the pale girl’s guide to summer vacay

Recently I spent a week in Palm Springs California doing so many fun things! This wasn’t my first trip there, my family has a condo in Palm Springs that we try to visit often. Now you might very well be thinking ok how hot was it in Cali this time of year, and how tanned did you get? A) HOT af B) My skin is the color of the underbelly of a trout so no tan here. I wear SPF 110 and I get zero color at all or I burn from head to toe.

So! If you or someone you know is planning a vacay to Cali, or you haven’t decided where to go yet, I can help! Bonus: if you are a pale girl like me, I have all of the tips you need to stay out of the sun.

Like I said we usually stay in Palm Springs California. Palm Springs is a straight up desert climate and it gets HOT af. If we take a trip in the summer months (June to September) we always plan day trips and lots of activities to keep us cool in that heat. The temperatures can be up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit during the day! That’s in the 40’s Celsius. Stay safe and use that SPF.

If you’re heading the Palm Springs in search of sand and oceans STOP right now. Palm Springs is a full-blown desert and doesn’t have either of these things. If you want beaches and ocean tides steer clear of the desert and head to Laguna Beach, Newport, Malibu, or LA. I’ll post some travel tips for these areas soon!

If you do plan on going to the desert and you’re looking for a place to stay, check air BNB. They usually have awesome rentals because so many people own there and then take off when it gets too hot. Or like us, they own but don’t live in town and rent to people through different services. My best advice, don’t stay anywhere without a pool. You will want to spend some time lounging and you will be desperate to cool down at some point during the day. Most places come equipped with lovely pools but just in case.

Things to do in Palm Springs:

Check out the tram. It takes you 8,516 feet up into the mountains, where it is always at least 10 degrees cooler. Once you’re at the top you can enjoy a nice meal, walk around, check out some of the walks or hikes. They also offer overnight hiking. I’ve never done the overnight hikes but I’m sure they would be amazing. More details here:

Palm Springs is home to tons of shopping. My favorite is the amazing outlets at Cabazon. These are about 20 minutes out of the downtown Palm Springs area but well worth a short trip. Tons of shops and restaurants. It’s outside but all the stores are air conditioned and there is plenty of shade to stay cool on hot days. These outlets have everything from Michael Kors, to under armor and just about everything in between. Just don’t do what I did and end up with an overweight bag for the trip back! Oops

Another great spot for shopping is El Paseo. El Paseo is a shopping district that is about as boujee as it sounds. Lots of designer labels and name brands. Even if it’s not in your price range, el paseo is a beautiful walk and looks like something out of a movie so go for the gram.

Downtown Palm Springs has the most beautiful Starbucks I’ve ever seen. Worth it just for that. If cold amazing overpriced coffee isn’t something you deeply desire (weird but ok) go to the shops. Lots to see and I definitely saw a cold stone creamery when I was there. Don’t ask me if I went in I don’t want to talk about it. The downtown district also has an amazing outdoor night market on Thursday’s! So many local vendors come out. And it’s worth it just for the people watching I promise. The market starts at 7:00pm and a lot of the shops stay open late those nights. So shop in the pm when the sun sets and you can walk around without turning into a lobster!

Instagram worthy spots:

The Saguaro Hotel: this spot is so colorful and the pool is amazing. I haven’t heard great reviews of the actual hotel but it is worth a pit stop to hit the pool and take some cute photos with the colorful rooms!

Indian Canyon: This street is known for its whacky colorful doors! The homes almost all have some bright fun colored front doors to look and take pics of/with. I’m not 100% sure of the protocol for taking a selfie with someone’s front door, but I honestly think it happens a lot so do your thing.

The Tram: Being more than 8,000 feet above the Coachella Valley makes for some pretty stellar pics. There’s nothing quite like looking over the Coachella Valley from all the way up there!

I’ll be posting about more of my California adventures soon! Stay posted for Disney Deets, and info on our stellar day trips to the best California beaches.

xo jess


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follow me (and my cat) I am a teacher, girlfriend, fur mamma, and endometriosis fighter. My life is messy!

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