Not Your Mother's Palm Springs

The desert oasis is making a big comeback with new hotels and nightlife aimed to give the city a vibe that rivals Vegas and Miami.

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Jaime Kowal

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Jaime Kowal

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

The New Palm Springs

Thanks to Coachella, new developments and a couple of recent celebrity moves, the desert town is distancing itself from its dated, retiree reputation and reemerging as a hip, mid-mod mecca with Vegas-style pool parties and nightlife a la Miami.

Where to Stay: Arrive

The newest hotel to Palm Springs, this resort was backed by former Facebook employees and has tech-forward features like texting for reservations or room service. Yes, you can text a pizza to your room and have it waiting for you after a night of clubbing. Genius. 

Where to Stay: Alcazar

If you love design, you'll love the boutique rooms with custom art in this Spanish-style inn. Breakfast is also complimentary. 

Where to Stay: Ace Hotel & Swim Club

This is the hotel of your boho-chic dreams. The resort has two pools and a vintage photo booth plus rooms are outfitted with funky decor and record players. 

Must-Do: Moorten's Botanical Garden

The all-cactus garden is an Instgram gold mine. Obsess over succulents from all over the world for just five bucks.

Cactus to Clouds

Yes, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is touristy but it's the largest rotating tramway in the world and the view is well worth it.

Mid-Mod Dreams

If you love mid-century modern architecture, get ready to geek out over the colorful examples throughout the city. You can even book a tour to see the most iconic buildings, like the Saguaro Palm Springs, another popular hotel for its pool parties and tequila/taco bar. 

Where to Eat and Drink

With so much time in the hot desert sun, you'll want to stay hydrated and fuel up. Brunch at Cheeky's is a rite of passage, Birba is great for pizza and old-school cocktails, and stay healthy with fresh juices and organic fare at Chi Chi. 

Tiki Bars

Don't miss the creative cocktails at Bootlegger Tiki, a "Tikieasy" in the original Don the Beachbomber restaurant. Another great Tiki stop is Tonga Hunt. Enter through the secret door in the phone booth!

Nightlife

Huge dance parties at Zelda's Nightclub are perfect for bachelorette parties. If DJ sets aren't your vibe, The Hood Bar keeps the Coachella spirit alive all year with rotating local and national bands. And the hipster Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club offers everything from comedy shows to indie arts and crafts sessions. The hotel's patio, with giant fires and bistro lights, is the perfect place for one last drink before crashing.

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