Palm Springs, California
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Palm Springs: Whistle while you work

Palm Springs:
Whistle while you work

Turn your office into a California Getaway

By Nancy Deane

One of the best things about being able to work remotely is the ease of planning a quick getaway. My boyfriend and I are both fortunate to have flexible work schedules, so we enjoy getting away from the high-energy, high-tech environment of the Bay Area when we can.

Friends of ours mentioned spending time in Palm Springs and shared some gorgeous shots of the desert. With those expansive views and clear blue skies, we knew we had to check it out for ourselves. Since Palm Springs is only a quick one-hour flight from SFO to PSP, heading south for some rest and relaxation, while still getting some work done, was a done deal.

We hadn’t even gotten our rental car yet and we already felt like we were on vacation.

We caught an early morning flight so we would have the full day in Palm Springs. When the plane started its descent, the views of the San Jacinto Mountains outside our window were even more majestic than the photos our friends had posted. Once we landed, we felt the warm fresh air as the walkways from our gate to the main terminal building were entirely outdoors. Amazing. I’d never been in an airport like this. We hadn’t even gotten our rental car yet and we already felt like we were on vacation.

Settling in

We rented a mid-century modern style vacation home, this cool one they described as having a butterfly roof because of the angle of the roofline. The first thing we did was unpack, get connected and run through our e-mails. Once we were a bit caught up it was time to explore Palm Springs. Our rental came with two cruisers so we were all set. It didn’t take us long to ease into this laid back lifestyle.

The Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, California.
It didn’t take us long to ease into this laid back lifestyle.

We hopped on our bikes and cruised through the gorgeous neighborhoods filled with modern architecture. We rode around from the Movie Colony where the Rat Pack famously partied at Frank Sinatra’s estate to the famous pink door home in Indian Canyons. Riding downtown along Palm Canyon we saw a very charming city center. We stopped to get coffee at the new Starbucks Reserve, which we’ve never experienced, then strolled through the lobby of the new Kimpton The Rowan hotel next door. We ran out of time, but on our next trip we want to check out their High Bar on the 7th floor right next to the rooftop pool. I heard the views are stunning.

On our first night in Palm Springs, we discovered a special dining experience at Sparrows Lodge that is only offered on Wednesday and Saturday nights. The resort offers its guests first dibs on reservations and then opens it up to outside guests. Since we were there in the middle of the week when it’s not quite so busy, we were excited to score two seats. Set under the stars in the back garden, the communal farm-to-table dining introduced us to fresh flavors and friendly faces. We met a pair of artists visiting from L.A. and made new friends with another couple from the Bay Area.

Relaxing in the desert

We are avid hikers and spend most weekends discovering trails in the Bay Area, so we were excited to try Tahquitz Canyon’s one-mile hike, which passes by a waterfall. We were met with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains as well as a beautiful array of desert vegetation and flowering cacti along the trail. The waterfall was located about halfway through the hike, providing an oasis where we waded in the cool mountain spring water and ate a quick picnic lunch. There were very few people along the trail—a welcome treat compared to the crowds back home.

People dining at Norma's restaurant at the hotel Parker Palm Springs, in California

A couple days into our work/vacation getaway and we were ready to ease into the weekend with an afternoon at the spa and a late lunch. The Jonathan Adler-designed Parker Palm Springs was bright, whimsical and pampering in all the right ways. Pops of color and patterns dressed the hotel, and made every corner Instagram-worthy. The lush paths lined by fruit trees and hammocks made us want to get lost while wandering the dreamy place. The daydream continued with our indulgent spa treatments, and decadent breakfast-for-lunch meal at the hotel’s terrace restaurant, Norma’s.

Refreshing outdoors

When Friday rolled around, rather than hitting our computers right away, we set off to join the first horseback ride of the day at Smoke Tree Stables. Our small group and tour guide set off to experience Indian Canyons’ incredible trails. We rode through groves of palm trees, over babbling creeks and through open desert. We soaked it all in as our guide told us about the history of the area we explored.

After our ride we went back and set up poolside to get some work done. I couldn’t believe we had jobs that let us get paid working poolside. So cool. At one point I took a conference call while splashing my toes in the water and had to resist the urge to brag to my colleagues, but that water felt so good.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway over the San Jacinto Mountains in California

We finished our day with a breathtaking trip to the top of the San Jacinto Mountain on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Ascending more than 8,500 feet in only 10 minutes was a thrill as the views of the desert were awesome. At the mountaintop, we were in a completely different terrain with a forest that offered miles of cool-weather hiking. It felt like we were in heaven and although it was Friday and the weekend just starting, it really began the second we touched down at the airport. The entire time was so relaxing.

Palm Springs was a true escape, and we will definitely spend more time in this dreamscape—a lot more time.

Balance work with life in Palm Springs.