Looking for a retreat that will both relax and revive you? Spend some quality time in Palm Springs. What began with the life-giving mineral hot springs that emerge from our desert floor just keeps inspiring our commitment to health and wellness. For couples looking to experience a refreshing and relaxing stay in Southern California, this “insider’s itinerary” reveals the best options to enjoy a restorative retreat that will leave you feeling relaxed, healthy and refreshed.
Mornings are energizing in Palm Springs. As daybreak paints the San Jacinto Mountains pink and etches through the canyons, you can feel the desert waking up. For a memorable morning, wake up with a hike in iconic Tahquitz Canyon, one of Palm Springs’ natural wonders. Its challenging 1.8-mile trail is surrounded by such amazing scenery as the beautiful 60-foot Tahquitz Falls (featured in the classic 1937 film, Lost Horizon). Rangers lead interpretive walks—or hike at your own pace. Upon leaving Tahquitz Canyon, you’ll be close to several excellent vegan and vegetarian restaurants, including the Palm Greens Café to grab a delicious Breakfast Baked Yam, or Nature’s Health Café to enjoy the organic juice and expresso bar.
Feeling some aches from the morning hike? It’s time for a couples’ treatment to restore your bliss before dinner. Both Grounded Body Works and the Body Sense offer couples’ massages, or try something different with couples’ float at Desert Serenity Float & Spa. Complete your outdoor sojourn with dinner at Nature’s Health Food & Cafe, where you can enjoy the sunset over the mountains while savoring a gluten-free Mediterranean Flat Bread Pizza or the delicious—and beautiful—Moroheiya Green Noodle Plate.
Few towns have more yoga centers and Pilates studios per capita than Palm Springs. The diversity of yoga offerings available here—from Bikram to body sculpting—shows that there is no “one” way—or “right” way—to practice yoga. At Laughing Yoga, for example, Guru Ramesh Pandey introduces “laughter therapy” to his classes and offers free weekend sessions. Like props? Bikram Yoga Plus and Yoga Bliss have special classes that feature trapezes and hammocks, respectively. Power Yoga has free “Happy Hour” sessions and conducts Yoga at the Wellness Park, adjacent to Ruth Hardy Park in the Movie Colony District. (A contribution of $10 supports Palm Springs charities.) Peace Love Yoga Palm Springs offers sunrise sessions and Urban Yoga offers a wide variety of classes seven days a week from beginner to power. Drop-ins welcome at both.
Pilates studios are a relatively new development to Palm Springs, but options are plentiful. Pilates Plus Palm Springs offers 1, 3, and 5-session packages and more. Ecore Fitness specializes in athletic Pilates in private, semi-private, and small group classes. The newest, Club Pilates, offers a free intro class, four levels to choose from, and a 4-pack membership option. After your workout, grab a juice or smoothie at downtown’s Raw Remedy, which offers innovative mixtures like Beet Me Up, Pearadise, and more.
Active couples who really like a challenge can spend a day at Mt. San Jacinto State Park via the fascinating Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Pack a sweater; at 8,500 feet above the Valley floor, it is several degrees cooler. (Before you leave, book a couples’ package at your hotel spa for later that afternoon.) Park at the Palm Springs Visitors Center and hike the entrance road the 3.8 miles to the Tramway. Next, take the Tram to Mountain Station at Mt. San Jacinto State Park, where 54 miles of hiking trails await. Or, if you prefer, visit Desert Rocks Indoor Climbing Gym, where 7,000-square-feet of climbing awaits you in air-conditioned comfort.
After a gorgeous morning of outdoor exploring, following your tram descent, hike back to your car and drive to your spa appointment. Downtown, the Andreas Hotel & Spa offers several couples’ packages to indulge in, from a soak in a whirlpool tub for two, served with champagne and fresh fruit, followed by spa treatments like a refreshing facial and relaxing massage, or a clay body masque followed by a massage. If you book the couple’s suite, you can relax fireside after your treatments and finish that champagne. The Wild Rose Spa at Hotel Zoso offers unique “Speakeasy” themed treatments. Try the Bluegrass Bourbon Body Scrub, a bourbon-drenched sugar scrub packed with essential oils that will leave your skin “drunk with moisture.” Palm Canyon Resort and Spa offers pampering spa treatments from head to toe, to keep you feeling relaxed and give your skin that special glow.
Take a break from your carbon footprint and lose the car. Palm Springs is surprisingly walkable. In the middle of town, visit the Corridor, where the Mid-Mod Café recently opened a juice bar. Eat inside or take your breakfast or lunch to one of the benches in the popular enclosed green at the back. What isn’t walkable is rideable on the free Buzz Trolley, which follows the main drag of South Palm Canyon, making it easy to hop on and off at restaurants, yoga studios, Pilates centers, shopping and more. Better still, rent bikes at your hotel (or at Bike Palm Springs) and follow the extensive, well-marked bike paths throughout the city.
Just off East Palm Canyon, the Smoke Tree Village Shopping Center almost hides a gem of Palm Springs vegan, Native Foods. Part of a 13-unit franchise once owned by iconic Chef Tanya Petrovna, Native Foods offers tantalizing entrees like crispy orange cauliflower. Chef Tanya herself has moved up the road to the no-frills storefront on Williams Street, Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, where she is again raising seitan to glorious heights aka the “Hipster Ribster.”
Pick up some items that are difficult to find elsewhere, like the fresh, delicious products of the Body Deli (the nearest located at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club). Stop by Crystal Fantasy to peruse their spiritual items, including crystals and jewelry. Check out one of their many daily workshops or classes, or join their Drum Circle, held the last Friday of the month. In Palm Springs, it’s not just about health and wellness, it’s about health and happiness.