A 15-Hour Spring Wellness Itinerary In Palm Springs
The desert is the perfect healing destination.
Spring is the best time of the year for a mindset refresh — even manifestation coaches say it’s the perfect opportunity to revaluate what is or isn’t serving you — so planning a self-care trip that helps you lean into your “that girl” vibes is a must during the season. While Palm Springs, California, may be best-known as a festival SZN getaway thanks to Coachella and Stagecoach, it’s also a popular wellness destination that should be at the top of any travel bucket list, especially around this time. After getting to experience all the unique, healing activities the desert has to offer earlier this month, I rounded up the ultimate 15-hour spring wellness itinerary in Palm Springs so you can also relax and recharge during your trip.
My visit to the Palm Springs area included a lot of personal firsts, like hiking Joshua Tree National Park and getting my tarot cards read — apparently a popular thing to do in Palm Springs as the city is thought to be a “positive energy vortex,” which clairvoyants believe are portals for positive energy forms to pass through and emit healing, relaxing energy. Leaning into the destination’s wellness vibes, I also took full advantage of the spa-like amenities at the property I was at.
Courtesy of Vrbo, I stayed at the “Oasis Estate,” a huge mansion escape located just minutes from downtown Palm Springs, before it was announced as one of the brand’s 2023 Vacation Homes of the Year. It really lived up to its name, as it was equipped with its own sauna, steam room, outdoor baths, hot tub, and even an airstream with Joshua Tree camping vibes that definitely helped add to the whole self-care experience. If you need some inspo for your own spring visit, here’s a full wellness itinerary with some iconic Palm Springs restaurants and ‘Gram-worthy spots scattered throughout.
7:30 a.m. — Start The Morning With A Cold Plunge
I recently learned about the health benefits of taking a cold bath or shower, which include boosting your immunity, getting rid of inflammation and soreness, and improving your blood circulation. Though you could do this anywhere, it’s way easier to start your morning with a cold plunge when it’s hot outside. The Palm Springs Vrbo property I stayed at had an outdoor shower and tub right outside my room that I filled with icy water for a makeshift cold plunge, but you can also do it indoors. Sitting in freezing water was a little uncomfortable at first, especially for the recommended 10-15 minutes, but I was surprised by how refreshed and energetic I felt after doing it first thing when I woke up. It’s a morning ritual I’ve continued doing since leaving Palm Springs , and plan to keep up with (at least until winter is back).
8:00 a.m. — Do A Morning Yoga Flow And Sound Bath
Starting off the morning with outside yoga from Soul Dive Yoga was so relaxing yet energizing, and I felt like the morning’s dry desert heat gave the practice some hot yoga benefits (hello, added flexibility) without being overwhelmingly hot. After a long plane ride, I really appreciated the chance to stretch out my hips and lower back. Soul Dive Yoga came to my Vrbo accommodations, but you can also go to the company’s studio in Palm Desert (about half an hour away from Palm Springs) for classes and other workshops.
The second portion of the practice was sound healing. I had my first sound bath in Santa Barbara last July, and it’s still one of my favorite alternative wellness treatments for a mental reset (even Kendall Jenner swears by the practice). Using singing bowls, gongs, and other instruments that induce deep sound vibrations, the meditative practice is meant to help reduce stress and anxiety, boost your mood, and improve your sleep quality. Comparing the detox effects to those of a lymphatic drainage massage, Soul Dive Yoga’s owner, Anna, said we might feel tired after the sound bath and that we should make an extra effort to hydrate throughout the day.
10:00 a.m. — Get Breakfast At The Colony Palms Hotel
The Colony Palms may be a hotel, but I love its ‘Gram-worthy ambience for grabbing a meal or a drink even if you’re not staying there. While taking in the glamorous pool, the old Hollywood mid-century modern design, or the breathtaking view of the mountains in the background, you can snack on healthy breakfast classics like avocado toast and egg white scramble. Plus, it’s the cutest spot for getting a Palm Springs ‘fit pic.
11:00 a.m. — Head To Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park has been at the very top of my list of national parks to visit for years, and although it’s an hour away, it’s a totally worthwhile addition to any Palm Springs wellness itinerary, IMO. After all, what’s more healing than getting in your steps while taking in picturesque rock formations and the desert landscape?
There are a lot of different Joshua Tree hikes you can do, but I’d recommend Split Rock Loop Trail, which was a pretty easy two miles with lots of interesting boulders and Joshua tree sightings. If you have more time and there’s not a lot of dust in the air, visit Keys View for panoramic views of the San Andreas Fault, Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, San Jacinto Mountain, and the Santa Rosa Mountains.
2:30 p.m. — Grab Lunch At Pappy & Harriet’s
After working up an appetite during your hike, grab a quick lunch at Pappy & Harriet’s, which has fed numerous musicians from Lizzo to Paul McCartney. Located in nearby Pioneertown — basically a quirky living movie set inspired by an 1870s frontier town that was featured in a lot of cowboy movies in the ‘40s and ‘50s — the eclectic restaurant boasts the “best BBQ in the desert” in addition to live music performances.
5:00 p.m. — Get A Tarot Card Reading
If you’re an astrology girlie, getting your tarot cards read or visiting a psychic is a must during your Palm Springs trip. If you have extra time to spare, you might want to consider checking out some businesses near Joshua Tree, but we ended up going to The Mystic Parlor in nearby Yucca Valley for my very first tarot card reading. The owner, Evelyn Zuel, thoroughly analyzed my birth chart and gave me a general reading based on some past, present, and future themes in my life. She also did a love life reading for me and a newish boyfriend, which ended up being a lot more fun (and scarily accurate) than I’d anticipated.
7:00 p.m. — Enjoy Dinner With An Aerial View Of Palm Springs
A visit to Palm Springs wouldn’t be complete without checking out the city’s iconic Aerial Tramway. Grab dinner at Peaks Restaurant — previously named one of the world’s top 10 best cliffside restaurants, according to Architectural Digest — for incredible views of Coachella Valley paired with a locally-sourced menu. Just make sure you time the ending of your dinner to the last tram ride (it comes every 30 minutes, but hours depend on the season), as there’s no car access back down to the valley.
9:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. — Stargaze In A Hot Tub
It tends to really cool off at night in the desert, so ending the night in a hot tub is a treat that also helps you fall asleep faster by lowering your body’s core temperature. Palm Springs isn’t a true dark sky community like Southern California’s Borrego Springs (also a must-visit for its ‘Gram-worthy spring superblooms), but you can still get great views of the stars and constellations at night from the desert.
Hitting the reset button and manifesting your best year might take a little more than just booking a vacation, but leaning into the healing energy of Palm Springs with a self-care getaway is a great place to start and check some desert experiences off your bucket list.