Jersey Girl does Palm Springs

Editor’s Column: Jersey Girl

Lilian Mohr is the finance manager of Ethic News


Since moving 3000 miles across the country away from my small, New Jersey high school in the middle of what many may describe as “nowhere,” I am starting my journey through my first year as a Cali girl and guess what? I am taking you with me!

During my first Palm Springs experience, I decided to take part in one of my least favorite past times: hiking. I actually dread anything remotely resembling hiking. Between the heat, the boredom and my allergies, hiking is normally not my first choice when I have a free afternoon. But these beautiful and totally amateur-friendly hikes actually surprised me.

We started off the day with just an hour drive south from Redlands to downtown Palm Springs. For being a Saturday morning, there was surprisingly minimal traffic both ways, which eliminated the stress that usually comes with driving in Southern California.

Featured above is the Ace Hotel sign in Palm Springs California of on October 13, 2018. The Ace Hotel is a popular destination for travelers that want to experience the typical retro style of Palm Springs.  (LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

Our first stop was a unique, retro diner called King’s Highway. It is a converted old Denny’s Diner and now is the restaurant for the Ace Hotel, a famous Palm Springs vacation spot.

Pictured is the Kings Highway dinner in Palm Springs California of on October 13, 2018. This retro-inspired dinner is the restaurant for the famous Ace Hotel. It’s unique decor and great food makes it a popular destination for many people wanting to experience Palm Springs.
(LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

This place captures the essence of Palm Springs, joining a unique sense of architecture and style with amazingly modern food options. From the eyes of an East Coast girl with appreciation for a more classic sense of style, at a first glance, I’m not going to lie, this place worried me a little bit. But the second I stepped inside it was clear this place was something special. So don’t let the life-size macrame elephant’s head hanging on the wall above you turn you away. The King’s Highway Diner is truly a special experience, and it is not just due to the decor.

Let’s just say this place’s food lives up to the hype. I ordered what I thought was just a wedge salad, but this place was able to turn it into something amazing. With a great dressing and topped with maple bacon bits, it ended up being the best wedge salad I have ever had.

The rest of my family shared my enthusiasm for the quality of the food. We had also ordered the breakfast burrito, which received high praises. Our only regret in our orders actually came with the dessert. I can’t say for sure, but just by the look of them the Date Milkshakes being served looked amazing. I know that flavor might concern some people, but since Palm Springs is close to so many date farms this diner took advantage of their surroundings and, from the looks of it, created a masterpiece. So some advice for any future King’s Highway Diner goers, try the date milkshakes.

After we were literally filled to the brim and fueled for the rest of our day, we took off for our next destination, Indian Canyons.   

Pictured is the Andreas Canyon hike in Palm Springs California of on October 13, 2018. This hike is a one-mile loop that allows participants a chance to see some palm trees but also experience part of the Palm Springs desert including things like cati and wildlife.
(LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

Indian Canyons, according to the guy hiking next to us, is the largest palm tree grove in the world, and I have to say even if he is wrong it is actually really impressive. For being a quick and easy hike for all skill levels, the Indian Canyon trail offers not only a moderate workout but a view many come a long way to see. Once you have descended onto the trail path, it is serene with only the sounds of nature surrounding you. For the most part, the palm trees provide enough shade where it isn’t too hot or too cold, and it sort of mutes the rest of the world, leaving its explorers in a true sense of relaxation. The hike is beautiful and provides great views of the grove. There are also picnic benches available, so it would make a great spot for an outdoor lunch.

Then once you have climbed back up to the main information center, there is a nice overview of the whole trail. Overall, this was a great way to experience a part of Palm Springs while also getting outside for a little while.

Pictured above is Lillian Mohr in the middle of Indian Canyon in Palm Springs California of on October 13, 2018. There is a hike in Indian Canyon that allows people a chance to walk inside the palm groves and experience the palm trees up close.
(LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo) 

We ended the day with a walk around downtown Palm Springs. Although we didn’t spend too much time there, I could tell that there were some one-of-a-kind stores. A lot of it was retro-inspired, but there were also a variety of options: from mainstream chain stores all the way down to some really unique thrift shops.

Overall, my first Palm Springs experience was one to remember. The unique style and retro architecture of many destinations, like the renovated inns and diners, made it a cool spot to check out the amazing desert landscapes and allowed me to get to experience the real Palm Springs environment. On my next visit, I would love to go and find some crazier spots with even more unique aspects, but for now, I would totally suggest a day trip to Palms Springs.

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