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Your grandparents (and Suzanne Somers) have been telling you for ages that Palm Springs is cool—and we’re here to tell you that it’s time to listen.

In fact, it’s got everything you need for an epic escape from Dallas, from the breezy, three-hour nonstop flight to the absolutely exquisite desert temperatures. And don’t even get us started on its perfect Instagram score. You know, like a walk score, but for “like” potential. 

It’s officially time to break out of the familiar wintering-in-Arizona rut, because this area of SoCal has endless options for the ultimate weekend away. And while we encourage you to make the trip your own, here are the things you definitely can’t miss out on when planning the perfect escape.

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outdoor fire pit in palm springs at sunset
Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage

Where to Stay

If you take away one thing from this article, let it be this: Staying at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage will make it impossible not to have the most epic weekend ever. Why? Because you legitimately don’t have to leave the grounds to have a relaxing weekend chock-full of food, drinks, views and spa time.

There are postcard-worthy desert scenes in every direction, but we highly recommend enjoying them from the adult swimming pool while sipping a blueberry-ginger mojito. End your weekend dining at a window table at the Edge Steakhouse. E-P-I-C.

Insider tip: Similar to Scottsdale’s proximity to Phoenix, Rancho Mirage is just over ten miles from Palm Springs city center. This makes it ideal for staying outside of town to maximize your views and hiking experience.

busy restaurant
Audrey Ma

Where to Eat

Get your Parker fix by grabbing the girls for a boozy brunch at Norma’s. The cocktails are made with fresh fruit and the salads are big enough to feed a small army. This is a great first meal to set the mood for the weekend ahead. Go ahead and start jotting down your toast on a napkin now.

For dinner in true Palm Springs fashion, it’s all about sitting at the communal table at Workshop Kitchen + Bar. Think duck-fat fries, cauliflower Brie gratin and Wagyu carpaccio.

Making this trip a romantic one? Head to ultra-chic Mr. Lyons for dinner, then follow it up with cocktails at Seymour’s, the sexy bar in the back of the restaurant.

Insider tip: Check to see what time the sun sets when making your reservations for dinner and drinks. Enjoying a beautiful sunset over the mountain on an 8 p.m. dinner date is tough when the sun goes down at 5:15 p.m.

festive tropical cocktails
Bootlegger Tiki/Facebook

Where to Drink

Gangsters Paradise. King Slayer. (Straw) Barry White. Call the Cops. No, these aren’t songs from a really weird, trippy musical. They’re just some of the creatively concocted cocktails waiting for you at Bootlegger Tiki on Palm Canyon Drive. This hole-in-the-wall gem is a blast from the past and is ideal for a pregame punch bowl.

Insider tip: Palm Springs is the birthplace of the Arnold Palmer, so be on the lookout for the classic nonalcoholic drink and its spiked brother, the John Daly. The famous golfer ordered a mix of lemonade and iced tea after enjoying a round at an area course, someone overheard him and said he’d have the same and the rest is history.

palm springs desert tram
Chris Miller

What to do

There’s a little something for everyone. Golfers are in heaven with more than 120 area courses, and spa enthusiasts can retreat to their respective hotels for hot stone massages and signature citrus scrubs.

Hikers and adventure seekers should hook up with Desert Adventures for various ways to experience the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway depending on your level of experience. #viewsfordays

Last but certainly not least, Palm Springs is a mid-century modern lover’s playground. Enjoy The Modern Tour or simply peruse the #thatpinkdoor hashtag to gather inspiration for your own colorful photoshoot.

Insider tip: Joshua Tree National Park is less than an hour from Palm Springs and is an outdoorsman’s seemingly waterless wonderland. The spring season is a great time to stumble upon the Oasis of Mara and its lush grass, plants and wildflowers.

coachella music festival at night
Chris Miller

When to go

Now. No, seriously. Winter is the best time to experience the wonderful weather that gives this area of the California desert its ridiculous reputation for ultimate serenity in the sun. (It gets way hotter than Dallas in the summer.)

Need a reason to book a trip? Coachella 2018 is happening the second and third weekends in April and features performances by Beyoncé, the Weeknd, Eminem, St. Vincent, Post Malone, Haim and dozens more. And when the Queen B tells you where to be, you get there and get your buzz on. Liquored-up lemonade, anyone?

Insider tip: This is definitely a destination that can be explored and enjoyed in a weekend if need be. Don’t feel like you have to wait until you can stay for a week.

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