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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Hot Take: Palm Springs Is Better Than Los Angeles

Please don't get mad at me. I love Los Angeles, but what I don't love is spending 90% of my time in the car because everything is so spread out. While I adore Disney and all the quirky things that make Los Angeles unique, you can find the same vibe, minus The Mouse, in Palm Springs.   

While I adore Disney and all the quirky things that make Los Angeles unique, you can find the same vibe, minus The Mouse, in Palm Springs.

So, if you were thinking about heading to Los Angeles for a quick getaway, unless you're going for something specific, like a show at the Hollywood Bowl or an Angels game, think about going to Palm Springs instead. Here are my arguments why it's better than the City of Angels.

The airport doesn't suck

I have strong feelings about LAX. It's in my bottom 3 airports. It's horrible to navigate and takes forever to park if you're driving. On the other hand PSP is small, has exactly the things you want/need in an airport, it takes advantage of the great weather, and it legit took us 10 minutes to drive from uptown to the airport, drop our car, and get to security.

It also has palm trees

You know those palm-lined streets everyone loves about Los Angeles? The ones you get to see a lot, because you're still stuck in traffic? What if you didn't get stuck in traffic and could really appreciate the view and the drive? That's Palm Springs. 

"I'm Batman!" - Adam West

It has its own Walk of Fame

You know how everyone talks about the Hollywood Walk of Fame like it's something super cool and not actually located, in parts, in sketchy stretches of Hollywood Boulevard, which nobody really walks, where you actually see a ton of homeless people peeing in the street? Listen, I don't blame the houseless for having to live their lives as best they can, but I've also never really felt too safe in Hollywood outside of the real touristy areas. Palm Springs feels pretty safe, even at night, no matter where you are, and sure, their Walk of Fame only has stars of people who were prominent in Palm Springs, but it's cleaner and more interesting and goes all around downtown. 

It's very walkable

If you walk in LA, people think there's something wrong with you. Also, you can basically only pick one neighborhood to walk in, because anything else would take you all day. Most of the things you want to see/do in Palm Springs is in Uptown and Downtown, both of which are easy to walk around in. You can have brunch, go shopping, and hit the museum, all within a mile of each other. We pretty much walked to dinner every night.

It doesn't take 3 hours to get...anywhere

I like driving. I really do, but being in the car for hours at a time sucks. Having to leave for something 3 hours ahead of time and still getting there late, sucks. Getting stuck in traffic when going, literally, anywhere at any time of day, sucks. The only thing that took us very long to get to was driving out to the Salton Sea, and that was only because it's 40 mins from town. It took us 30 mins or so to drive to the zoo, which isn't in Palm Springs. Everything else took 5-10 mins, unless we walked there, but then it only took 15, because we didn't have to find a place to park. It was amazing.

There are great shops

Whether you're looking for a cool boutique shop, or an upscale luxury brand, or a vintage clothing/furniture store, you can find it here. Within a mile of us was an outdoor mall with all the shops you know and love, a bunch of locally-owned shops with anything you could possibly want, a used bookstore, a pet boutique, and at least a handful of antique and vintage shops.

There is street art

Around every corner, you'll find cool art, either on the sidewalk, on the side of buildings, in parks, or outside the museum. (There's also great art inside the museum, we just didn't get to it). Make sure to look up and down and around yourself while wandering around. You won't be disappointed. You can also find a map of all the art if you want to just take a self-guided tour around the city of all the free art.

This is the Elvis Presley honeymoon home

The architecture is great

I. Love. Mid-Century. Modern. Love it. We took a couple hours and just drove around looking at the amazing homes in the hills. The city is a veritable treasure trove of MCM as well as vintage signs and art. LA has historical buildings as well, but again, you'd have to drive all over to see a significant amount. We drove around for half an hour and saw 50 homes all on 5 streets behind our lodging.

The home of Kirk Douglass

You can see the stars' homes

You don't have to pay  $30 for a Map To The Stars in Palm Springs. In fact, you can jump on the internet and download a map or stop at the Historical Society for a free one and then drive around looking at homes that were used in movies and TV shows, were owned, or are still owned by famous people, and generally just enjoy your time doing it. You don't have to board a bus with a bunch of strangers, with some guy yelling into a mic, and you can fit it into your schedule at any point of your trip.

You can eat healthy here, too

Los Angelenos are obsessive about their "health" food, probably because so many people are in show business, but it doesn't take away from the fact that eating healthy is important. You can have those same experiences in Palm Springs, just on a smaller scale, because the city is much more compact. And if you don't, you can do it up big, too, and also have brunch pretty much every day of the week (which I love).

Getting to the mountains isn't difficult

In fact, it's pretty easy. You don't have to drive to that one hill in LA to hike on a road. There's actual hiking here, regardless of your fitness level. The mountains are, like, a 5-10 minute drive from Uptown. You can't even drive to a grocery store in 10 minutes in LA.

The LGBTQ+ scene is everywhere

Everything was just so welcoming and chill here and I loved it. The city has a progressive feel and they celebrate their rainbow residents and visitors all year long and even have a street where all the gay clubs, bars, and shops are located.  

Stop yelling about how terrible I am, because I have nothing but love for LA. In fact, I'll be heading there in June for a few days to hit some theme parks and do a little sightseeing. I'll never get enough of the city, mostly because I can never see everything I want to see in one trip, but other places have similar things and can be better for shorter trips or ones where you don't want to rent a car.

What are your thoughts? Or do you have another x city is better than y city you'd like to propose?

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