Colin's Palm Springs Getaway Vacation Rental Condo

Palm Springs Picks Spencer’s As Its Favorite Restaurant

It’s hard to pick a favorite restaurant, but year after year, Spencer’s Restaurant makes the top five. This year, the locals-only Palm Springs Eats facebook group chose Spencer’s as their hands-down favorite. 

So, what is so great about it? For starters, the restaurant is located at the base of the San Jacinto mountain, in a romantic setting with a gorgeous tree-shaded patio and modern romantic interiors. 

The food is described as “American with French-Pacific Rim Influence” which is a fancy way to say you will find a good array of dishes with tastes for everyone.  The food and service are always impeccable, and while it’s a little more pricey than most, the quality is worth the price and it’s always a memorable experience.  We especially like sitting out on the patio when the weather is nice, which is most of the year.

If you want to try it out and spend less money, make a reservation for breakfast or brunch. Their prices are very reasonable at that time, with some items priced comparably to any diner in town. 

Regardless of when you go, definitely make a reservation. Spencer’s is very popular with locals and tourists alike and fills up every night. 

Spencer’s Restaurant • 701 West Baristo Road • Website

Yes We Cannabis! The Best Dispensaries in Palm Springs

As of January 1, 2018, recreational marijuana is legal to purchase and use in California. The new law makes it legal for adults 21 or over to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana, and also mandated standards of testing for purity, efficacy, and safety. 

You will need a valid government-issued ID, but it doesn’t have to be from California. Options include a driver’s license; a military ID with a picture and date of birth; or a passport issued either by the U.S. or by other countries.

Of course, there are some common sense limitations to the use of recreational pot: It is for use on private property only. Do not use it in public places. Smoking it is illegal wherever tobacco is prohibited (and it’s definitely not cool to smoke it in your vacation rental where it may cost you your security deposit). It is illegal to use while in a car, whether you are a driver or a passenger. And finally, do not try to take it home on a plane with you. That is a federal offense. 

So where should you go? A poll of Palm Springs locals chose Joy of Life Wellness Center and Palm Springs Safe Access as the best local dispensaries. They carry the best selections with knowledgeable staff and good prices. 

Joy of Life Wellness Center
142 W Oasis Road
Palm Springs CA 92262

Palm Springs Safe Access
1247 S Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs CA 92264

Hiking in Palm Springs Will Give You The Most Amazing Views

Hiking in Palm Springs

There are dozens of hiking trails all around Palm Springs, most of them just a few minutes away from town.

A good moderate hike with wonderful views is Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs. The entry is at the end of Mesquite towards the mountain off of S. Palm Canyon. There is an admission fee of $12.50 adults/$6 children under 12, and there are guides if you like. You can also watch a short film on the Legend of Tahquitz, a Cahuilla Indian shaman who is said to be seen as a ball of green light.

Another great place to hike and explore is Indian Canyons in south Palm Springs. There is an admission fee of $9/$5. One of my favorite hikes is the Murray Canyon Trail just after you enter the admission gate. It starts off flat and open, then winds through a beautiful canyon to the “seven sisters” falls which run in the spring and early summer. If you take the main road all the way back, there is a trading post and many hikes through an oasis and along the creek.


Good (and free) local hikes can be found in the book “140 Hikes in and near Palm Springs” by Philip Ferranti. Most popular are the various segments of the Lykken Trail, the Skyline Trail, Oswit Canyon, and the many trails available at the top of the Palm Springs Tram.

Recommendation: Hiking in Palm Springs can be deceptively dangerous in warmer weather. If you are planning to hike in the warmer months, read this safety guide before you go: Hiking Safely in Palm Springs


Tommy Bahama Opens New Casual “Marlin Bar” in Downtown Palm Springs

We’ve been to Tommy Bahama’s restaurants in Hawaii and Palm Desert. Now we have one in Palm Springs, but it’s a different concept than the full restaurant. The Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar is more of a fast casual concept that is perfect for lunch or a simple dinner.

What makes it different is that you order at the counter and grab a seat. Food and drinks are brought out to you. We ordered a Thai Shrimp Bowl, a Mahi Mahi Reuben, and a couple drinks, then sat out on the patio on Palm Canyon Drive. The food and drinks came out quickly, and we were really pleased with how delicious it all was. The bowls didn’t look all that big, but we were full and satisfied after having them.

Whether you sit inside or out, you get an open and airy feeling. The inside has high ceilings and more windows than walls. Out on the patio, there is a lot of seating that can accommodate groups of any size. There are umbrellas with built in misters and heaters, so they are ready for guests to sit outside any time of the year.

There isn’t really any other kind of patio like this downtown, and it’s a welcome addition. If you like the food and want to experience the full Tommy Bahama menu, you can take the 20 minute drive to Palm Desert.  For fast casual, the Marlin Bar is a hit.

Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar • 111 N. Palm Canyon • Website



Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Offers a Thrilling Ride and Amazing Views

No trip to Palm Springs is complete without a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The rotating tram cars take you 8000 feet up Mount San Jacinto, past amazing rock formations as the palm trees give way to fragrant pine trees. The views are spectacular, and at the top you can have a meal, get a drink at the bar, hike along the numerous trails, or just take in the views of the entire Coachella Valley all the way to the Salton Sea.

During winter, there is often snow, so you are more likely to hang out at the upper tram station and enjoy the views, or possibly do some cross-country skiing or inner-tubing. The rest of the year, all the trails are available to you. You can take a leisurely walk through Long Valley just below the upper tram station and along a creek that runs through a meadow. Or you can take the 3-mile Round Valley loop and get away from the crowds. The more adventurous might make a day of it and go all the way to the San Jacinto Peak, which is another 2000 feet up. 

For some amazing views with not too much hiking, take the Long Valley trail to Notch 3. From there you get a clear view of the south side of Palm Springs and all the other desert cities to Palm Desert and beyond, along with mountain views looking towards the Santa Rosa mountains, Garner Valley, and Idyllwild. 

Recommendation: Go up early in the day or later in the afternoon during high season to avoid crowds. In summer, there are hardly any crowds, and it’s great to go up during the hottest time of the day since it is 30 degrees cooler up there. The food at the Tram restaurants can be expensive and unremarkable, so consider bringing along a picnic lunch. In the coldest times of the year, there may be a lot of snow up there which will limit hiking. The tram website has a couple webcams so you can check the conditions. 

Tram Website