Best Food in Grand Central Market

When visiting downtown, you can’t miss a trip to LA’s Grand Central Market. The market has been in place since 1917, when it served the wealthy local residents of nearby Bunker Hill. In the century since the market’s inception, the downtown landscape has changed dramatically, but Grand Central Market has always been a constant. Some of LA’s best food can be had in Grand Central Market.

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With so many different types of food to choose from, Grand Central Market is the perfect place to visit if you’re traveling with a group, or if you just want to sample many of LA’s best dishes all in one place. The market is very accessible, as it’s located in the heart of downtown LA. You can get there by taking the Metro red or purple lines to Pershing Square – the market is half a block up from the subway exit. There are also parking garages nearby, but they can be quite expensive.

The market is open from 8 AM to 10 PM, so whether you want a morning pick-me-up or a drink at the end of the day, you have options. There is seating throughout the market where you can enjoy your food, and most vendors offer takeout options as well. Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages must be consumed in the market. Here are some of the best food in Grand Central Market.

G&B Coffee at LA’s Grand Central Market

G&B is widely considered one of the best places to get coffee in Los Angeles, and for good reason. With friendly baristas and a creative drink menu, G&B offers quality you wouldn’t find at your average coffee chain. Their large bar area is the perfect place to relax with a drink before diving into the rest of the market. Oh, and they have waffles if you’re craving something sweet.

G&B Coffer at LA Grand Market
G&B Coffee


If you’re willing to wait in line, Eggslut offers delicious egg-centric breakfast sandwiches. Although they’ve expanded with locations throughout Los Angeles and even internationally, this location is the original, and it’s a Grand Central Market mainstay. All of their eggs are cage-free, and their bread is baked fresh daily. Be sure to come hungry, because these sandwiches are filling.

Delicious egg sandwich at LA Grand MarketEggslut
Delicious egg sandwich at Eggslut

Sticky Rice  – Delicious Thai at LA’s Grand Central Market

There’s no shortage of Thai food in Los Angeles, but Sticky Rice in LA’s Grand Central Market is some of the most accessible and creative. They’re known for their curries and pan-fried noodles, as well as plenty of creative specialty dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Bold, spicy flavors are contrasted with light, fresh sides for a memorable meal.

Sticky Rice restaurant at Grand Market
Sticky Rice Restaurant

Wexler’s Deli

Some of the best food in Grand Central Market is served up at Wexler’s, which is a classic Jewish deli and a great place to enjoy some breakfast food. If you’re craving a breakfast sandwich and the line at Eggslut is too long, make your way over to Wexler’s – the quality is just as good, and you won’t have to wait to enjoy it. They serve classic bagel sandwiches, with delicious pastrami, corned beef, eggs, and lox.

Wexler's Deli
Wexler’s Deli

Prawn – New England Classic Dishes

Prawn focuses on creative and filling seafood dishes, with influences from all over the world. You’ll find New England classics as well as dishes that take inspiration from Latin and Asian cuisines. You can customize your dishes by choosing your broth and dipping sauces, or you can even build your own rice bowl.

Prawn restaurant at LA Grand Market
Prawn – Classic New England Seafood

Belcampo – for the Meat Lover

Belcampo in LA’s Grand Central Market is a real hit with meat lovers.  It’s a classic butcher shop that specializes in sustainable meat. All of their meat is produced on a large ranch in northern California and then transported to their locations throughout the state. You can buy fresh cuts of meat in the market, and they also offer sandwiches, burgers, and other ready-to-eat meat based products.

Clark Street Bread

Clark Street Bread is a homegrown Los Angeles bakery. The company was initially started in founder Zack Hall’s West Hollywood apartment before expanding to the market. You can pick up fresh baguettes to take home, or try one of their fresh sandwiches. This is a greal option for light breakfast fare.

Horse Thief BBQ

Horse Thief is located just outside the market on the west side of the building. There’s a large courtyard where you can enjoy your Texas-style barbecue. They also offer classic southern sides and desserts to complete your meal. In addition to their tasty food menu, they also have a walk-up bar with a good selection of craft beers and light cocktails.

Horse Thief BBQ in LAs Grand Market
Horse Thief BBQ

 Olio for Pizza

For fresh pizza check our Olio in LA’s Grand Central Market. They’re known for their personal sized wood-fired pies, which come in many different flavors. They’re also one of the many stalls in the market that sells beer and wine, so it’s a nice choice for a casual dinner.

Kismet Falafel

This stall is a casual outpost of Kismet, which is a trendy Mediterranean restaurant in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. The stall has many of the signature dishes of the full restaurant, but in a much more casual atmosphere. Their falafel is incredibly flavorful, and it’s paired with light, fresh sandwiches and salads for an excellent lunch option.

Kismet Falafel in Grand Central
Kismet Falafel

Oyster Gourmet

If you want to go on a date at Grand Central Market, Oyster Gourmet is an ideal place to start. You can pick your own oysters or enjoy a chef’s selection. For a more decadent option, try a seafood platter, which also has shrimp, clams, and other deliciously fresh fish. They also have a good selection of beer and wine to finish off the meal.


This stall offers a modern take on your standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with both sweet and savory options. They offer more than just peanut butter – some of their other delicious nut spreads feature cacao, almonds, pine nuts, pecans, and more. Their drink menu also evokes memories of your childhood lunchbox, with unique milk-based drinks. 

Golden Road

Golden Road is GCM’s resident brewery, and they’re also the largest brewery in Los Angeles. They’re known for their light, fruity beers as well as their IPAs, but they have over 20 different types of beers on tap at the market. They also have classic pub food to go with your beer. You can drink throughout the market, so you can pick up a beer to go with each of the foods you want to sample.

Tacos Tumbras a Tomas

This is just one of the many places to enjoy Mexican food in Grand Central Market. They’re known for their incredible carnitas, and they have an excellent array of tacos and burritos. This is classic Mexican street food, and it’s incredibly satisfying.

Tacos Tumbra at LAs Grand Central Market
Tacos Tumbra

Ramen Hood

Rounding out our list of the best food in Grand Central Market is Ramen Hood.  If you’re vegan or traveling with someone who is, Ramen Hood is a must-visit while you’re in the market. They serve entirely vegan ramen, and it’s so good that even meat eaters will enjoy it – they even manage to recreate the eggs you’d find in traditional ramen. These ramen bowls are thick and will fill you up fast. They’re also a great choice for those days rare days when it’s cold in LA, as they’ll warm you up right away.

With so many great vendors to check out in Grand Central Market, sometimes the best way to enjoy it is to wander through and see what catches your eye. The market is very popular among tourists and locals alike, and it can get quite crowded. To avoid lines, go on a weekday and try to avoid the weekday rush. The market itself is open from 8 AM to 10 PM, but keep in mind that some stalls maintain their own hours and may close earlier.

If you are touring LA see our article on One Week Exploring the Hidden Gems of Los Angeles

One Week in Santa Barbara and the Surrounding Wine Region

Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in California. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and Santa Ynez Mountains on the other, you’ll be surrounded by incredible views no matter where you go in this town. Whether you’re a nature lover or prefer a sophisticated urban environment, there’s plenty to do in Santa Barbara and the surrounding region. In this one week in Santa Barbara itinerary, we’ll show you local favorites and hidden gems to give you a real taste of everything this beautiful town has to offer.

Day One – Stay in Downtown Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a relatively small city, so by staying in the downtown area, you’ll be close to many of the best attractions the city has to offer. One of the best ways to enjoy the relaxed, beachy vibe of Santa Barbara is to rent a house on Airbnb. It’s very affordable, and there are plenty of choices within walking distance of State Street, which is Santa Barbara’s main drag.

If you prefer a luxury hotel experience, consider staying at The Canary, which is full of the Spanish-style design touches that Santa Barbara is known for. If you’re on a tighter budget, The Wayfarer is a chic hostel known for its beautiful outdoor pool. Once you’ve settled into your hotel, take some time to stroll around the downtown area and acquaint yourself with the charm of Santa Barbara.

Day Two – Relax on the Beach in Carpinteria

Carpinteria is a charming town just a short drive south of Santa Barbara. While there are plenty of great beaches throughout the area, Carpinteria has some of the most pristine plots of sand to relax on. Carpinteria State Beach and Santa Claus Beach are both very accessible and very clean, so bring a towel, some sunscreen, and a book and just relax. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also try your hand at surfing the waves here. If you don’t have your own surfboard, there are plenty of places nearby to rent one, with plenty of options for surfing lessons as well.

Once you’ve had your fill of sunshine for the day, head to Rincon Brewery for a beer and a burger. This brewpub is located right on Carpinteria’s main drag and is a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike.

Day Three – Go Back In Time At the Santa Barbara Mission

On the northern edge of downtown is the Mission Santa Barbara, which was founded in the 18th century and is full of rich history and architecture. Although the mission is still an active Roman Catholic Church, you can take tours to learn more about the building and its role in the founding of Santa Barbara. Soak up some sun and stroll through La Huerta Historic Garden, which is next to the Mission.

Santa Barbara Mission
Santa Barbara Mission

Finish your afternoon at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, which is just up the street. The museum is home to an extensive collection of wildlife specimens from around the world, as well as a planetarium. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities here, but adults will enjoy the in-depth exhibits.

Day Four – Eat and Drink Your Way Through the Santa Barbara Funk Zone

The Funk Zone is a section of downtown Santa Barbara that sits between the 101 freeway and the beach. Although this neighborhood is small, there’s so much to do there. Start your day by heading out to Stearns Wharf for some classic waterfront views. If your accommodations have a kitchen, you can purchase your fish straight from the fisherman and take it home to cook for an affordable and fresh dining experience. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping options on the pier, but they tend to be overpriced and aimed at tourists. Instead, head off the pier and into the Funk Zone proper, where you’ll find plenty of independent cafes and restaurants with great food.

Stearns Wharf
Stearns Wharf

Head to Loquita for tapas, Lucky Penny for pizza, or The Nook for a burger and some delicious craft beer. For a truly upscale dinner, head to The Lark, which many would argue is the best restaurant in Santa Barbara. Keep the party going by sampling the many wine bars in the neighborhood. Some fun, trendy options include Municipal Winemakers, Pali Wine Co., and Corks and Crowns. If liquor’s more your style than beer or wine, head to Test Pilot for some incredible tiki drinks.

Day Five – Go Wine Tasting near Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is home to some of the best wine in Southern California, so it’s only fitting to dedicate day five of our One Week in Santa Barbara to wine tasting. While there are plenty of tasting rooms in the downtown area, this is the perfect opportunity to venture further afield and visit some vineyards. There are many companies that offer wine tours in the Santa Barbara area, or you can build your own itinerary for the day. There are plenty of excellent options, many of which are northwest of the city.

There is a huge concentration of vineyards in Buellton, Santa Ynez, and Los Olivos. There are so many choices that it’s difficult to narrow them down, but some standouts include Bridlewood Estate Winery, Sunstone Vineyards, and Babcock Winery and Vineyards. Babcock Winery is known for its trendy tasting room, which has a fun and eclectic 70s theme. Bridlewood Estate has some of the best priced wines in Santa Barbara, but doesn’t compromise on quality. The estate itself has Spanish-inspired architecture that fits in perfectly with the area. Sunstone Winery has a very traditional villa and tasting room, but with a laid-back vibe that doesn’t feel too pretentious.

Santa Ynez part of One Week in Santa Barbara Itinerary
Santa Ynez Valley

Day Six – Stroll State Street

State Street is Santa Barbara’s main drag, and there’s so much to do concentrated in this small area. Start your day by heading to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, which is one of the most stunning buildings in the entire city. Make sure to visit the clock tower at the top of the building for some of the most stunning views in the area.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Santa Barbara County Courthouse


Next, relax at one of Santa Barbara’s many hipster coffee shops – Handlebar Coffee Roasters and Dune Coffee Roasters are very popular local shops. From there, make your way to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Although the museum is small, they have an excellent collection of art with a focus on Western American works.

For dinner, head to Bibi Ji, a renowned Indian restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere. Finish off your night with a show at the Arlington Theater. This is the oldest theater in Santa Barbara, and they frequently host live music, comedy, and other performances here.

State Street is very walkable, but you may also want to consider renting bikes to explore the city even further.

Day Seven – Hike Inspiration Point in Santa Ynez Mountains

Before you leave Santa Barbara, you’ll want to fit in one last opportunity to enjoy the incredible beauty of this area. One of the best ways to do this is by hiking in the Santa Ynez mountains, where you’ll get an incredible view of the city, the ocean, and the mountains.

Inspiration Point is one of the most beautiful views in the area, and the hike will give you a great workout too. There are two ways to get there. The shorter route starts at the Inspiration Point trailhead, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can also begin at the Jesusita trailhead.

If you have extra time and energy after your hike, visit the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden on your way back. It’s just south of the trailhead and has several gardens featuring native Californian plants. The gardens are incredibly peaceful, and they are home to over 1,000 species of native flowers and plants.

Must see during One Week in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful towns in California, with plenty of beautiful nature, history, and culture. If you haven’t been yet, now is the perfect time to add one week in Santa Barbara to your bucket list.

If you have more time to explore the coast from Santa Barbara, see our One Week Los Angeles to San Simeon itinerary

One Week in Anaheim

You’ve heard of Disneyland, and probably even California Adventure, but did you know that they’re both located at the heart of Anaheim, California? Anaheim is a city about forty minutes South of Los Angeles, and about an hour and a half North of San Diego. It’s home to endless hidden gems and smaller attractions that are sure to keep you easily entertained during your One Week in Anaheim Itinerary.

There are plenty of high-quality hotels in the Anaheim area that will help you be as close or as far from the high traffic attractions as you want to be. From the Disneyland Hotel to the Castle Inn and Suites to the Anaheim Marriott, the area has an accommodation for everybody, and plenty of family friendly places to stay.

Anaheim is a smaller California city, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to do there. With multiple major amusement parks, unique foodie experiences, and its own baseball team, Anaheim is truly the hidden entertainment capital of Southern California.

DAY ONE – See a show at the Anaheim House of Blues or take the kids to Medieval Times

On day 1 of your One Week in Anaheim Itinerary, head over to the famous House of Blues. With shows every night, a full bar, and a unique menu of Southern-inspired food, this venue is one of those quintessential things to do when you spend time in Anaheim.

If you’re traveling with kids, don’t worry, there are plenty of family friendly shows available in Anaheim to keep you and your little ones entertained. Anaheim is home to the quirky Medieval Times, an immersive dinner and a show experience where you can dine on roasted chicken, tomato bisque soup, and garlic bread while watching traditional medieval tournaments, from jousting to weaponry. And if you’re vegetarian, don’t worry—Medieval Times has plenty of options for you too, upon request.

Medieval Times Anaheim itinerary
Medieval Times

DAY TWO – Disneyland and California Adventure

Of course, you can’t visit Anaheim without a day at Disney. This is often the place that brings people to Anaheim in the first place, so it’s important to be prepared for crowds when you venture out to enjoy your day at Disneyland. There’s so much more to do and see here than just the rides and parade. Explore the new Star Wars Land and build your own lightsaber or eat your way through the park’s amazing cuisine! There’s a little something for everybody here.

One Week in Anaheim featuring Disneyland
Disneyland in Anaheim

Disney’s California Adventure is the lesser known Disney park. Adjacent to Disneyland, California Adventure is where you’ll find Cars Land, Pixar Pier, and the newly renovated Incredicoaster. It’s also home to tons of amazing food, shows, and that classic Disney feel you get from any Disney park. You can even purchase park hopper tickets so you can move from park to park throughout your day.

Check here for California Theme Park status during the Covid period.

See our article on discounts at California Theme Parks

DAY THREE – Hit the Beach near Anaheim

What better way to relax after a day full of amusement park fun than hitting one of California’s famous beaches? During your One Week in Anaheim Itinerary visit Orange County, which is home to over 40 miles of beautiful California coastline. The most famous of these beaches is easily Huntington Beach, and all of these gorgeous spots are known for surfing, fishing, and whale watching. You can even book a whale watching tour with companies like Newport Landing Whale Watching or Davy’s Locker Whale Watching and Sportfishing for a unique experience you can only find in this part of California. The surrounding area has cute boutique shops and art galleries for you to explore once you’re ready to get out of the California sun.

Huntington Beach near Anaheim
Huntington Beach

DAY FOUR – Go to an Anaheim Angels Game

Anaheim has its own major league baseball team: the Anaheim Angels. California’s weather is always amazing, so you’re sure to have a great time sitting outside enjoying a ball game, even if you’re not an Angels fan. Experiencing a city’s sports team is a fantastic way to explore the city’s culture and get to know its people. And if you’re not a fan of baseball, just go for the food! From nachos served in a helmet to burgers to ice cream, there’s plenty to enjoy during your day at the ball game.

DAY FIVE – Eat your way through the Anaheim Packing House

The Anaheim Packing District is home to the Anaheim Packing House: a giant food hall with vendors ready to serve you everything from grilled cheese to crepes to Vietnamese inspired food. There’s even a secret Speakeasy called The Blind Rabbit that’s hidden behind a fake wall. The Anaheim Packing District also has other sections, like the Farmers Park and Packard Building, if you finish exploring the merchants at the Packing House—the district’s main area. It’s here that you can guarantee to get your hands on some of the most photogenic food in the area, and satisfy any craving that might come your way. In 2019, the Anaheim Packing House turned 100 years old, so not only will you be experiencing the most amazing food in the city, but you’ll be experiencing some of their most notable history.

After the Packing District, you’ll surely have more time left over in your day, so with those extra hours, it would be worth it to hop on a classic trolley car and head over the Center Street Promenade, one of the city’s main downtown areas, perfect for exploring, shopping, and learning more about what makes Anaheim, Anaheim.

What’s next on the One Week in Anaheim Itinerary?

DAY SIX – Get out of the city and explore Chino Hills State Park

It’s always a great idea to get out of the rush of the city and get some fresh air in the closest natural area. Chino Hills State Park is just a short drive out of the city, and includes the vast landscape of California’s Santa Ana Mountains and Peninsular Ranges, as well as tons of wildlife, from bobcats to turkey vultures. The park is also home to multiple natural habitats, including Tecate cypress trees and creeks lined with cattails. The park includes a long list of hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding trails that will take you through this park’s unique natural landscape, from deep valleys, to dense forests, to grasslands only characteristic of the western United States.

Day 6 od One Week in Anaheim
Chino Hills State Park Wildflowers

DAY SEVEN – Ride the flight simulator at the Flightdeck

Your One Week in Anaheim Itinerary is almost complete! There’s no better way to end your time in Anaheim than experiencing one of the city’s most famous attractions, the Flightdeck: a realistic flight simulator, and the only place in the world you can get such an experience without a pilot’s license. You’ll go through a flight course and in-flight instruction that will help you get the most out of the thrill that comes from this simulated experience. You’ll truly get to understand what it would be like to fly a combat jet or commercial airplane, and when you’re not flying the plane, you can watch your friends and family fly on a giant screen in their lounge. The experience is as close as you’ll get to flying an actual plane, and you can even take a more advanced class after you finish your first, so you can get as much out of this unique experience as possible.

FlightDeck in Anaheim
FlightDeck Simulation

Anaheim, California is one of the most underrated cities in California. Usually, Disney takes the credit for putting Anaheim on the map, but the truth is, there are countless hidden gems and experiences that are unique to the area! Anaheim is a diverse city full of incredible entertainment, beautiful beaches, iconic amusement parks, and gorgeous natural areas, and when you have a whole week, its easy to see the city for everything it is, including and beyond the Disney magic.

If you want to visit more of Southern California, see our One Week in Southern California itinerary

One Week in Palm Springs – Best Things to Do

Palm Springs always seems to have the “next big thing” in its back pocket. Nowadays, the world-famous Coachella music festival is top of mind, but there’s so much more. Palm Springs is the vacation home of Hollywood film stars, the golf playground of presidents and one of the original American spa destinations. Here’s a One Week in Palm Springs Itinerary that, no matter what the time of year, you’ll get a glimpse of why Palm Springs remains so glamorous and popular.

Day 1 in Palm Springs – Relax in a Spa

The first day of our itinerary is about acclimatization. Nonstop flights are few; by car, it usually takes at least three hours of steady driving from LA, and nearly five from Las Vegas or Phoenix.  (Fun fact: The song, “I Drove All Night,” is based on the miles between the Palm Springs desert area and LA). So on your first day chill.

Luckily, the local spa industry features every kind of pampering in basic to deluxe surroundings. And when downtown Palm Springs’ Agua Caliente Cultural Museum opens in summer 2020, the complex will feature a bathhouse and day spa for the enjoyment of the area’s famous mineral waters. Until then, the hotels of nearby Desert Hot Springs offer guests relaxing hot mineral soaks. (There are many, with Two Bunch Palms being the most famous and Miracle Hot Springs offering day passes.)

One week in Palm Springs
Two Bunch Palms Spa

Following a soak or a spa treatment, just relax by the pool at one of Palm Springs’ mostly unique properties. These may include the Saguaro, Ace, Riviera and Kimpton on the larger side; and Float, Caliente Tropic, Movie Colony, Avalon or Los Arboles on the petite side. (The latter two also offer fine dining under the stars.)

Day 2 – Hanging Out with the Stars in Palm Springs

During Palm Springs’ many film festivals, officiating Hollywood stars are in town but are often hard to find. This One Week in Palm Springs itinerary will boost your chances of seeing one. A star-struck day in Palm Springs begins with breakfast at Spencers at the Mountain, located literally at the base of the San Jacinto range. Spencers offers up an eclectic range of hearty entrees, from three eggs with corned beef hash to lobster Benedict. On Thursdays and Mondays, it won’t be too crowded and you may see Hollywood elite on a long weekend, lingering over coffee.

Next, take the Celebrity Grand Tour offered by Palm Springs Celebrity Tours, offered daily (except holidays) at 10:00 am and 1:30 pm. You could, of course, sight see on your own with the variety of maps available, but PSCT’s 36-passenger bus allows you to peer over high walls without trespassing; plus, the guides are knowledgeable – chances are, you wouldn’t be able to find the former site of Alan Ladd’s hardware store (he’d personally deliver lumber) on your own. And they share gossip.

For an atmospheric fine-dining experience, visit Copley’s, located in the former guesthouse of what was the Cary Grant Estate. Finish the night at the piano bar at Melvyn’s Ingleside Inn, a Palm Springs mainstay. Who knows whom you’ll meet?

Day 3 – Shopping and Museums in Downtown Palm Springs

In California, cars rule. But in the heart of Palm Springs, it’s possible to ditch the car and still have access to posh hotels, dozens of restaurants, two museums with world-famous collections and tons of power-shopping. That’s because Bellardo Road, where chic bijoux properties nestle behind valet parking kiosks, is just a short walk away from Palm Springs’ “Time Square” – Tahquitz and Palm Canyon.

Bellardo itself ends right at the entrance of the new Kimpton Rowan, the tallest property in Palm Springs, featuring a rooftop bar with a stunning view of the city. The Rowan is also at the edge of the new Palm Springs downtown retail complex (Kiehl’s, Johnny Was, etc.). Turn east on Tahquitz to enjoy the massive Starbucks Reserve, which offers rare coffees; or turn west to visit the Palm Springs Museum and its adjacent Annenberg Theater. The Museum’s eclectic exhibits – from live rattlesnakes to mid-century modern artifacts – reflect the SoCal lifestyle, while the Annenberg offers everything from free movies to lectures and performances.

Back on Palm Springs Canyon is an astonishing choice of restaurants, but you’ll want to go to Pinnochio’s for breakfast, because it’s delicious AND a Palm Springs’ by-word. Just off Palm Canyon on Tahquitz; look for the statue of Marilyn Monroe wearing a rainbow flag. Bonus: Every Thursday night, Village Fest closes Palm Canyon between Tahquitz and Baristo; it features street performers and booths of art, products and food. All an easy walk from Bellardo.

VillageFest part of one week in Palm Springs
Palm Springs VillageFest

DAY 4 – See the Western Heritage of Palm Springs

There are a lot of Western pioneer references in Palm Springs, part of America’s “Cowboys and Indians” mythology. It might surprise visitors to learn that much of Palm Springs is built on reservation land that is still owned and managed by the Cahuilla tribe. It might further surprise them that the “cowboys” most often associated with Palm Springs are Gene Autry and Roy Rogers!

To learn about indian culture and history in the region, visit the new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.  The museum offers five different exhibit areas dedicated to telling the story of the Agua Caliente people, from the native flora and fauna of the Indian Canyons to ancient artifacts. Browse for Native-made art, books, jewelry and clothing in the gift shop.  You can also wander through an Education Garden blooming with brittlebush, creosote and other indigenous plants. Finally, don’t miss the 360-degree animation of the tribe’s creation and migration stories.

Travelers interested in early Native American culture can also take Desert Adventures’ Red Jeep Tour of a model Native-American village on undeveloped private property, and get a glimpse into what life was like in the Coachella Valley 4,000 years ago. Early settlement insights can also be gleaned at Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs, or even the collection of early cabins set in the middle of downtown Palm Springs.

Red Jeep Tours in Palm Springs
Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours

For cowboy aficionados, a visit to Joshua Tree’s Pioneertown, where Roy Rogers and Gene Autry used to film, is a must – as is some crazy-fun time at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace (live music and ambiance). Visitors who enjoy country music should time their visit to coincide with Stagecoach (April 24 – April 26‎, 2020), although the casinos (Native-American owned) book top country performers year-round.

DAY 5 – Choose from a Myriad of Golf Courses in Palm Springs

You can’t spend time in Palm Springs without getting in a little golf so we’ve added some golf info to our One Week in Palm Springs itinerary! Golf visitors may not get to play at the same golf course as Eisenhower, Reagan, Ford, Bush 41 and 43, Clinton or Obama, but with 124 courses to choose from, that is not a hardship. Many of the best courses, with PGA West being the top, can be pricey, but there are many value courses including Tahquitz Creek Country Club, which is just outside of Palm Springs proper.

Golf courses in Palm Springs
PGA West Golf Course

Popular, too, is the golf lifestyle; for example, the cities of La Quinta and Palm Desert are zoned for using golf carts for transportation. Visitors who are in the desert in late October may also check out Palm Desert’s Golf Cart Parade. Now in its 55th year, 2019’s Grand Marshal was baseball great Steve Garvey.

DAY 6 – Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs is considered a literal paradise – but you can’t please everyone. Especially during the summer months, when the temperature is in the 100s. That’s when seeking higher ground may offer a better perspective on the desert lifestyle. Start with taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the Mt. San Jacinto Station. It’s the fastest way to shed unwanted Fahrenheit – within 15 minutes, it can be 10 degrees cooler! Or you can plan to drive and spend the day at Idyllwild, an artistic mountain community with plenty of hiking and fresh air.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

But if you only have a morning or afternoon, you might want to have sundowners at Kimpton Rowan’s rooftop bar; or drive out to the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage for a meal at State Fare Bar & Kitchen, where the view is fantastic.

DAY 7 – Joshua Tree National Park and Shopping!

Drive to Joshua Tree National Park for some amazing desert flora. Enter the park through the South Entrance on Hwy 10. Your first stop is at the Cottonwood Visitors Center. Stop here to top off your water reserves — it’s the last chance for water until you leave in the evening. Just beyond the campground is a small fan palm oasis called Cottonwood Springs. This is the trailhead for a number of day hikes which are a little too long for a one-day visit, but you can still enjoy the palm oasis.  Next stop is the Cholla Cactus Garden. Cholla are nicknamed “Jumping Cholla” for their ability to detach from the plant onto your clothing/shoes/skin. Make sure you’re very attentive as you walk through this dense cactus garden so that you don’t accidently bump into any of them.

If you have time move on to Keys View for a sweeping panorama that takes in two of Southern California’s biggest summits: Mount San Jacinto (elevation 10,834 feet/3,302 meters) and Mount Gorgonio (elevation 11,502 feet/3,506 meters).

When you are back in Palm Springs, you can head out for some shopping.  Visit local shops – like the SHAG Store, resident designer Trina Turk’s headquarters store and the Uptown Palm Springs’ quirky design stores – for unusual items. Further afield, Palm Desert’s Shops of El Paseo and Cabazon’s Desert Hills Premium Outlets are also meccas for shopaholics.

Where Palm Springs and the Desert Cities shine, however, is in their thrift, consignment and resale shops. Estate sales of the very wealthy (including movie stars) make it more than likely you will find something valuable and unique for less than what you’d pay elsewhere. (Recently, Hollywood costumer designer Daniel Orlandi shopped Palm Springs to clothe Matt Damon and Christian Bale for “Ford v Ferrari”.) Resale shops with multiple locations include Angel, Revivals and Consign Design. Good hunting!

If you have more time and want to experience the beauty of the surrounding desert see our One Week in the California Desert – Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks itinerary.