Palm Springs, California is the perfect bachelorette location when you’re like, 30 and over the Vegas club scene
. It’s a balance of sun, relaxation, and still a steady nightlife and plenty of places to go out. I literally just got back from a bachelorette party that I planned in PS, so I know everything about everywhere to go. Palm Springs is known for being beautiful, having fabulous restaurants, and being a largely gay community. Meaning: all the guys are gorgeous and totally respectful as they just simply aren’t interested. It’s the absolute best.
How To Get There
I live in LA, so we drove out. If you plan around traffic, the drive is only two hours. We left at ~9am and got there a little after 11am, which is perfect for max pool time. Whatever you do, do NOT leave Friday afternoon thinking you’ll make it to PS before sundown. You’ll get stuck in a traffic nightmare that could take you five hours to get there! If you have people flying in from out of town, they can either fly into LAX and drive out, or Palm Springs actually has its own tiny airport! Which is way easier and more chic than the nightmare that is LAX. Keep in mind when planning your trip that PS in the desert, meaning it’s got extreme temperatures. If you go in the winter, it will be cold AF—although cheap for sure—but you won’t get to enjoy any pool time, which is half the point of going. If you go in the summer, expect 120+ degree temps (SERIOUSLY). Spring is prime time to go, but also more expensive, so plan accordingly. The temperature is hot and sunny but a much more bearable ~90 degrees during the day and ~60-70 at night. And for the love of God, do not go over Coachella weekend unless you want sky-high prices, everything crowded, and have a death wish.
Where To Stay
Much like Vegas, if you’re planning on going out, you definitely should stay on the strip. Renting a house or an AirBnb is great in PS if you want to relax by your own pool, cook every meal at home, and basically not leave. Soo not a bachelorette trip, though. Palm Springs is pretty small, but the houses can be wayyy out in the desert. Especially if you have a ton of people, you don’t want to have to take three Ubers out three times a day for every meal. Big mistake. Huge. Stay at a hotel with a gorgeous pool directly on the strip. I recommend the Palm Springs Hilton. It’s pretty affordable if you share rooms (we did 4 to a room with two queen beds), the pool is huge, and it’s in the middle of everything fun. If you’re bringing 13 girls, you want a hotel with a big pool so that it doesn’t feel like human soup (disgusting) since other guests will be using it too. The location is perfect because as Maid of Honor, I got to not GAF what the other girls wanted to do, since there were so many options for everyone. You don’t want to pay the hotel prices for food by the pool? Cool, there’s a million restaurants, coffee shops, lunch places, etc. all right next to our hotel. Didn’t bring sunscreen? There’s a hotel gift shop and a sun safety shop right outside. The poolside cocktails are also only $10-12, which, as people that live in LA, is super cheap. Normally nice hotels have them at $20+!
What To Wear
Cannot express this enough: if you’re going to Palm Springs in spring, or God forbid, summer, it is going to be hotter than hell. The dress code for all of PS is smart casual, so leave your six-inch stilettos at home. You want to look cute, wear minimal clothing (even at night), and wear shoes you can walk around in. There are so many bars and even clubs around PS, so while you can dress pretty casual, I recommend following the basic going out bar dress code: no flip-flops, no sportswear, no hats. Nowhere we went seemed to care, but you don’t want to be turned away because you took casual too far. And wear SO MUCH SPF, even when you’re going out to dinner if you’re walking there! And definitely bring a sunhat for the pool. You can thank me later.
How To Get Around
If you are paying attention, you should be staying on the strip and therefore walking everywhere. The strip is not as big as Vegas, and all the fun bars and restaurants are within the same few blocks. Our furthest walk was .7 miles (about 15 minutes) from our hotel. If you really don’t want to walk, PS also has a free shuttle (called The Buzz) that you can jump on and get to where you need to go. It runs Thurs-Sun, 12pm-10pm, every 15 minutes!
Where To Eat
Palm Springs has so many fun restaurants, I honestly don’t think you could go wrong. Also, basically everywhere in PS is dog-friendly, so although I don’t suggest bringing puppies to someone’s bachelorette, you’ll get free sightings of them all over the place. A favorite restaurant of mine is Lulu’s—for any meal, whether it’s brunch/dinner/happy hour—because it is so cute and has amazing cocktails. If you’re looking for a fun Mexican food place, check out Blue Coyote Grill for lunch and dinner. They have a totally gorg patio and great margarita happy hour deals. For a nice dinner spot, check out Tropicale. They have a huge menu. They also own the nightclub next door, Copa, so if you have dinner there, you can ask the host to waive your entry fee to check it out later that night.
Having brunch at Spencer’s is a must, you have to sit on the patio, and they charge $15 a mimosa (lame) but only $30 for a bottle of champagne, so order bottles only for your group and OJ on the side (or just drink the champagne straight like a goddamn adult). If you want a really cool dining experience, you can take the Palm Springs tramway up the mountains and have dinner at Peaks. They even offer group rates. And if you want to check out a drag show, Rio Azul does drag brunch on Sundays.
Where To Party
^This guy apparently has the hardest ass our bride has ever spanked, in case you were wondering.
There are soooo many fun bars and clubs in Palm Springs, all with a variety of excitement. Keep in mind that literally every bar is a gay bar. It’s a bachelorette dream, but also good luck to your friends that want to meet straight men. If your group is into karaoke, PS has one of the Top 10 karaoke spots in the country called RetroRoom. It’s a little hole in the wall spot that is so much fun and run by fabulous drag queen Jaella. Make sure you reserve a table ahead of time, as this place fills up. If you want to do karaoke all night, be sure to book on a Thursday or Friday, because on Saturdays they stop karaoke for two hours to have a drag show! If you wanted to do both, perfect way to knock them out at the same time. The drag show costs an extra $20 a person.
A necessity to hit up on your bachelorette weekend is Chill Bar, which is decidedly NOT chill. It’s a super fun gay bar with the most beautiful male go-go dancers. Their asses will remind you why it’s important to do your squats. They have fun cocktails, alcoholic snow cones, and a huge room in the back with more of a club vibe. If you tip the dancers well, you can get them to give the bride a lap dance, which is well worth it, particularly for the embarrassing photos. Other bars/clubs to hit up include Quadz, Streetbar, Hunter’s, and Copa!
Friday, Day 1:
Pro Tip: Arrive early for max sun at the pool.
Check into the hotel, unpack, and claim your bed
Have lunch at Lulu’s and order an Aperol spritz (so. good.) to toast the bride and get your weekend started.
Throw on your bikini, blow up your Instagrammable pool floaty, and get a cactus margarita at the pool bar!
Get pool drunk and take all the cute pics you can before you get horribly sunburnt (seriously though, wear SPF!)
Shower, chill, and get ready.
Happy hour at Blue Coyote Grill. Sit on the patio and drink $5 margs to your heart’s content.
Check out Chill Bar’s v not chill Stripper Circus that is only on Friday’s!
Make sure to embarrass the bride by buying her lap dance from a beautiful gay man post-show.
Saturday, Day 2:
Pro Tip: Drink a ton of water, as desert heat+alcohol means you’re going to be REALLY hungover.
Sleep in and grab brunch at the poolside cafe.
Fall back asleep on your pool floaty to recover from your crazy night out.
Start pounding those cactus margs again (why are they so good though?) and throw in a Piña Colada for max vacation vibes.
Take a shower, relax, get ready.
Have dinner at Tropicale, and make sure to mention to the host that you want to check out Copa nightclub later. They’ll put your name on the list to waive the entry fee.
Head to RetroRoom where you reserved the front table to sing Spice Girls with the bride and get drunk on cheap cocktails.
See the fabulous drag queen show and make sure they embarrass the bride here too. (That’s the point of a bachelorette, yes?)
Head back to Copa, which by now will be crazy busy, and dance your asses off (you’ve gotta burn off those Piña Coladas).
Sunday, Day 3:
Pro Tip: Make sure you reserve on the patio at Spencer’s and only order bottles of champagne for $7 mimosas instead of $15!
Sleep in and pack up
Leave your bags at the hotel concierge so you can enjoy your last day without late fees.
Brunch at Spencer’s and order either the lobster benedict or crab cake benedict, which is what they’re famous for!
If you’re not completely exhausted from the sun/drinking, have one last pool day.
Drive home, take a hot bath, do a face mask, lie on your couch and force yourself to drink 60 oz of water in one sitting.