palmsprings5For New Years this year I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Palm Springs, CA with my bestie. It was my first time in Palm Springs and I really loved it. Even before our trip was over I couldn’t wait to come back. palmsprings6palmsprings7You know I had to check out what shopping the area had to offer. If you’re into vintage definitely stop into The Fine Art of Design. And if you’re into outlets, Desert Hills Premium Outlets, about 30 minutes outside Palm Springs will not disappoint. palmsprings4edit3palmsprings3For NYE (which is also my birthday) we went out to dinner at Kings Highway, the Ace Hotel restaurant. Highly recommend, especially for breakfast (we went back). After our New Years dinner we took in a surprisingly epic fireworks show at Spa Resort Casino. One more restaurant recommendation is Chi Chi at Avalon Hotel. Outstanding food in a beautiful setting (hotel decor by Kelly Wearstler). They also have an amazing looking spa I hope to check out next time I’m in town. palmsprings2editThere are a number of awesome day trips to be made from Palm Springs. We set out on our first adventure on New Years Day to Landers, CA for a sound bath at the Integratronintegratron4integratron3This was the absolute perfect thing to do to start the New Year. There is something very special about this place and the whole experience that it offers. That’s all I’ll say about it as I think it’s best to go into it without any preconceived notions but if you’re able to go, go!integratron2integratron1After our sound bath we headed to the hot springs. There are many spas in Desert Springs with access to the hot springs  about twenty minutes north of Palm Springs proper), we opted for Two Bunch Palms and booked a few spa services as well. Two Bunch offers a truly legit (and pungent) mud bath, naturally heated by the hot springs and containing their own clay and peat moss, it also has lithium and magnesium in it for a truly relaxing experience. The mud bath gives you the feeling of being totally weightless and comforted as you take in a beautiful view of the property’s lush greenery. I would highly recommend this service but would steer clear of their other spa services as the facilities leave a bit to be desired. hotsprings2hotsprings3hotsprings4I also highly recommend the hot spring pools at Two Bunch. They have a selection of small pools perfect for 1-  4 people heated to a variety of temperatures, as well as a larger  hot spring pool. Also worth noting, the food (which you can enjoy by the pool or in the restaurant) was delicious. hotsprings1editThe next day we devoted to exploring Joshua Tree. It was my first time visiting a National Park and it did not disappoint. joshuatree8editThe Chola Cactus Garden. joshuatree4joshuatree3joshuatree9editjoshuatree2The Nature Loop. joshuatree1joshuatree6edit2joshuatree5editLastly, a few photos from the days before and after Palm Springs which I spent in Encinitas. Despite having lived in LA and having family in northern California I had never been to Encinitas. One of the things I love about California is how much there is of it to see and the different vibes each area has to offer. The whole trip was really magical and totally rebalancing. I feel so lucky to have been able to do it. Happy (belated) New Year everyone. encinitas3editPS. If you find yourself in Encinitas eat hereencinitas1encinitas2edit

PHOTOS Gina Marie Barbaro


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