My Palm Springs Guide for Real Simple: What To Do In Palm Springs

What To Do in Palm Springs #kellygolightly #fredmoser #realsimple #realsimplemagazine

Did you catch my Palm Springs Guide for Real Simple magazine last week on their Instagram? If you weren’t able to join our virtual vacay, fear not, I’m sharing where to stay, play, shop and eat in Palm Springs below! Let’s head out on our stylish field trip to Palm Springs, shall we?

Palm Springs Guide: Best Boutique Hotels Palm Springs

First Stop

Hello from sunny Palm Springs! @kellygolightly here, creative director and author of, a style guide for the modern-day Audrey Hepburns of the world. Along with my husband, photographer @fredbaby13, we document the playful glamour, color and charm of Palm Springs and are excited to share some favorite spots with you today! Whether you visit Palm Springs during the summer when it’s 115 degrees and can get primo deals, or in February for @modernism_week when it’s a perfect 75, languorous days by the pool are a must. Renting a house is a fun option for longer vacays, but if you’re here for a weekend getaway, Palm Springs serves up a bevy of fabulous boutique hotels from @ParkerPalmSprings to @AvalonHotels to @ColonyPalmsHotel to the totally chic @lhorizonpalmsprings, as seen here.


Pink Doors Palm Springs: Where To See Colorful Doors in Palm Springs #kellygolightly

Second Stop

A fun way to see Palm Springs when it’s a bit cooler is by bike (there are rental shops and many of the hotels have them available for guest use). It’s fun to bike around the neighborhoods of Indian Canyons, Twin Palms, and Vista Las Palmas to take in the colorful doors and mid-century architecture – plus, hello, great photo ops! My husband @fredbaby13 and I were so inspired by the colorful doors of Palm Springs, literal works of art in their own right, that we created the fine art photography series The Real Houses of Palm Springs Springs—find it at @purephoto or We’d love to know YOUR favorite color door!

Best Vintage Shops in Palm Springs #kellygolightly

Third Stop

The vintage shopping in Palm Springs is out-of-this world. And while I often keep these gems to myself, I’m sharing my secrets with you today, starting with my favorite vintage store in the world @thefineartofdesign. The curated selection of vintage clothing from the 1950s-80s is a dream. Technically located in Palm Desert, a short 15-minute drive from Palm Springs, you can also hit up El Paseo, known as the Rodeo Drive of the Desert, while you’re there. More vintage shopping favorites in Palm Springs include Dazzles, @patrickBonVivant, @TheFrippery and @TheShopsat1345, all located in the Uptown Design District.

Slim Aarons Poolside Gossip reunion photo Poolside Reunion by Fred Moser + Kelly Golightly #palmsprings #poolsidegossip #poolsidereunion #slimaarons

Fourth Stop

While in the Uptown Design District, be sure to pop in to @justmodern, an art and design shop right next door to @trinaturk (another shopping must!). On view is Poolside Reunion, seen here. Poolside Gossip, photographed by Slim Aarons in 1970 at The Kaufmann House, is one of the most iconic photos ever taken in Palm Springs. Capturing two stylish women sipping cocktails poolside, the photo epitomizes the Palm Springs lifestyle. The women pictured, Nelda Linsk (former owner of the Kaufmann House) and her dear friend Helen Dzo Dzo Kaptur, reunited back at the house in 2015, 45 years after the original photo was taken, and @fredbaby13 and I had the honor of capturing it (read more here). You can view Poolside Reunion and more photos from the series in person at @justmodern, as well as online at After, cruise by to see the Kaufmann House by architect Richard Neutra in person. It’s located in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood at 470 W. Vista Chino Road and is arguably the most famous house in Palm Springs. Blow a kiss to new neighbor Leonardo di Caprio while you’re it (he recently acquired the former Dinah Shore estate).

Where To Eat in Palm Springs #kellygolightly #realsimple

Fifth Stop

It’s important to stay hydrated in Palm Springs – it’s the desert after all, so popping in for a drink and a nibble frequently is a must, plus a wonderful way to imbibe more great design that Palm Springs is famous for. A few favorites: The newly opened Eight4Nine Restaurant seen here in all its pink glory, @ParkerPalmSprings for lemonade and @jonathanadler‘s playful interiors, Melvyn’s for a martini in an old-school Rat Pack setting, and @AvalonHotels for @kellywearstler’s Hollywood Regency design. @CheekysPS is a go-to brunch spot famous for their bacon flight and @BirbaPS is lovely for an al fresco dinner — and pizza that will knock your socks off!


Yellow Doors Palm Springs / Architectural Tours Palm Springs #kellygolightly #hollywoodregency #midcentury #midcenturymodern #yellowdoors #palmsprings

Final Stop

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Palm Springs tour! Be sure to follow us at @kellygolightly + @fredbaby13 for more updates + adventures from Palm Springs, including our new house that we can’t wait to renovate and decorate! We’ll need your advice on picking a front door color… Aqua? Yellow? Pink? Orange? See you in Palm Springs!

More guides to Palm Springs:

My Palm Springs Guide for Architectural Digest

5 Free Things To Do in Palm Springs

 5 Things To See & Do in Palm Springs

Palm Springs Vintage Shopping Guide

My Palm Springs Shopping Guide for RUE Magazine


Thank you to Real Simple Magazine for having us and to my partner in crime, Fred Baby, for the amazing photos to capture the spirit of Palm Springs perfectly.

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3 thoughts on “My Palm Springs Guide for Real Simple: What To Do In Palm Springs

  1. jeansandatea

    I love this. I haven’t been to Palm Springs, but I really want to go sometime during the tennis tournament at Indian Wells. Not only would I get to see great tennis, but also the amazing and unique architecture of this area. Eight4Nine Restaurant looks so delightful- I can imagine sipping pink cocktails with my friends there. Thanks so much for sharing.

    XOXO, Amy @ Jeans and a Tea


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