it or not. The pink motel is a filming location that has been used in a lot of movies including Grease 2, Drive and House Bunny. The Pink Motel has seven rooms, which have been professionally designed and customized to recreate the 50’s and 60’s era. On site they also have Cadillac Jacks Cafe, which is a retro 50’s style dinner used specifically for filming.

xo-kt

Disneyland

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You guys… DISNEYLAND!!! I have been dying to go for so long, I am so happy that I finally got to go. My dad gave me such a hard time about how excited I was to go to Disneyland as a 22 year old… He clearly just doesn’t understand. I mean it is the happiest place on earth, right? At the end of the day my cheeks literally hurt from smiling so much. I was so happy all day, if you couldn’t already tell by my pictures. I was practically skipping through the park.

When planning my trip I was torn between getting admission into just Disneyland or getting the park hopper pass. If you get the park hopper you get admission to Disneyland and California Adventure. California Adventure is right next to Disney and it is really easy to “hop” back and forth between the parks all day if you have the pass. Admission into Disneyland is 95$ for the day and the park hopper costs 155$. Since we only had one day I decided just to do Disneyland. There is so much to see in Disney alone that I would recommend just getting a single admission ticket if you only have one day. If you are planning on going for 2 or more days I definitely recommend getting the park hopper so you can experience both parks.

There is so much to do and see in Disneyland, the list is literally endless.  If you know me you know I had already scoped out all the food options before hand and made list of everything I wanted to eat. Dole Whip was at the top of my list and it was amazing. A Dole Whip is a pineapple flavored soft-serve frozen dessert sold only at Disneyland or at Dole’s processing plant in Hawaii. It was so yummy and definitely a must when visiting the park. After you have eaten your body weight in Dole Whip, walked around, and rode a few rides you have to go explore Downtown Disney. Downtown you will find a bunch of cute restaurants, bars, shopping and entertainment. I would say it is definitely geared more towards adults and is the perfect way to end a perfect day at Disneyland.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite moments from my day in Disneyland!!!

xo-kt

Kirby Cove Swing

swing6 (1 of 1)swin1 (1 of 1)swing2 (1 of 1)swing3 (1 of 1)swing4 (1 of 1)swing5 (1 of 1)swing7 (1 of 1)landThis spot had been on my bucket list for a while so I was so excited to finally find it. Seriously, whoever put this swing here deserves a big hug. The view of the Golden Gate bridge from here is amazing and you get to swing while looking at it. Doesn’t really get much better than that. I really could have stayed and swung for hours.

To get to the swing you need to find Kirby Cove. Kirby Cove is located in Sausalito, a little town on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The easiest way to get there is to get directions to Battery Spencer. Once you get there you will find several places that you can park. You will see a little pathway to your right and you need to follow that all the way down to the beach. It is about a mile hike to get down there. When we got to the swing we were the only people down on the beach. It felt like we had found a secret spot that nobody else knew about.

So if you are in the Bay area this spot is definitely worth the trip. Even if you don’t really care to swing, the view alone is worth it and it makes for some pretty cool pictures.

xo-kt

Magnolia Market

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If you are passing through Waco you have to stop by the Magnolia Market! If you are a fan of the show Fixer Upper then you already know all about the market and probably had a serious fan girl moment (like I did) when you first visited. For those of you who don’t know, the Magnolia Market is owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines (the stars of the HGTV show Fixer Upper) where they sell products featured in their home and on the show.

When you first get there you have to go inside and do a little shopping. They have an amazing collection of unique and inspiring design items and home decor. I saw a few things that I wanted but the line was 2 hours long to buy something and we did not feel like waiting. The market was amazing but I will say the downside is deffinitly how crowded it gets. Even if you don’t buy something there is plenty more to see and do that makes the trip worth while.

Once you get hungry (because you know shopping can work up quite an appetite) you can head out to the lawn right outside of the market that has several really yummy food trucks. I had the most delicious jalapeño popper crepe from the cutest little crepe stand. The fresh pressed juice from the Luna Juice truck is also really good!!

As if the food trucks weren’t enough, they have the most amazing bakery on site with all kinds of yummy cupcakes, cookies, and homemade pastries. The line to get in was wrapped around the building but it goes by really fast so don’t be discouraged! They have a really good system where they give you a card with everything they have on the menu and you fill out what you want while your waiting in line to make it go by faster.

The Magnolia Market is definitely a fun day trip to take with your girls and I highly recommend it! I definitely plan on coming back but not until the weather is cooler. If you plan on going this summer just prepare for the heat. Today was really hot and kind of took away from the whole experience but if you can handle the heat then more power to ya!!

xo-kt