Unique and eco-friendly things to do in Palm Springs

Whether you’re looking to soak in hot mineral springs, hike to the falls, or thrift, Palm Springs is full of unique, eco-friendly shops and activities.

Bianca Piazza - author
Photo of mountains and palm trees in Palm Springs with two small photos of the old Market Market store and the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel
Source: iStock, shopmarketmarket/Instagram, Rowanpalmsprings/Instagram

As much as East Coasters love oversized scarves and oat milk in New York City in November, there’s nothing quite like the West Coast sunshine, clinking of Desert Breeze cocktails, Detoxification from hot springs. Known as a cool gay getaway (the bright pink Trixie Motel is at 210 West Steves Road), Palm Springs has everything from boutique, bare-bones resorts to desert oasis trails with mid-century modern architecture.

The Golden State is fairly progressive, so finding unique, eco-friendly restaurants, shops, and activities in this Sonoran Desert city isn’t hard work. In fact, according to CA.gov, California released “the world’s first plan to achieve net-zero carbon pollution” in 2022. The plan aims to achieve carbon neutrality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent, and reduce oil consumption by 94 percent. percent, all by 2045.

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Palm Springs boasts the Michel Messiaen Community Garden, energy-efficient lighting, a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, and energy-efficient solar arrays at the wastewater treatment plant and Palm Springs Convention Center.

All good things. But we know that tourists in Cali are getting impatient and are aching to sip lemon martinis poolside. So, without further ado, here’s the Green City guide to Palm Springs.

Image of Palm Springs welcome sign and palm trees
Source: iStock

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Where to Stay When Visiting Palm Springs, California: This Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award winner offers a “sustainable, memorable stay.”

The Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel:

Located at 100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, the Kimpton Rowan features 153 rooms and suites, a rooftop pool and bar, two “chef-driven” restaurants and incredible views. This “downtown desert dreamland” is located just 1.5 miles from Tahquitz Canyon, 10.7 miles from the beloved Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and less than a 10-minute walk from both the Palm Springs Museum of Art and the Center for Architecture and Design.

The boutique hotel features drought-tolerant native plants, a composting and recycling program, refillable hair and body amenities from Atelier Bloem, low-flush toilets, a soap scrap recycling partnership with Clean the World, and takes eco-friendly travel seriously.

Additionally, through the Kind Traveler partnership, Kimpton Rowan helps give back to the desert through Friends of the Desert Mountains: a charity aimed at protecting and conserving the wildlife of the Coachella Valley.

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Where to eat in Palm Springs: The vegan ice cream and tempeh burger are a must!

Chef Tania’s Kitchen:

Chef Tanya’s Kitchen at 706 S. Eugene Road is celebrated for being an all-vegan restaurant and delicious food. With an elephant as the mascot — also known as the “OG (and world’s largest) vegan” — the gourmet restaurant was actually the first national restaurant chain to go plant-based. The Tempeh Power Burger, Moroccan Roasted Cauliflower Salad, and Lemon Drizzle Cake Bites are just a few of Chef Tania’s vegan creations.

(Chef Tanya’s Kreamery at their Palm Desert location offers an organic oat milk snack!)

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Kreem at 170 E. Palm Canyon Drive offers handcrafted “kreem” ice — made with dairy and coconut — seasonal ice cream and coffee from Heart Roasters in Portland. Much of the appeal of this Palm Springs creamery is its innovative flavors. For example, the “Funky Cold Medina” flavor is made with orange blossom water, halva, honey and pistachios.

With a frequently rotating menu, ice cream connoisseurs are asked to check Instagram for the wild menu of the day.

At Cream, “all flavors are welcome,” the creamery continually celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, has donated to The Trevor Project, collaborated with Old Gays, and is just plain fun!

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Chill bar:

Looking to party with some drag artists (including Pandora Boxx and Ongina)? Then Chill Bar at 217 E. Arenas Road is the place for you! The gay neighborhood bar and nightclub serves “Tres Soy Chorizo ​​Tacos,” “The Pretender” pizza with vegan feta and chorizo ​​(both come with vegan yuzu alioli), and delicious sugar-coated churros.

Keep stopping by to enjoy some bingo, a craft cocktail, and a stunning view of the San Jacinto Mountains.

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Where to Shop in Palm Springs: Vintage designer stores and thrift stores are hot spots for glamour.

Mitchells Palm Springs:

Goodwill is there when you need it, but you probably won’t find vintage Gucci or Chanel. Gorgeous used designer pieces dot Mitchell’s at 106 S. Indian Canyon Drive, where Mitchell’s Carp offers “the best vintage shopping in town in a proper mid-century building from the late 1950s.”

If you want to look like Ice Spice in some bold Emilio Pucci prints, look no further than Mitchells.

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Market market:

Since January 2023, Market Market at 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive has been offering a collection of repurposed art, vinyl, decor, apparel and accessories in a stunning 40,000 square foot mall. James Morelos’ department store is “committed to reducing disposable living,” he said Fashion Network.

Whether you’re stopping in to browse, look for some of your favorite cowboy boots, or for some pop-up wine and fine dining (yes, really), Market Market has it all!

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What to do in Palm Springs: Hike the Santa Rosa Mountains and enjoy the mineral baths.

Spa in Séc-he:

Relaxed tourists should visit The Spa at Séc-he, which won first place in the Sustainable Spa category at the 2023 GSN Sustainability Awards. Located at 200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, the tranquil health spa offers spa yoga, IV therapy, vitamins and massage Hot mineral springs, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and more. Let this stress melt away.

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Going for a hike:

Now that you’re feeling hot, massaged, and dressed in used Halston clothes, it’s time to experience what Mother Earth has to offer.

The Arabian Trail is a popular intermediate-level hiking trail (hikers will have to hike up about 1.7 miles, according to HikingGuy) with amazing views of the Santa Rosa Mountains and Bob Hope’s house. The Museum Trail, North Lykken Trail, and Goat Trails are also considered intermediate-level trails, according to Visit Palm Springs; So, if you’re an experienced hiker, check out the Murray Hill Loop (7.9 miles) and the grueling Cactus to Clouds Trail (17.5 miles).

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Black and white photo of a mid-century modern home in Palm Springs, California.
Source: iStock

in “Green City Guides“, a series of journeys from green matters, We break down what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and more in different cities around the world – while staying sustainable.

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