Headed to Coachella this weekend? Whether you’re most excited for Radiohead, Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, or the fashionable parties, it would be a crime to miss out on all that nearby Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley have to offer. Read on for the chicest ways to extend your festival trip.
Where to Stay
Korakia Pensione, with its Moroccan-inflected architecture (think gorgeous tiles and keyhole-shaped doorways surrounded by citrus and olive trees) and Mediterranean hospitality is like a little bit of Marrakech (and Greece!) in Southern California.
The Avalon Hotel & Bungalows: White cabanas, tropical-inspired décor make this trendy hotel the place to hang poolside. Bonus points if you can snag one of the cute bungalows for the weekend.
The Parker Palm Springs: Chances are you’ve seen your friends post selfies in front of the white facade at this Jonathan Adler-renovated, midcentury style hotel, which is also super popular for weddings. Make sure not to miss the opulent brunch.
Where to Eat
Wally’s Desert Turtle: An industry insiders’ favorite, this iconic institution has been serving fine fare to the who’s who of Rancho Mirage since the 1970s. Think: Steak and soufflé plus “modern California” fare and Old Hollywood vibes.
VIDEO: The Cost of Going to Coachella
Hadley’s Date Shakes: Do road trip cuisine right and stop off at this farm stand (near Morongo casino) for regional specialty, the date shake. If you’re expecting a health smoothie, beware—this sweet treat comes loaded with ice cream in addition to its namesake dates and a dash of milk.
In-N-Out Burger: Because no trip to California is complete without it. Make sure to order your burger and fries “Animal Style.” It’s all about that special sauce. There are various locations in the area, but the one in Indio is closest to festival HQ.
Pappy + Harriet’s: This rustic saloon in Pioneertown (about 30 miles outside Palm Springs proper) is THE place for obscenely large portions of barbecue plus freely flowing drinks and dancing to live music, should the festival not have provided enough in that department.
El Mirasol: Delicious Mexican food can be found at these family-run restaurants—as can impeccably tart Margaritas.
Cheeky’s: Dishes like buttermilk and fresh corn pancakes with bacon, breakfast risotto, and a specialty bacon bar make this brunch destination well worth the inevitable wait.
The Purple Palm at Colony Palms: Inspired by the Colony Palms hotel’s original owner, a Detroit bootlegger who ran a speakeasy in the basement, the restaurant bar’s cocktails live up to expectations and the eatery itself features delicious local and organic California fare.
Where to Drink
Amigo Room at The Ace Hotel: If you haven’t had your fill at the Parker or Pappy + Harriet’s head over to the Amigo Room at the Ace for drinks and revelry in a dark, ’70s-vibey hotspot.
The Saguaro: Photo opps abound at this rainbow-hued boutique hotel, which also happens to feature a fun and festive Mexican restaurant and an enviable tequila bar, called El Jefe.
What to Do if You Need a Break from the Festival (and Pool)
Hiking in Indian Canyons: Just 15 minutes from town lies this hiking destination, which is part of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indian Reservation. Enjoy spectacular hikes of varying levels of difficulty, and discover a desert palm oasis.
Joshua Tree National Park: About an hour from the festival lies this 790,636-acre national treasure. Driving through the entire park is recommended (it takes about an hour) to take in the full scope of rock formations and desert plant life. Stop off at one of the many hiking trails, like the short but sweet, not-too-crowded Mastodon Loop over by the park’s Cottonwood entrance.
Salvation Mountain: Words cannot adequately describe this brightly hued outsider art installation, a labor of love by late army veteran Leonard Knight. The landmark, which lies an hour and a half outside of Palm Springs is sadly deteriorating due to the elements and foot traffic, so visit while you can for a spirit-lifting experience.