The perfect healthy day in Palm Springs, CA
Go beyond flower crowns and date shakes.
Flower crowns and date shakes might sound like the makings of a very healthy day in the Coachella Valley, but real talk: While they serve as perfect Coachella selfie props, there are better ways to have a high-vibe visit (no illicit drug taking necessary—sorry, Issa).
For one thing, just look around: You’re probably surrounded by a mountain range or two (there’s San Jacinto to the south and San Gorgonio to the north) that might not be quite as iconic as the Coachella Ferris Wheel, but certainly more picturesque. Or check out the signs: Drive north on 62 and you’ll see ones pointing you to Desert Hot Springs—which lives up to its name with “miracle water” that’s been hyped for its restorative properties.
And then of course, there’s Joshua Tree; the 1,235-mile national park will rack up the likes faster than a zoomed-in pic of Ariana Grande performing (although remember: don’t touch the plants). One day is hardly enough to properly see all of the awe-inspiring rock formations and desert tableaus—never mind an hour or two. So if you’ve only got 24-hours to spend in the desert, you’ll just have to plan on coming back again to properly do JT.
Instead, start and end in Palm Springs—beloved over the years by everyone from Frank Sinatra to midcentury modern obsessees. Between the yoga studios, the bike rides, and—yes—date shakes (albeit ones that are vegan, natch), you’ll have a very covetable day that will also have you feeling good. And isn’t that what vacation is all about?
Here’s how to have the perfect healthy day in Palm Springs, CA:
Move: Ecore Fitness
The interior is bright and airy and the equipment of choice is the Pilates reformer. But don’t let appearances at Ecore Fitness fool you: Their group classes are no joke. Owner Sean Bergara knows when you’re slacking (like, every time) and will call you out–but it’s hard to be mad when he’s soundtracking your leg circles and 100s with ’70s disco classics. That probably explains why even the super-early classes are always packed, so make sure you book your spot ahead of time.
285 S Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs; (760) 333-0827
Breakfast: Raw Remedy
You don’t have to travel far to recover and refuel—Raw Remedy, just a few blocks away, serves up everything from pitaya bowls to date shakes (dairy free, promise!). If you need something a bit more substantial, go for one of their spirulina “Wrawps”. And then find a seat outside, take a deep breath, and relax: The service might be a bit slow, but whatever, you’re not in a hurry.
116 La Plaza, Palm Springs; (760) 537-7227
Explore: Bike tour to Moorten Botanical Garden
Hop on a bike (if your hotel doesn’t rent them, there are a few spots downtown that do) and pedal your way through a self-guided tour of the gorge midcentury modern homes that dot the surrounding neighborhoods. When you’ve satisfied your voyeuristic impulses, pedal to the nearby Moorten Botanical Garden—another remnant from another era (this one’s circa 1938) to take a tour of the impressive cacti collection.
1701 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs; (760) 327-6555
Shop: The Body Deli
Once you’ve returned your bikes, get in the car and drive south on CA-111 to what’s basically the healthiest strip mall in America. Anchoring it is The Body Deli, a beauty and body care shop that makes all of its raw, organic, fresh products right here in the Coachella Valley. Cult faves include the Cucumber Juice Elixir and the Living Hair shampoo, but if you’ll be without a fridge for a bit (yes, their products are so fresh that some require refrigeration), opt for the highly packable Green Detox Soap, (filled with everything from sprouted wheat grass to spirulina).
73910 CA-111, Palm Desert; (760) 340-3731
Lunch: Luscious Lorraine’s
Just a few storefronts down—past the health food market, which is perfect if you need to stock up on snacks for later—is this gem of a cafe. Really, the worst part about Luscious Lorraine’s is deciding what, exactly, you want from the looong menu hanging on the wall. A macro bowl or a nori wrap? CBD-boosted juice or a Bulletproof coffee? If you spot owner Lorraine in the kitchen, say “hi”—she’s been talking up organic, raw, and functional food since before you were born (probably).
73910 CA-111, Palm Desert; (760) 862-1911
Relax: The Spring Resort
With the sun blazing, it’s time to relax by the pool—but not all pools are created equal in the Coachella Valley. Sure, you could post up at a scene-y hotel, but for something truly chill, drive north (keep going, past Palm Springs) to Desert Hot Springs’ under-the-radar The Spring. The boutique resort boasts a super relaxing outdoor space with three pools—all filled with the mineral-packed, locally sourced water. Unless you’re staying in one of the resort’s rooms, the only way to access it is to book a session at their spa. Twist my arm, right?
12699 Reposo Way, Desert Hot Springs; (760) 251-6700
Stretch: Urban Yoga Center
Swap your swimsuit for spandex (or organic cotton leggings) and head to this longtime yoga studio—which is still peak old-school vibes despite moving to a new locale at the end of 2018. There’s an early evening class just about every night of the week, or—if you’re lucky—you can join one of the monthly p.m. sound baths.
1695 N. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs; (760) 320-7702
The historic digs and the accolades (hai, James Beard Award) are reason enough to book a table at this buzzy Palm Springs resto. But it’s the menu that makes us most excited: farm-to-table inspired and very veggie-friendly. Needless to say, the offerings are constantly rotating, but no matter the dietary restrictions—or lack thereof—everyone in your party will finish feeling completely satisfied.
800 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs; (760) 459-3451