Historian, Tour Guide and Palm Springs Public Arts Commissioner Josh Edmundson is a cultural dynamo. As a Palm Springs local for 14 years, he’s an encyclopedia of knowledge about local art, culture and history. We sat down with Josh to learn more about his favorite spots in the Valley and where he goes when he’s not busy putting together an exhibit, guiding tours or educating visitors. Josh’s favorite restaurant for a night out with friends is Jake’s, and he urges all visitors to check out the Palm Springs Art Museum.
My favorite restaurant for a night out with friends is definitely Jake’s. It is so cute and intimate, the food and drinks are always exceptional, and the staff and owners are great. www.jakespalmsprings.com
Eight4Nine is a fun place to have drinks. They have a pretty large bar area, with giant glass walls (perfect for people watching) and a nice wine and cocktail list. Again, the staff and owners are always great. www.eight4nine.com
If I’m out on the town with friends I usually want to go to Chill for a nightcap. It’s one of the newer clubs on Arenas, and has a youthful vibe I like. The hot bartenders help too. www.chillbarpalmsprings.com
Having drinks by the pool at the Ace is an awesome way to spend a few hours before dinner. The views are spectacular, and the people watching is usually great. Ask for Greg the bartender. He’s super cool, super cute, and a super bartender.
There are so many events in Palm Springs it’s difficult to pick one that’s my favorite. I guess it would have to be the festival they do for Palm Springs Pride on Arenas. Closely followed by the festival they do for Halloween. www.pspride.org
This is such a small town that everyone knows everything about everybody! There are few secrets! But I guess the one I would recommend is the little bar in the back room behind Mr. Lyon’s at the Parker. I love going in there for a martini or a glass of wine on date night for an intimate and classy experience.
For me a great way to spend a day off is going to brunch at Rick’s or Jake’s, followed by a little shopping in the uptown district followed by a bike ride followed by a nap. Then perhaps a nice BBQ and some pool/jacuzzi time… www.ricksrestaurant.biz
My favorite close-by adventure is Idyllwild. It’s an amazing visual experience, from the desert to the mountains, through forests and back, and you can literally take highway 74 the whole way in a huge loop-up out of Palm Desert, then past Lake Hemet and on to the little mountain hamlet. After lunch and a little exploring, head back down the other side of the mountain, and on the way you can even hit the 10 freeway and stop off for some outlet shopping at Cabezon if you want. I am a bit of a sneaker head and am a sucker for the Nike, Converse, Adidas, and Vans outlets! I love getting home with a couple big bags full of trainers! When you are in Idyllwild, go to the Gastrognome for lunch and a glass of wine. http://gastrognome.com
For clothes it’s got to be former Ask A Local interviewee, Will Stiles. Will and Molly are so cool and their style is impeccable. They always have an amazing curated selection of menswear. www.wilstiles.com
Trina Turk is an amazing retail experience too, right next door to Will Stiles, and not to be missed. The clothes, decor, and staff are truly amazing. www.trinaturk.com
I also have fun rummaging through Revivals, the Desert Aids Project thrift store. Once in a while I find some amazing scores! I recently found a vintage Burberry trench coat there that is out of this world! www.revivalsstores.com
The Palm Springs Art Museum has a great collection, and should be on your list of places to see, but the number one destination for any cultured history buff/art/architecture/design lover is Sunnylands. The Center and Gardens are a lovely destination on their own, especially in the spring when the Palo Verde trees are in bloom, and the cafe is a perfect spot to enjoy a lovely lunch and the mountain views. The historic estate tour is remarkable, but remember the tickets are only sold online in advance. Go to sunnylands.org for information. And if you do go, tell them I said hi, as I worked there for four years.