In October, we ventured to Palm Springs with my parents and my brother and his family. We left the vibrant greens of the PNW behind and flew over drastically changing landscapes, finally arriving in the desert of California.
We rented a gorgeous home on a golf course with a private pool for the kids to play in. With various nap schedules to work around, we decided having a pool would be an excellent way to enjoy the heat and sun when we were still tethered to the house! The home was perfect for our needs, and beautiful as well. It was the perfect place to relax together as a family. If you’re interested in checking this rental out, you can see the VRBO listing HERE. (This is not a sponsored or affiliate link).
Our first day in Palm Springs, we decided to take the aerial tramway to the top of Chino Canyon, where we explored the trails of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. This tram is the world’s largest rotating tram, and is not for the faint of heart. While you’re climbing the cliffs of Chino Canyon, the floor rotates around the car so that everyone can take in the views (which are breathtaking!). At the top, you can explore the state park, which hosts plenty of trails and viewpoints. We had to hustle back for Ezra’s bedtime, otherwise we would have spent hours exploring each and every trail in the park!
The neighbourhood we stayed in was full of beautiful architecture. I enjoyed taking walks with Ezra and taking in the various homes. Palm Springs is known for it’s mid-century architecture and colourful, unique doorways. We also spent a good amount of time in the pool- which Ezra loved! He enjoyed floating around in his flamingo, and looked darn cute while doing it!
One of my favourite adventures was hiking Palm Canyon on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. I wish we would have had time to hike the various canyons on this reservation, but Palm Canyon was a great choice with our limited time. The gorgeous palm trees and canyon cliffs made for an ever-changing and enchanting hike. It was easy enough for the kids to do too! The reservation does have hours for the gate, as well as an admission fee, so come prepared! It’s well worth the small fee, and you can easily spend a full day walking the various canyons.
One of the advantages of travelling with grandparents in tow is the free babysitting! We were ecstatic to get away for a day and go hiking while my parents looked after Ezra. We drove over an hour away to the trail head to Painted Canyon, only to learn the road system had been washed out, and the trail no longer accessible. I was extremely disappointed, but we decided to salvage the remaining time we had and headed to the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactorium to soak up an amazing collection of cacti. The cactorium is the world’s first and hosts some of the rarest and unique cacti I’ve ever seen.
We were treated to some spectacular and colourful sunsets during our visit, all from the comfort of our backyard (because bedtime usually fell before sunset everyday! haha).
Another highlight for us was taking a trail ride with Smoketree Stables, which happened to be right across the street from our rental! We signed up for the sunrise ride, and happened to be the only people in attendance, so we got to hog our tour guide and learn lots about the local landscape. Our guide, Buck, is pretty much a real life cowboy, and was full of knowledge about the area.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Palm Springs without exploring some wind farms. We actually had scheduled a family photo session while we were in town, and this location is where our lovely photographer, Leanne, took our family photos! We spent a few minutes afterwards capturing a few images of the gorgeous landscape.
Our last day was spent soaking up the sun and swimming in the pool. The entire trip went by far too quickly!
On the plane ride home, I could have sworn we were flying over Mars. The landscapes were captivating, and so unlike the deep and rich tones I’m used to seeing here in the PNW. We lucked out with an entire row on the plane to ourselves (such a blessing with a baby!). So far, Ezra has proven to be a pretty good flyer. Here’s hoping that sticks!