Family Vacation: Road Trip to Palm Springs

palm springs retro pennant

I have always wanted to visit Palm Springs. The stunning mountain backdrop, mid-century and modern architecture, cacti and palm tree landscape and sunny and warm weather are just a few of the reasons it’s always been on my list of places to visit.

Thanks to Alt Summit, and my amazing husband who agreed to road trip with the kids and I (even with with his bad back), we made a road trip to Palm Springs happen. It was the first official road trip for our family. I can honestly tell you, I can’t wait to do it again! My anxiety was so low without having to travel by air. Thanks to snacks, good music, wifi in my husbands new GMC truck and ipads, the kids were almost silent (and 99.9% happy) in the back. Now, I know why it’s not only good to limit ipad time for their brains and development, but on road trips the ipad time feels extra special!

road trip essentials

road trip to california

We swore we would never be those parents that brought our kids to Vegas, but guess what? We were most definitely those parents. Tommy loves to play poker, and it’s been forever since I’ve visited Sin City, so it was a good stop from Colorado to Palm Springs. Our sheltered “mountain children” were in a bit of shell shock in Vegas, but it opened their eyes to all those lights, people and big city vibes. Luckily, we stayed at the beautiful Venetian. I wouldn’t stay anywhere else next time! The rooms are all suites (including the new Palazzo tower), so we all slept in one room, and everyone had a bed. The kids had Star Wars virtual reality experience at the Venetian that they loved (we highly recommend). The Bellagio fountains, and flower display never disappoints either.

kids in vegas-venetian hotel

venetian hotel

want the world venetian hotel las vegas bellagio fountains

venetian hotel

It was really fun to see the changing landscape from state to state. The dry, mountainous landscape of Colorado gave way to the stunning peaks and red-soil flat tops in Utah. And, then the green plants and baby cacti started popping up as we got closer to California.

We did not plan any pit stops other than for gas and food, but thanks to IG and other fabulous bloggers, I made a request to stop at Seven Magic Mountains, just outside of Vegas. I heard some moans and groans from the kids, but it was a great place to stop and stretch our legs, and look at a colorful pop of color in the desert. It only added 10-15 minutes of drive time, so it’s worth it. Don’t forget to bring your camera.

seven magic mountains

seven magic mountains

seven magic mountains

seven magic mountains


family-friendly road trip to palm springs california

Once we pulled into our hotel in Palm Springs, it felt so so good; great to be out of the car, and even better to step into a Palm Springs paradise. We stayed at the most beautiful, family-friendly hotel in Palm Springs, the Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa. I cannot recommend it enough. I can’t wait to go back! Their staff were so accommodating, and we had special Bon-Voy experiences we will never forget.

road trip to westin mission hills resort and spa

westin mission resort and spa hills palm springs

We spent one morning with the Executive Chef, Joel Delmond, and his bee apiary. After getting all suited up in our bee outfits, we spent time learning about his bees, honey and hive life. I learned so much, and cannot believe how incredible those tiny creatures are. Our kids stayed close to us, but even at the ages of 6, 8 and 10, they did it without any tears, and really enjoyed it. Thanks Chef Joel, Tom and Raquel for planning this experience.

beekeepers for the day-westin palm springs

westin palm springs-beekeeper for the day

Between pool days, endless trips down the water slides, craft sessions by the pool, yard games, an arcade room, tee times on the golf course, tennis courts and dinners by the pool, we were relaxed and happy from morning till night at the hotel. Seriously, we didn’t want to leave the hotel.

west mission hills palm springs-family friendly road trip

west mission hills palm springs--family friendly roadtrip

kids relaxing in palm springs at westin mission hills palm springs

west mission hills palm springs--family friendly road trip

I’m convinced my family needs to make this an annual trip. The road to CA was good, and our time there was amazing. There’s so much for families to do together, too! If you plan to spend time in Palm Springs, here’s some other outdoor, family-friendly things to do in the area.

  • Living Dessert Zoo: This zoo is so much fun to kids of all ages.
  • Shield’s Date Garden: This place comes highly recommended for lunch, and a walk through the date garden.
  • Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert: If it’s too hot or rainy outside, take the adventure inside with this incredible Children’s Museum.
  • Palm Springs Air Museum: If you have little one’s that are interested in anything related to airplanes, aviation or World War II, this is a worth while trip.
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: I was so bummed this wasn’t open the week we visited PS. This look so cool.
  • Hiking: There are so many trails, including fun ones at Joshua Tree National Park and Indian Canyons. Ask your hotel for the best ones, depending on ages and ability level.
  • Village Fest: Downtown Palm Springs is closed into a pedestrian street fair every Thursday night.

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