Artful Escapes // Palm Springs Avoid Coachella, stay in Palm Springs and do all the artsy and cultural things.
Coachella, the famous (maybe now infamous?) music and arts festival, kicks off its first weekend in Indio, California tomorrow. We suggest skipping the festival and spending time in Palm Springs about 30 minutes away. You might not avoid all the crowds, but you will have a more chill weekend full of art, modern architecture and great food.
STAY / Ace Hotel & Swim Club
We know the Ace Hotel is far from a hidden secret, but it’s famous with the cool crowd for a reason. The pool is hopping, the views of the mountains are gorgeous and the hotel has a rotating art mural that’s the perfect backdrop for selfies. The most recent one was painted by San Francisco artist Jenny Sharaf.
STAY / Korakia Pensione
This 1930s Mediterranean villa-turned-hotel was originally owned by a silent-screen star. Plus, Forbes Traveler named Korakia one of the “Sexiest Hotels in America.” Stay here and be treated to games of bocce ball, complimentary bicycles for exploring and Moroccan tea service each afternoon.
SEE / Women of Abstract Expressionism at the Palm Springs Art Museum
Be sure to stop by the Palm Springs Art Museum in downtown Palm Springs. Right now is an especially great time to visit because their current exhibit is the “Women of Abstract Expressionism.” This historic show features 12 American artists who worked in NYC and San Francisco in the 1940s and 50s.
SEE / The Integration
This one is a bit of a drive from Palm Springs, but it’s so unique, it’s worth the time. The Integratron is a one-of-a-kind structure that was built by George Van Tassel (1910-1978), supposedly by instructions from extraterrestrials. Van Tassel intended the building to be a place of rejuvenation and time travel. The Integraton is now privately owned, but you can visit by booking a group “sound bath” in the structure’s zen upstairs room.
SEE / DesertX
Catch this one before it’s over at the end of April. DesertX is an exhibition of art across the Coachella Valley featuring site-specific projects by emerging and well-known artists. Not-to-miss works include Doug Aitken’s Mirage, a completely mirrored ranch style house in the middle of the desert, and Claudia Comte’s hypnotic Curves and Zigzags wall. Pick up information and a map at the Ace Hotel.
SEE / The Modern Tour
Palm Springs is known for its outstanding modern architecture and this is the official tour for the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. Book one of their small guided tours and you’ll get up close and personal to the interiors and exteriors of noted homes; previous tours have visited a home designed by architect Richard Neutra and the former celebrity pads of Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor. Book at least a day in advance.
EAT / Workshop
Dine in this stunning restaurant in the historic El Paseo Building in downtown, which has been consistently packed since it opened in 2011. Workshop features a tasty seasonal menu and was the 2015 James Beard Award winning restaurant for best restaurant design. You’ll see why when you book a res.
EAT / Mister Parker's
This dark, club-like restaurant in the Parker hotel is notable, in part, for its eclectic mix of art covering the walls. The swank space plus French food means this is a definite date night spot.