This past weekend I was fortunate enough to spend it in Palm Springs, California. Being the golf course mecca of the U.S., I was worried I would be out of my element. Boy, was I wrong. Palm Springs is as chic as it is beautiful, and the fashion there is decidedly California casual....with an excess of diamonds everywhere you look. (My kind of town!) On the suggestion of Palm Springs locals, I took two shopping trips: one to the Saturday street fair and one to El Paseo Shopping District. The street fair is an eclectic mix of handmade and imported goods, and it requires a lot of patience with parking and walking. I would recommend it if you have several hours to kill and don't mind buying a kielbasa from a traveling vendor for lunch. Although I didn't find anything in particular that I was in love with, I couldn't resist the fresh kettlecorn. Delicious.
The El Paseo Shopping District is a beautiful outdoor shopping experience with lush gardens and expansive mountains surrounding the strip. My top picks? Luxury favorites like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. caught my eye, and I'm happy to report that the associate in LV gave me quite a history lesson in the brand's luggage line. Other noteable shops are Brooks Brothers, Anthropolgie (a HUGE one, at that,) and a cool European boutique, Mister Marcus featuring collections from all over the world. (Like fav Max Mara!) More top shelf scores? Escada and Burberry, and a lovely Saks Fifth Avenue give you plenty of options . I'm on a budget, so the large Banana Republic and She-She boutique were more my speed. She-She carries one of my beloved casual lines, Ella Moss!
If you're looking for fine dining, Pacifica within the shopping district has top-notch gourmet seafood and a to-die-for chocolate cake. (I highly recommend the mussels for an appetizer and salmon or scallops for the entree. Magnifique!)
On the more economical side, down the road is the LaQuinta Baking Company with sumptuous french pastries, french toast, yummy sandwiches, and fresh bread. The smell alone will lure you in. If you can't decide, my vote goes with the traditional french toast. Yum.
I walked away from the beautiful valley with one mini-dress, a turquoise bracelet, new aviator sunglasses (totally forgot to pack mine,) and a stomach full of California's freshest foods. And I didn't get hit by a single golf ball. I encourage anyone to venture out to Palm Springs for some delightful shopping, scenic surroundings, and R&R. Don't forget a willing wallet and a notepad to write down the places you love-I want to hear your recommendations!