Our Palm Springs Babymoon
A couple of weekends ago, Finn and I escaped the snow and cold of Chicago and traded it in for sunshine and warmth in Palm Springs, California. We spent four days on our Palm Springs Babymoon, enjoying as much rest and relaxation as we possibly could. This was our first time visiting this gorgeous destination, and I wanted to share a recap of our time there in case you have this city on your bucket list. Palm Springs is a wonderful spot for a Babymoon, but really it’s a fun spot for anyone to enjoy. It’s very laid back, carefree, and relaxing!
Palm Springs Babymoon Recap
Here’s our Palm Springs Babymoon recap with our tips and tricks to make the most of your own vacation to this fabulous destination.
How We Got There
We flew directly from O’Hare, in Chicago, to the local Palm Springs airport. There aren’t tons of flights into Palm Springs each day, so many people fly into LA and then rent a car and drive to Palm Springs. We lucked out and found a good flight departing early on Thursday morning and a return flight arriving late on Sunday evening. Once we arrived, we took a ten minute cab ride to our hotel and we didn’t need a car for the rest of the trip!
Where We Stayed
We booked our hotel in October, for our end of January trip, and I was so surprised to find that many hotels were already all booked up! So, I urge you to book your accommodations well ahead of time. We ended up staying at the Avalon Hotel and it was delightful…although not cheap. Actually, every hotel was pretty pricey during this peak wintertime season.
For us, the best part about the Avalon Hotel was its location. It’s located within walking distance of pretty much everything, so we never had to take a car anywhere (except the airport!). If you won’t have a car, then I recommend finding a hotel near downtown Palm Springs so you can walk everywhere.
The Avalon Hotel was really gorgeous, with three heated pools (a must for us!), a spa, and beautiful grounds. Our room wasn’t over the top fancy (although we did have a lot of space), but it was perfect for just us two. The hotel also had great food, so we ordered lunch a few times when hanging by the pool.
What I Packed
During the day, the temps got close to 80, and at night, they hit the mid 50’s. This made packing a tad challenging. My biggest tip? Bring lots of layers!
In the mornings, we often walked around town to get coffee and it was always a bit brisk. For these escapades, I usually wore leggings, sneakers, a shirt, and a sweater. Then, during the day, I usually wore swimsuits (this one), sandals, and coverups. In the sunshine at the pool, it would get pretty hot, so we were constantly jumping in the pool to cool off.
It was trickiest trying to figure out what to wear at night. I brought a lot of dresses , which is the easiest maternity wear for me, and I would wear a sweater or jean jacket over my dress. On the way to dinner I felt very comfortable and most restaurants had heaters in case we got chilly, sitting outside. The after-dinner walk back to the hotel, around 8:00 pm, always felt a bit brisk. In fact, my bare legs were always pretty cold! If I had them, I would have opted for white jeans, wedges, and cute tops with sweaters or jean jackets at night. I think that would have kept me a bit warmer during the evening. We loved the casual atmosphere of the town, though, and we never felt the need to get super dressed up.
What We Did
Man, oh man, I wish we had another week on our Palm Springs Babymoon because there was so much to do that we weren’t able to squeeze in. Our entire goal was to relax as much as possible and not feel the need to have a strict itinerary during our vacation.
And relax we did! Every night, we got about nine to ten hours of sleep. We were always in bed early and up early, which worked out great. In the mornings, we would explore the town and walk around. Then, we spent most of our afternoons by the pool, reading (lots of baby and parenting books), swimming, and just soaking in the sunshine.
When we arrived on Thursday evening, the Palm Springs Art Festival was in full swing on the main street. We perused all of the vendors and had a great time checking out all the art and goodies for sale. I believe they hold the Art Festival every Thursday evening, so definitely head there if you’re in town.
Palm Canyon Drive is the main strip in the city and there are lots of shops, restaurants, and bars you can peruse. We liked to spend our early evenings walking around, hopping into shops, and moseying our way to our dinner reservation.
We purposely chose a hotel that had a spa on the property so we could reallllly get into relaxation mode. I booked us a couples massage (Swedish massage for Finn and a prenatal massage for me). We aren’t big spa people (this was only our second massage after the one we did on our honeymoon) and we enjoyed every second of it. I was a little nervous about getting a massage while pregnant (I’ll be honest, I thought the table would have a giant hole for my belly so I could lay face down), but I ended up laying on my sides so the masseuse could really get the knots out of my back. Heavenly.
Hiking the Tahquitz Canyon Trail
On Saturday morning, we did a two-mile hike of the Tahquitz Canyon Trail and we both agreed it was our favorite part of the trip. We walked about a mile from our hotel to the trail Welcome Center where they assured us that this would be an easy enough hike for my seven months pregnant body.
The trail was breathtaking. I found myself stopping to take so many photos along the way because the terrain, creek, and cactus were all so pretty. It was never super steep, so I was able to keep up just fine. The hike is a big loop and right where you turn there’s this breathtaking waterfall. It was so stunning and well worth the hard work to see it.
All in all, it took us about an hour, but we were going pretty fast and there weren’t too many groups ahead of us. I say give yourself two hours or so to get it all done and take enough breaks for water and picture ops!
• Bring cash or a credit card and ID to buy tickets. It’s $12.50 per person to hike the trail, so come prepared!
• Go early! The trail opens at 7:30 am and we hiked from 9-10 am and it was glorious. There were other people on the trail, but it wasn’t super crowded. When we returned back to the Welcome Center at 10 am, it was packed! There were soooooo many people waiting. Definitely make it there early so you don’t have groups in front of you slowing you down.
• Dress appropriately. Even though it was in the 70’s during our hike, the entire trail was shaded, so if felt cooler than the actual temperature. I’d encourage you to bring a light jacket because it was noticeably chillier in the shade.
• Bring water. Finn carried a backpack with water and snacks for us (We didn’t need the snacks, but it was good to be prepared especially for this pregnant chick!).
What We Ate
We did a lot of eating during our trip and it was the best way to spend our vacation! A few readers encouraged me to make dinner reservations ahead of time, and I’m so happy they did! I ended up booking our dinners and one brunch about two weeks before our trip and I was able to get great tables and times at some of the most popular restaurants. I definitely recommend doing this!
- Poolside: As I mentioned earlier, we did have a few meals poolside at the Avalon Hotel that were dynamite. Oh, and their cocktails looked mighty tasty too! Next time…
- Las Casuelas Terrazas: We hit up this casual Mexican restaurant our first night and it was such a fun atmosphere. The food was good (nothing super special), but the ambiance is the real reason to go. There was a live band, the place was packed, and lots of people were having fun dancing. It was fun people watching!
- Cheeky’s: This spot came highly recommended and it was a good one! I had heard that it was pretty tough to get into (they don’t take reservations), but it’s worth the long wait times. We actually ended up going right when they opened at 8 am on Friday morning and got in quickly! The food was unique and yummy.
- Copley’s: Probably my favorite dinner of the entire trip. This restaurant resides on Cary Grant’s former estate and has a great view of the mountain. It has old-school vibes and we sat outside under twinkle lights and heaters. The atmosphere was very romantic and we had and delicious dinner. I got salmon, Finn enjoyed a filet, and we toasted a special evening out just us two!
- Great Shakes: We saved enough room after Copley’s to down shakes from this ice cream shop. The shakes come super dressed up with a cookie and donut on top!
- Peninsula Pastries: This spot was on the way to our hike and it was very unassuming (in a strip mall). I ended up eating a delicious croissant though!
- Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar: After our hike, we were both famished. We walked Palm Canyon Drive and randomly decided to stop here. The food was so incredibly good. Finn had fish tacos (and a mai tai that looked so refreshing) and I had the best veggie bowl (I want to recreate it at home) at this casual spot.
- Birba: This was another restaurant that many of you suggested. It’s right next to Cheeky’s (same owners) and has a delicious Italian menu. We ate burrata, a light salad, and a Margherita pizza on their outdoor patio under twinkle lights. Don’t hate me, but the pizza wasn’t my favorite (I suppose we are pizza snobs being from Chicago), but the other items were wonderful. And I hear the cauliflower and meatballs are must-haves! Oh, and we saw five bachelorette parties when we were there! It’s a good spot for the ladies.
- Norma’s: This restaurant is located in The Parker Hotel which is about four miles from the main area. We ended up heading there on our way to the airport on our way home. Wow, wow, wow…it was worth the trek! This might have been the best breakfast I’ve ever had. I got banana macadamia nut pancakes while Finn noshed on Eggs Florentine…both dishes were heavenly! It isn’t cheap, but I can see why people hype this place up!
If you want to check out other food recommendations, you can see all of the advice I got from readers in the comment section of this Instagram post.
Loving Our Palm Springs Babymoon
Overall, it was a trip to remember. For the past three years, I’ve dreamed of going on a babymoon and for a while there I didn’t really think we would ever get the chance. To be there, carrying a healthy baby girl, felt surreal to me. Finn and I had so many conversations on our trip about how we just couldn’t believe we were really on our Babymoon. We would lie at the pool with both our hands on my belly, feeling her wiggle and squirm around and I can’t even explain the sheer level of joy I experienced in those moments. I just feel so grateful that we’ve finally made it to this point.
Taking time away from the stress of real life (work, DIY projects, to-do lists, etc.) to just talk and be together was absolutely magical. I’ll always look back on this trip and remember it as our last one as a family of two. While we had the best time ever, we’re both looking forward to the family trips that we’ll soon be taking with our sweet little girl.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.