Experience Palm Springs like a Reality TV Star
By Madison Prather
Whether it was Marilyn Monroe escaping Hollywood in the 50s or the Kardashians recently bringing the cameras here, Palm Springs has been a celebrity haven for nearly a century and now, it’s becoming a hot spot for today’s latest reality TV shows. It’s easy to feel star-struck in Palm Springs: you like their Instagram photos of extravagant desert pool parties, you re-watch the episodes where they stay in luxurious resorts, and sometimes, you wish you could live the high-life as well. But your Palm Springs experience doesn’t have to be vicarious—you too can vacation like your favorite reality TV stars. Not all sightings of these celebs can be fully confirmed, but according to social media and other sources, here is a star-status list of where you need to go in Palm Springs:
Where They Stay?
Riviera Palm Springs: Jax Taylor and Tom Schwartz from Vanderpump Rules were spotted in Palm Springs as they stayed at the Riviera before last summer. While representing the Minnesota Twins and sporting red shades, the fellas met up with Vine star, Mat Cutshall at the Riviera’s supreme pool scene. Shaded by tangerine umbrellas and relaxing on plush outdoor lounges, the stars kept cool as they chilled poolside. The Riviera’s versatility qualifies it for both business and pleasure, for the hotel’s expansive Grand Ballroom and deluxe Azure spa and salon earn it serious bragging rights.
Parker Palm Springs: In one of the latest episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kourtney Kardashian stayed at The Parker—a Jonathan Adler-designed hotel renowned for its exuberant color palette and hodgepodge of patterns, creating a chic-unique fifties-era look. During her stay, Kourtney posted an Instagram photo looking quite sophisticated and glamorous as she posed solo on a chartreuse sofa, yet in the KUWTK episode, she and her sisters reveal surprisingly modest roots as they travel back to their grandparents’ old Palm Springs home.
The Harold Lloyd Estate: On June 8, 2017, The Real Housewives of Orange County’s Tamra Judge enjoyed a 5-day-long family vacation at this opulent retreat. Between posts of the gym owner’s bikini shots, Tamra shared images of her kiddos playing in the manor’s impressive saltwater swimming pool. This stunning Palm Springs Estate is comprised of three houses that pay tribute to legendary silent film star, Harold Lloyd. With amenities fit for royalty, the idealistic location of The Harold Lloyd Estate is only a five-minute walk from downtown and the furnishings are in flawless harmony with the villa’s exquisite aesthetic.
Where They Dine?
Frankinbun: After winning the title of “Next Food Network Star,” Guy Fieri’s television show named Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives recently featured Palm Springs’s gourmet hotdog joint, Frankinbun. The episode showcased two unique dishes including chicken waffles on a stick and vegan sausage, a paradoxical creation invented by the owner, Tristan Gittens, who used to be a vegetarian. From adorable décor and charming ambiance to caramelized onions and bacon jam, Frankinbun offers gourmet comfort food with superlative originality.
El Mirasol: When Shahs of Sunset’s Reza Farahan isn’t shocking everyone with a surprise wedding at the Eight4Nine in Palm Springs, he recommends everyone try El Mirasol—what Reza refers to as a “really great Mexican place.” Remarked for sizzling hot plates and flavorful Margaritas, El Mirasol’s Mexican cuisine ranges from house specialties like Chicharron en Salsa to other selections such as Shrimp, Scallops, or Chicken in Pipian Sauce, but Reza says that their chicken taquitos is his favorite way to spice things up!
Las Casuelas Terraza: However, television personality and Palm Springs resident, Ross Mathews, begs to differ. According to an episode of Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures,” Mathews is obsessed with the shredded chicken burrito served up at Las Casuelas Terraza by Chef Fili Velasquez. The timeless recipes at Las Casuelas Terraza have a deep history originating from Mazatlan, Mexico. Mathews believes that restaurants like this one are bringing much more to Palm Springs: “We’ve always been known for design and leisure and vacation destinations, but in the past four or five years, I think the culinary scene has really exploded in the desert.”
Where They Play?
BarkFest: Perhaps you have a day date in Palm Springs, but still want to spend time with your furry best friend? If you’re Rachel Lindsay from ABC’s reality show, The Bachelorette, then you make the most of how incredibly pet-friendly Palm Springs is! After boarding a private jet, Rachel introduced her date, Peter, to her two-year-old rescue dog, Copper. Once they arrived in Palm Springs, the three attended a dog-lover’s paradise called BarkFest (a pool party for pups). Although speculation questions the authenticity of this canine carnival, Palm Springs is indeed a notable host for many different legit festivals from the annual film festival, “ShortFest,” to the weekly Palm Springs VillageFest, which occurs from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. every Thursday evening for the summer of 2017.
Cabazon Dinosaurs: In the Palm Springs episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashian, all of the fun and games stopped when Kim and Khloé had to push their vintage Chevy Bel-Air rental after it broke down on the road. Car trouble definitely isn’t the ideal way to play in the desert, but seeing one-of-a-kind roadside attractions sure is. Khloé posted a pic on Instagram with her, Kourtney, and Kim jumping for joy in front of the huge green T-Rex Cabazon Dinosaur. Not only did the three sisters look like they had a blast re-creating Pee-Wee‘s Big Adventure scene, but the Kardashians also showed us how to make the most of free entertainment.
Where They Shop?
The Estate Sale: As you walk down Palm Canyon Drive and catch a glimpse of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills celebrity, Lisa Vanderpump’s star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, you’ll also have to stop by The Estate Sale— Palm Springs’s Original Consignment Showroom where Reza Farahan loves to shop. According to Reza, “There’s jewels, there’s furs, there’s furniture—you name it, it’s there.” And if you’re not interested in buying, The Estate Sale is known for fair evaluations and price quotes on potential consignments. With a wide variety of fine art, ornamental accessories, and what Reza calls “luxury finds,” The Estate Sale carries an exceptional collection of decorative pieces that are rich in character.
Where They Wed?
Colony 29: Jessica Simpson and Chelsea Handler recently congregated in Palm Springs for hairstylist, Christine Symonds’ marriage to photographer, Mark Epstein. The couple repeated their vows during a dream-like outdoor ceremony where stringed lights illuminated the palms above and the flower petals below. The two stars, Simpson and Handler, documented their fun wedding weekend with a picture next to the lucky bride in front of a vintage Volkswagen Van. This venue is no stranger to famous guests—just last year, television personality, Whitney Port got married to Tim Rosenman in another elegant ceremony. Colony 29 sits on six breathtaking acres of botanical gardens and its prestige as a landmark has garnered its reputation as being the “Last Best Place in Palm Springs.”
From lavish stays and grand weddings to tasty burritos and affordable fun, these celebrities definitely know how to make the most of their time in the SoCal desert. But maybe these stars are getting a little too much credit? Perhaps Palm Springs is the real star of the show. After all, it’s like no place else!