Monday, January 22, 2007

Vegan Travel #1 PALM SPRINGS

I am seriously disappointed when it comes to searching for vegan travel sights either online or even books. I tried to find a source of inspiration online as I hoped to take a nice trip with my husband before our baby is born, but the lack of thrilling travel tips for vegans became frustrating. Just because I am vegan doesn't mean I want to go on a trip to detox or do 50 yoga classes in a weekend. This is my attempt at collecting information on easy trips to take that are remotely affordable and fun too! Geesh, is that too much to ask!?
I decided to write about PALM SPRINGS as a destination today. The main reason for this is a great article in Sunset Magazine with cool hotels and interesting hiking trails & a certain restaurant that ROCKS!
I can probably speak for most vegans that eating is a huge consideration when traveling. In L.A. about six months ago, I ate at a wonderful restaurant called Native Foods. I couldn't get enough of the gyro dish I had. I also took with me a slice of banana chocolate chip cake for later and OH MY LORD! So delicious. I bought the cookbook too. I made the monkey bars at home and many other savory goodies that come highly recommended! Palm Springs hosts Native Foods restaurant which has been in business for over 10 years. The chef to thank when you eat there is Tanya Petrovna. She is the CEO of the Native Foods collective and her cookbook gives a brief history as to how she came to be head honcho and a proud vegan.

Another sweet deal is the Veggie and Tea House. If you are in the mood for some veggie asian food that is filling and delicious, check out their amazing website with pictures AND nutritional information! This restaurant is an hour out of Palm Springs so maybe on the day you feel like taking a road trip. Oh, and I KNOW that us dedicated vegans will travel to EAT!
There are a number of kitchy hotels in Palm Springs. The following locations have ALL of the character you need at a decent price. I don't see that any of these have a restaurant on the premises, so no need to get upset about the hotel sizzling up bacon in the morning or slicing rump roast in front of you at dinnertime.

The Chase Hotel is a beauty, very clean and basic modern decor. Rates for this time of year range from $119 for a standard room, add about $20 for your own kitchen. Totally worth it for us vegans!

The Desert Hills Hotel is another modern gem featuring kitchens in most of their rooms. Hotel rooms are around $100 and studio suites will run you around $120. What a deal! They also offer complimentary cruiser bikes for your riding pleasure. This hotel is a short three blocks from downtown shops and restaurants.

If you have more money to spend on a fancier joint, try the Movie Colony Hotel. This place features a sunset wine hour around the firepit, featuring fancy California wines, private patios, top notch linens and decor, spa services, cruiser bikes and concierge. The rates are around $200 and up. Seriously swanky! Oh, and walking distance from downtown.
Palm Springs is chock full of vintage and recycled shopping destinations.
Check out furniture at Modern Way
and vintage clothing at Celebrity Seconds where you can literally buy clothing worn by Hollywood's biggest stars!
For outdoor activities, you can visit Palm Canyon where you will witness critters abound and some interesting vegetation. Depending on the time of year, you might see streams flowing and remember if its HOT, bring lots of water!
Don't forget to visit the Joshua Tree, not to be missed! Just be aware of most guides are in Hummers which is obviously not ideal. Bicycling is permitted on public roads, both paved and dirt. There are no bicycle paths along roads. Bikes are prohibited on back country and nature trails.
Beware, there is a place called The Living Desert which hosts some native plants which is intriguing but they also have a zoo which is super depressing for us vegan types!
Getting there is simple, look up any info on transportation at or call 1.800.347.7746.

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