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Hollywood descends upon the desert, starting on Friday, for the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, running through Jan. 12, but the picturesque town has been a winter retreat for the famous and fabulous since the swinging Sixties. WWD asked designers Trina Turk and Kelly Wearstler — whose boutique and hotel, respectively, have kept the town chic for over a decade — to share their favorite local spots for everything from yoga to cocktails.


The contemporary designer built her 20-year-old brand based on her take on Palm Springs’ midcentury modern aesthetic. She opened her Trina Turk and Mr. Turk boutique, at 891 North Palm Canyon Drive, in 2002 and lives there part time in a home known as “The Ship of the Desert.”

Best Place for Fashion Inspiration: “I love the vintage stores for fashion inspiration: Déjà Vu for apparel and Route 66 or Dazzles for amazing selections of vintage jewelry. Old Palm Springs Life magazines — when you can find them — are great for fashion and decor inspiration.”

Favorite shopping: “There’s a great, walkable strip of unique, vintage and modern furniture and home-decor stores in the Uptown Design District: Modern Way, A La Mod, Christopher Anthony, Flow Modern and Bon Vivant are all within walking distance of the Trina Turk boutique. There’s also a great selection of decorative objects at the Palm Canyon Galleria, including [at the store] No. 6, curated by brothers Michael and Patrick McDonald. Patrick, the famed New York dandy, recently relocated to the desert. Farther north on Palm Canyon, The Shops at 1345 is a low-slung, midcentury building with multiple shops inside, including Towne. Over on Indian Canyon, check out Prime Gallery, with an assortment that includes pieces posted on 1stdibs.”

Best cocktail lounge:
“Melvyn’s at the Ingleside Inn, for a throwback to the Seventies, or The Amigo Room at the Ace, if you’ve had enough sun — it’s dark and cozy.”

Breakfast: “We love Cheeky’s but be forewarned — there can be a long wait! Our alternate go-to at the north end of town is Rick’s for delicious coffee-shop fare amid questionable late-Eighties decor.”

Lunch: “I love the mango-and-lobster salad at Norma’s at Parker Palm Springs, Italian-American at Appetito near Ace Hotel, or Jake’s for their grilled tuna salad.”

“Tinto at the Saguaro for tapas, Copley’s or Birba on the main drag, or Le Vallauris for fancy, old-school French.”

Instagram spot: “I Instagram all over town. Inspiration is everywhere: the mountains, the palm trees, the vintage cars, the midcentury architecture and swimming pools.”

Favorite new attraction:
“The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture Design Center at 300 South Palm Canyon Drive just opened last November in a former bank building. The inaugural exhibit in the museum’s gallery showcases the architect E. Stewart Williams, who designed this building and many other classics around town.”

Best architectural find: “The Tramway Gas Station designed by Albert Frey is a wing-shaped landmark as you drive into town on Highway 111. It’s now a visitors center where you can purchase the driving map of architectural spots in Palm Springs. Or, if you’re really into it, book a tour with Robert Imber of Palm Springs Modern Tours.”

Best place to impress out-of-towners:
“Experience the natural beauty of the desert on easy hikes in Tahquitz Canyon or the Indian Canyons.”


Wearstler helped revive the hospitality scene when she and her partner, Brad Korzen, opened Viceroy Palm Springs in 2003. Today, she still loves lounging by the pool there, noting, “I am inspired by so many things — food, travel, music, architecture, art and California, to name a few. Palm Springs just happens to embody all of these.”

Favorite landmark:
“For iconic Palm Springs, Bob Hope’s John Lautner house is insane — both the interior and the architecture.”

Favorite spot to watch the sunrise and sunset:
“You just cannot go wrong with watching the sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park. For sunset, the view from the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway route is truly inspiring. It is a bit touristy, but locals make the 10-minute ride to experience it, too. You can go up and watch the sun set over the city. After sunset, I have to go to Power Yoga for their candlelight hot yoga class. I am always energized by a good Bikram yoga session.”

Best cocktails: “I do not drink often, but the brunch cocktail menu at Workshop Kitchen + Bar is a standout. The menu is based around seasonal products from local farms. The kale-and-lentil dish with mint, grapefruit and curry is also a great brunch option.”

“Farm is a charming hidden French spot for brunch. Nature’s Health Food & Café is my go-to market, and their café serves only organic vegan and vegetarian dishes. Birba has the best Italian dinner in town.”

Instagram spot:
“Exploring the Mojave Desert is always intriguing. There are one-of-a-kind destinations, like the Social Pool — the artist-built pool in the middle of the desert — and Giant Rock, a massive freestanding boulder.”

Best mountain views:
“Hiking the Araby Trail, which passes by Bob Hope’s house, and the Art Smith Trail, which passes through several palm oases.”

Prettiest gardens: “My friend Judy Kameon designed the gardens at the Parker Palm Springs hotel. We recently hosted a book signing for her new book, ‘Gardens Are for Living,’ at my boutique in Los Angeles. Her work is like a living painting.”

Favorite shopping:
“Studio 111 is fantastic for vintage furnishings, and Palm Springs-based Porter and Plunk on 1stdibs is a favorite for its vintage furniture, lighting, glass and ceramics.”

For relaxation:
“The Integratron is about a 45-minute drive out of Palm Springs to Landers. It’s an acoustically perfect 38-foot-tall white dome in the Mojave Desert. You can take a sound bath inside it. It is so relaxing, it can put you to sleep.”