5 Packing Essentials for a Palm Springs Weekend


Palm Springs is a technicolor dream of colorful doors, brilliantly white buildings, and bright pink bougainvillea that naturally inspires visitors to escape their city wardrobes. Packing for Palm Springs can be a challenge, especially when the mercury rises over 110 degrees. Palm Springs is most famous for its mid-century architecture and glamorous Hollywood history, and the style is naturally inspired by both…with a mix of boho chic thanks to the influence of Coachella and the high desert. So, what should be some things to remember for your next trip to the desert?

 

1. Ditch the heels ????

Generally speaking, you won’t see a lot of women in heels around here. Flat sandals, slides, and the occasional wedge are about as dressy as we get. Unless you are attending a specific event that calls for a more formal shoe option, opt for packing a sandal or slide that can take you from poolside to cocktails, a low bootie, and dressier sandal for dinner.

Young blonde woman smiling wearing black cut off shorts and a red tank top with sunglasses, a black handbag, and black sandals
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

2. Don’t forget about the sun ☀

The sun here is STRONG. Plan on packing a hat that will keep you face shaded while you explore the desert, shop, or lay by the pool. Opting for a wide brim straw style can take you from day to night.

Young blonde woman in light washed jeans and short sleeved white shirt with sunglasses, a hat, brown sandals, and a large woven bag standing in front of a graffitied wall with the San Jacinto mountains peaking out from behind
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

3. Layer ????

This is especially true if you are traveling between October and April when the daytime highs are warm but the evening can dip fairly low. A jean jacket is an ideal option that pairs back to shorts, sundresses, skinny jeans, rompers…anything!

Young blonde woman in a navy maxi skirt, white tee, and denim jacket wear sunglasses, mustard-colored sandals, and a large woven handbag standing in front of a white stucco wall
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

4. Find inspiration in the 60s ✨

Of course, fashion is always influenced by the past, what’s old is always new again, but Palm Springs takes it to a whole new level. A Marilyn Monroe inspired dress, a floor-length caftan, a high waist bikini, or a scarf wrapped as a turban all scream Palm Springs chic. If you would rather find a vintage piece here, there are plenty of vintage shops to scour!

Blonde woman wearing a pink and white floor-length caftan, sunglasses, and sandals carry a small bamboo clutch smiling and walking in front of a pool in Palm Springs with palm trees and the San Jacinto mountains in the background
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

5. Don’t be afraid of color ????

I am the first one to pull out an all-black outfit on a daily basis, color isn’t usually my jam (as I’m sure you can tell if you follow me on Instagram) but use the vibrant colors of Palm Springs as an opportunity to embrace some color!

Blonde woman dressed in a colorful, block-colored dress styled with white sandals, white sunglasses, light-colored hat, and small bamboo clutch standing in the sunshine in front of large bougainvillea bushes smiling
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

I hope this helps you pick out just the right pieces for your next Palm Springs trip!

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki

 

Day Tripper: Salvation Mountain & The Salton Sea


While there are plenty of ways to keep busy or simply relax here in Desert Hot Springs, sometimes a little road trip is in order.

The Salton Sea is located just about an hour from the Aqua Soleil Hotel and is a unique experience for those visiting the Coachella Valley. It is one of the world’s largest inland lakes and lowest point on earth at -227 feet below sea level. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Salton Sea was dubbed “The Salton Riviera,” a miracle oasis in the desert. The shores were quickly built up with resorts, golf courses, and a yacht club. The lake was full of boats, water skiers, and sunbathers who flocked to the yacht club for dinner each night. By the 1970s the lack of rain and runoff from nearby agriculture farms increased the saline levels in the lake, and the once bustling resort was abandoned. Today, visitors will find a mix of funky spots like the International Banana Museum and relics of the Salton Sea heyday.

 

Exterior of the banana museum, a yellow building with blue trim
Photo from Palm Springs Life

 

Bombay Beach is a unique spot to check out for its art and the only bar/grill in the area, Ski Inn. If you do plan to eat at Ski Inn (it’s pretty much your only option), be sure to have cash on hand as they do not take debit or credit cards! ????

 

Sign reading"Ski Inn World Famous Lowest Bar in the Western Hemisphere"
Photo from allthingsinteresting.com
Teal and purple retro sign reading "Bombay Beach Drive-In" with a yellow and red arrow pointing left, old run down cars in the background
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

After checking out the funky Bombay Beach, head another 25 minutes South East to Salvation Mountain, a colorful, picturesque mountain in the middle of the desert. Chances are you have seen an image of Leonard Knight’s colorful “God is Love” masterpiece, but a photo hardly does it justice! The 50 foot high and 150 long “mountain” is made entirely of adobe clay and donated paint. In addition to the “God is Love” message, the Lord’s Prayer, and biblical quotes, the mountain also features beautifully painted waterfalls, flowers, and even a yellow brick road. Recently, Salvation Mountain has been the background to fashion brand photoshoots and was featured in music videos by Kesha and Coldplay. If you plan to visit, be sure to have plenty of water and bring a snack along as there are no stores/restaurants in the area. Entrance is free however donations are appreciated for the upkeep of Salvation Mountain. ❤

 

Stylish young woman looking off into the distance while standing on shallow, orange stairs at Salvation Mountain
Photo from @thedarlingniki
Stylish blonde woman posing in front of Salvation Mountain
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki

Header image from The Darling Niki

 

 

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Day Tripper: Palm Springs Aerial Tram


Now that the summer heat is in full force here in the Coachella Valley, many locals and visitors are looking for easy day trips to cooler weather. If a lengthy drive to Joshua Tree or Idyllwild isn’t an option, then don’t miss the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. Located just about 15 minutes from Aqua Soleil Hotel the Tram’s Valley Station, it is an easy drive (or Uber) for guests hoping to cool off.

View from the the Palm Springs Aerial Tram car with the tram cables and the Coachella Valley's desert landscape in the background
Photo from @elaiinecochran
Photo from @palmspringsaerialtramway

 

The Palm Springs Tram is the largest rotating tram in the world and travels over 2 ½ miles from the Valley Station (located on Tramway Road) to the Mountain Station (at 8,500 feet of elevation). The 10-minute tram ride takes passengers on a beautiful journey through Chino Canyon’s rugged cliffs from the desert topography of cactus and rocks to a mountain paradise of majestic pines and abundant nature. Since the temperatures at the mountain station average 20-30 degrees cooler than the desert floor, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities like guided nature walks and hiking. The mountain station is also home to a natural history museum, gift shop, two theaters, and two restaurants serving up grab & go options or sit down meals.

Young, blonde woman smiling infront of viewpoint up at the mountain station
Photo from @thedarlingniki
Full glass of beer infront of the Look-out Lounge menu
Photo from Chris Cline

 

If you plan to enjoy a hike, be sure to check in with the Ranger Station. It is located in Long Valley, just down the concrete path leaving the mountain tram station. All hikers are required to sign in, and maps of the 54 miles of trails are available. For those hoping to summit Mt. San Jacinto, it is a moderate 11-mile round trip hike from the mountain station.

Young woman in baseball cap and sunglasses smiling and posing with peace sign on hike in the San Jacinto mountians
Photo from @thedarlingniki
View of jagged rocks and evergreen tree on San Jacinto mountain hike
Photo from Chris Cline

 

Pro Tip: If you plan to enjoy the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, especially during peak summer weekends, be sure to purchase tickets in advance online. Same day tickets must be purchased at the Tram’s Valley Station.

 

The back of young woman in baseball cap taking in the views of the San Jacinto mountain scenery
Photo from Chris Cline

 

For more information on the tram, hiking, dining, or current weather for the peak, check out the website.

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki

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Where to Celebrate 4th of July in the Coachella Valley


Summer is in full swing and it’s almost time to celebrate our country’s independence. If you are planning a trip to the Coachella Valley for the 4th of July there are plenty of options for enjoying an All American day complete with fireworks!

Sunday, July 1st

The City of Coachella will be kicking off the 4th early with local food vendors, music, carnival rides, games for the kids, and of course, fireworks.  The event is located at Bagdouma Park. Find out more details here.
 

Tuesday, July 3rd

The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians will host a free fireworks show at the Eagle Springs Golf Course located next to Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio.  Spectators are welcome to bring low back chairs and blankets to watch the fireworks show that will be choreographed to music on local radio station The Eagle 106.9. You can learn more about this event here.

Photo from The Desert Sun

 

Wednesday, July 4th

The City of Palm Springs will host its annual 4th of July pool party at the City Pool beginning at 2pm.  Admission is $2 for children 4-12 and $6 for adults.  There will be music, games, an inflatable slide, and fireworks will be visible from the pool. Check it out here.

Photo from The Desert Sun

 

Palm Springs Stadium will host its annual 4th of July Power baseball game followed by fireworks at the Stadium.  The baseball game starts at 6:05pm with hot dogs, peanuts, and beer available for purchase. Fireworks begin at 9:15pm and the ballfield is open to the public at 8pm!  For those looking for a free option to see fireworks head to Sunrise Park (where the baseball field is located) early in the day with a picnic and enjoy the fireworks!

Photo from Palm Springs Power Baseball

 

Agua Caliente Resort will host a BBQ Buffet for $21.99 per person (4-9pm) followed by a fireworks extravaganza beginning about 9pm. See the details here.

Photo from Agua Caliente

 

Civic Center Park in Palm Desert will kick off its 4th of July festivities at 7:15pm with the National Anthem followed by The Swing Cats, a big band, until the 9pm fireworks.  This show is also visible from the upper-level restaurant patios on El Paseo.  Be sure to plan ahead for reservations. Find more information here.
 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki

Header photo from Palm Springs Power Baseball

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Short Fest Returns to Palm Springs


 
Whether you consider yourself a movie aficionado or are just looking for a unique experience during your stay, plan to make your way to Palm Springs for next week’s “Short Fest.” It kicks off on Tuesday, June 19th. The annual event is a highly competitive competition for short filmmakers hoping to be considered for awards like The Oscars and the BAFTAs.

So, what is a short film? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences define a short film as anything not long enough to be considered a feature film and generally less than 40 minutes long.

Photo from Coachella Valley Weekly

 

The Palm Springs Short Fest is in its 24th year and will show over 300 short films over the course of 7 days. Those attending a short fest screening can expect to view between 3 and 10 films in a curated program with a common theme. After each screening, there will be a Q&A with filmmakers to enhance your experience.

Photo from Palm Springs Life

 

Tickets and passes go on sale Wednesday, June 13th and are available online, by phone, or in person at the box office. All screenings will take place at the Camelot Theater on Baristo Road in Palm Springs.

For more information including a schedule of screenings be sure to visit the Short Fest website.

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki

Header photo from PSFilmFest.org

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Cabot’s Pueblo: A Unique Desert Experience


In 1914, Cabot Yerxa, an artist and world traveler who settled in the area now known as Desert Hot Springs unearthed naturally occurring 132-degree mineral waters beneath the surface of Desert Hot Springs using a pick and shovel. After discovering the hot mineral waters, he dug a second well near his original home to provide drinking water and found a natural cold spring. His discovery of both hot and cold mineral waters in the region lead to the naming of the area, Miracle Hill. A branch of the San Andreas Fault called the Mission Creek branch bisects the land below DHS, on one side, is the hot springs and the other the cold springs.
 
It was nearly 30 years later in 1941, when Cabot and his wife, Portia, began construction on what is now known as “Cabot’s Pueblo” a unique museum located just minutes from Aqua Soleil. The four-story, 5,000 square foot pueblo was built entirely by hand using reclaimed materials from all over the Coachella Valley. Cabot used wood from his original homestead and then began purchasing abandoned cabins in the area for materials, and was even known to straighten out old nails to reuse. Cabot also spent his time making adobe style clay bricks in the courtyard allowing them to “bake” in the sun to complete the pueblo’s 35 rooms and 30 rooflines.

 

Cabot’s Pueblo with desert foliage and wooden benches in foreground
Photo from Palm Springs Life

 

Today, the Cabot’s Pueblo features Native American art and artifacts, souvenirs from Cabot’s world travels, and even some of his own art. During the months of October thru April, the Pueblo hosts artisan markets each month and a Dia Day Los Muertos (Day of the Day) celebration in mid-October. Visitors can also book an hour-long Pueblo tour for $13. During the peak, months of season (October – May) tours are offered every day except Monday. Once the summer heat sets in, tours are available Wednesday thru Saturday only. For more information on visiting the legacy of Cabot, check out their website.

Artistic photograph of Cabot’s Pueblo and the words 'Indian Pueblo' in red paint on side of building with clear, blue skies in background
Photo from Greater Palm Springs CVB

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki
Header photo from  CoachellaValley.com
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5 Ways to Beat The Desert Heat!


This time of year there is only one thing on our minds: beating the triple digit heat! With forecasts in the upper 90s and triple digits for the foreseeable future, it felt like the perfect time to share some locals secrets for keeping cool!

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! ????

Drinking plenty of water may seem simple, but you would be surprised how much more water your body will need while basking in that desert sun for a weekend and enjoying a drink or two. Step up your hydration game by adding some lemon, mint, cucumber, or fresh berries to your water for a fun flavor. Coconut Water is another great option that is extra hydrating thanks to natural electrolytes.
 

2. Indulge in a Sweet Treat. ????

Ice cream is always a good idea while in the desert, especially with so many options to choose from. Ice Cream and Shop(pe) in Palm Springs features unique flavors like Coachella Valley Date, Avocado, and Sweet Corn plus classics like Cookies n Cream and Birthday Cake. They also feature a kitschy gift shop(pe) that is an Instagrammers paradise complete with unicorn pool floats. If an affogato (read: espresso poured over ice cream) is more your speed, check out the newly opened Kreem in South Palm Springs. The owner makes fresh almond milk daily and is always experimenting with fun flavors of both regular and vegan ice cream.

Hand with pink finger nails holding up a vanilla ice cream cone with multi-colored sprinkles in front of a wall with knick knacks and a pink neon sign that reads "#Palm Springs is Better"
Photo from @thedarlingniki
White brick exterior with script font that reads "Kreem Ice Cream + Coffee"
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

3. Take In Some Art. ????

The Palm Springs Art Museum is the perfect spot to spend the day when the mercury keeps rising. With a mix of current exhibitions (you can see amazing Andy Warhol prints through the end of May) and regular collection there, is something for everyone. The Art Museum also offers free admission every Thursday from 4 pm – 8 pm!

Photo from @psartmuseum
Photo from @psartmuseum

 

4. Sip the Day Away. ????

Did you know that Palm Springs is home to not one but two unique tiki bars? Relax (in the air conditioning!!) with a tropical cocktail and listen to some music in a bar that will make you feel like you are a beach in Hawaii. Bootlegger Tiki features handmade, craft tiki classics and new favorites while Tonga Hut is a true throwback to the mid-century heyday of Mai Tais and Navy Grogs.

Photo from @thedarlingniki
Photo from @bootleggertiki

 

5. Enjoy the Mineral Waters. ????

If you can’t beat it, join it! Spend an afternoon soaking up the sun (with plenty of SPF) in one of our three natural mineral water pools. These waters are drawn from the Desert Hot Springs aquifer deep beneath the earth’s surface by our onsite well. They are known to aid in circulations, ease pain naturally, help skin ailments, and are sure to relax your body. Win, win, win, win!

Photo from @aquasoleilhotel

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki
Header photo from @bootleggertiki@psartmuseum@thedarlingniki, and @aquasoleilhotel
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The Stagecoach Festival Guide


 
Happy Stagecoach Week! After two successful weeks of Coachella, this Friday kicks off arguably the biggest Country Music festival of the year, Stagecoach. This year’s headliners are a perfect mix of new favorites like Florida Georgia Line and country classics like the legendary, Garth Brooks. If you are planning to attend this year’s festival there will be no shortage of good times, great food, and amazing country music but what should you expect?

Silhouette of band at Stagecoach Music Festival
Photo from NBC Los Angeles

 

1. Know who you want to see

With three full days of music starting early in the day it’s a great idea to check out this year’s set times and have a general idea of who you want to see and what time they go on. The festival grounds are massive, and with crowds of people, it’s not always easy to make your way from one stage to another.
 

2. Pack the essentials

While security check is strict at Stagecoach, don’t forget to pack the items you know you will need like sunscreen, chapstick, a portable charger for your phone, ID/credit card, and a bandana for all the dust.
 

3. Dress for the weather

April in the desert can sometimes be a mixed bag of heat, wind, and extreme weather so always be sure to look at the forecast. This weekend you can expect highs in the mid to upper 90s and comfortable, cooler evenings. Light colors, a hat, and shorts are always a great way to go to stay cool.
 

4. Don’t forget to eat

Between the Shake Shack pop up and Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, there will be no shortage of delightful bites!
 

5. Enjoy a cocktail (or two)

Malibu Rum has a pop-up beach club, Budweiser has Country Club, and there is even a cozy country cabin complete with a front porch serving up whiskey cocktails all weekend long. This year’s signature drink is “Summer in a Cup” from artist Trisha Yearwood!
If you have not already purchased tickets, they are still available on the Stagecoach website starting at $349 for General Admission.

Stagecoach Music Festival lineup 2018
Photo from Desert Sun

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki
Photo in header of post from Los Angeles Times
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The Ultimate Coachella Survival Guide


It is officially Coachella season here in the Valley, and everyone’s favorite music festival kicks off this week! As a Coachella veteran, I have picked up a few tips along the way to ensure I not only have a blast but am prepared for whatever the day may bring. If you are already a seasoned Coachella pro, you have probably figured these tips out. If not, you will be thankful you that stopped by and are prepared for three long days of music, art, and fun!

Young woman in a white romper with a drink in hand in front of "BESAME" sign at Coachella Music Festival
Photo from @thedarlingniki
Silhouette of palm tree and ferris wheel at the Coachella Music Festival with San Jacinto mountains in background.
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

What to Bring:

A bandana.
My first year I had no idea that a bandana is a necessity for Coachella. Between the smoke for three straight days and the seasonal winds and dust, a bandana is your bestie. I bought a bunch of cute ones this year and used them to cover my face, keep my hair off my face, and even tied one around my neck at one point. If you happen to forget one, most of the General Stores at Coachella sell them, but they go FAST so remember to do that on Friday.

Sunscreen.
Yes, people actually forget this. I sprayed myself down with SPF30 each day before heading out and used my daily face SPF and was totally fine, but we make a point of seeking shade whenever possible. Security checks are tight and spray sunblock is not allowed so be sure to have travel packs of some in your bag.

A scarf or Turkish towel.
It’s a long day at Coachella, and sometimes you will just want to sit down. However, there is really no place to do that other than the ground. Typically, I grab some Turkish towels from the linen closet, and they have been perfect to sit on and also to wrap up in when it got windy and chilly. Security is strict on actual towels/blankets coming in, so these two options are perfect.

A purse that zips.
Ladies, hear me out, I once bought the cutest bag thinking I would use it all weekend for the festival. I used it one day. I love the bag, and it’s perfect for day to day life, but the snap closure just made me so nervous all day that my wallet or phone was going to fall out. By day 2 I was using my tried and true zip closure bag.

Woman posing with peace sign in front of ferris wheel at the Coachella Music Festival
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

What to Expect:

Expect to stand in a lot of lines for everything from ID check to bathrooms. If you are over 21, get the ID check done early, as the day goes on and more people come out for the evening the lines get way longer. Same goes for food lines, bathroom lines, drink lines, etc. Plan ahead!

There is actually no possible way with a GA ticket to see everyone you want to see. The polo grounds are HUGE and trying to force your way through crowds to get from the Coachella stage to the Sahara tent can take upwards of 20 minutes at times. Figure out early (I use the app to help with this) who is the most important for you to see and go with the flow for the rest of it, trust me, you’ll be happier.

If you really want to see someone and want to be close to the stage, go to the show before and just wait it out. I was dead set on being front row for Chris Stapleton a few years ago, so I went to the Autolux show before. It totally paid off, and I watched Chris from the front row center, right on the rail!

Eat all the good food. I have a friend who cannot be bothered to eat at Coachella, she is too busy dancing and partying, but for me, the yummy food has become part of the experience. A few of my favorites this year were the Milky Buns from Afters Ice Cream, the crab fries, Lobster rolls, and of course, the arepas, these delish corn cake/mozzarella cheese concoctions from Columbia. PS – If you are a rose fan be sure to find the gals at the Rose all Day booth for a plethora of options!

Woman in white romper wearing sunglasses pointing at sign that says "Rosè All Day" at Coachella Music Festival
Photo from @thedarlingniki
Hand holding a lobster roll at the Coachella Music Festival
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

Don’t forget about the experiences! Yes, Coachella is about music, but it’s also about art, and each year there are numerous art installations all over the polo fields that are so cool! There are also unique pop up shops like H&M, Pandora, and my favorite, Perverse Sunglasses.
 
If you are making your way to Coachella this year, I hope you have an amazing experience!

Silhouette of peace sign in front of lit up ferris wheel at night at the Coachella Music Festival
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki
Photo in header of post from Daily Beat
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5 Best Places to Enjoy Easter Brunch in The Desert


It’s time to break out the pastels and florals because Easter Sunday is right around the corner! This year Easter falls on Sunday, April 1st and local desert restaurants are booking up quickly for the brunch-focused holiday. Whether you prefer a casual prix fixe meal, a roadhouse, or an upscale champagne brunch there is certainly an option for everyone.

 

1. Desert Willows Golf Club

Enjoy the majestic mountain views from the patio from 10 am to 2 pm on Easter Sunday. The Champagne Brunch Buffet features multiple stations for guests to enjoy including made to order omelets, a carving station with Prime Rib, and of course, a pastry station. Desert Willows is consistently a Sunday Brunch favorite in the Valley for a reason and I am sure Easter Sunday will not disappoint. Check out Desert Willows Golf Club’s brunch details here.
 


 

2. Acqua Bistro

If your idea of Easter Brunch includes a lively crowd, colorful decor, and a three-course meal then Acqua at The River in Rancho Mirage is perfect for you! The downstairs dining room will offer a prix fixe menu from 11 am to 3 pm for $24.99 while the upstairs dining room will host a brunch buffet for $34.99. Think Eggs Benedict, pancakes, carving stations, and flourless chocolate cake. See Acqua Bistro’s Easter menu here.

Front of Acqua California Bistro with fountain in front
Photo from Acqua California Bistro

 


 

3. Jake’s Palm Springs

Jake’s is always a weekend favorite for their innovative brunch menu of Lobster Rolls, Crab Cake Benedict, and salads plus the extensive morning cocktail list. Guests can sip on Marys, Sparklers, or ‘Ritas…just to name a few. Reservations are highly recommended as space is intimate and fills up quickly. Check out Jake’s menu here.

 


 

4. Farm Palm Springs

Tucked away in a hidden corner of downtown Palm Springs is Farm, a quaint brunch spot offering crepes, sandwiches, salads, and my personal favorite, Chicken and Waffles. All the tables are outside in a bougainvillea-covered patio that feels like a European village. Farm does not accept reservations and there is almost always a wait so plan ahead! See more of Farm’s offerings here.

Rustic white gate with the Farm logo painted on front
Photo from @thedarlingniki
Patio seating at Farm
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 

5. Pappy & Harriet’s

If your idea of a perfect Easter meal is a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere than be sure to make your way up to Pappy’s! Although they don’t do a brunch menu they do open at 11am for lunch and serve up everything from catfish sandwiches to Santa Maria style trip tip. Florals and pastels optional. Check out Pappy & Harriet’s menu here.

Westen style sign saying "Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace" in front of blue skies
Photo from @thedarlingniki

 


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki
Photo in header of post from Roger W.

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Tennis In Full Bloom in Indian Wells

Tennis is in full bloom here in the Coachella Valley as the annual BNP Paribas Tournament returns to the Tennis Garden in nearby Indian Wells. Dubbed “The 5th Major” by tennis aficionados, the BNP brings fans and big-name players for two full weeks of excitement. This year’s players include greats like Venus and Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal.

Victoria Azarenka fit pump
Photo from @bnpparibasopen
Grigor Dimitrov taking a swing
Photo from @bnpparibasopen

The event (which kicked off Monday, March 5th) includes qualifying rounds for both men and women leading up to the finals on Sunday, March 18th. While tennis is naturally the main event, there are plenty of other activities to experience at the Tennis Gardens. Tennis stars will be on hand to sign autographs, there is an interactive experience in the retail courtyard complete with virtual reality, and live music happens almost daily. Moet and Chandon will set up their annual champagne bar for visitors to relax, unwind, and sip on some bubbles between matches.

Photo from @thedarlingniki

If you are not a tennis fan, you can still enjoy an afternoon or evening taking in a match or two. A few things to know as you watch:

● Each player has a maximum of one bounce after the ball is hit by their opponent to return the ball.
● If the ball bounces more than once, is not returned within the boundaries, or is not returned at all the opponent earns a point.
● The goal is to win enough games to win a set and enough sets to win a match.
● The first person to win 6 games wins the set, and typically matches are the best of 3 or the best of 5

If you plan to attend a match you’ll want to remember a few things before you go:

Photo from @thedarlingniki

● There is not a lot of shade, and you will be sitting in direct sun for a few hours. Bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat.
● Drink plenty of water during the day, although this year’s temperatures should be pretty mild the desert is dehydrating!
● Light colors will keep you the coolest and don’t forget a light layer for evening matches.
● No ice chests or outside food/beverage is allowed, but there are plenty of delightful options once you arrive!
Tickets are available by visiting the BNP Paribas website: bnpparibasopen.com


Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki
Photo in header of post from BNP Paribas