Truth be told, there’s not a whole lot I miss about living in California aside from my family and friends. People I meet in Sweden are generally shocked when I tell them I’d much rather put up with cold, dark winters than bumper to bumper traffic and suburban sprawl. That’s not to say I don’t get intense cravings for “real” Mexican food from time to time or miss living in close proximity to, in my opinion, one of the best chill out towns in the world: Palm Springs

As a born and raised Southern California girl, I’ve been going out to this desert oasis for as long as I can remember but it has only been in the last couple of years that I have really started to appreciate it for what it is. Europe is amazing but there is absolutely nothing like Palm Springs on the continent, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Lucky for me it was one of the first places I was able to hit up while I was home in California for my cousin’s wedding. Her friends organized the perfect bachelorette weekend for her out there so I flew in early to surprise her.

I’m really not a big fan of bachelorette parties. I love the idea and I love parties (obviously), but having to pay hundreds of dollars to celebrate a girlfriend’s last days of being a free woman is a little stressful – especially once all your friends start getting married at the same time. Thankfully I have been able to avoid a lot of them by living overseas. Las Vegas, one of my least favorite cities in the world, is usually what is on a bachelorette agenda so you can’t imagine how excited I was to find out that we would be skipping the City of Sin and heading to the desert instead. A weekend of solid R&R and quality time with the girls sounded so much better than 48 hours of debauchery amidst strangers on the Strip. And it was.

Two days of non-stop lounging in the sun is what we did and I think that is what I love the most about Palm Springs. It just feels so right and normal to do absolutely nothing. I don’t think there is anywhere else in the world I would feel comfortable just sitting by the pool for an entire day, but there it seems mandatory. I totally get why this place turned into such a Mecca for Hollywood movie stars back in the day and that spirit obviously lives on with streets running through the city named Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Dinah Shore. I’m not a golfer but I do love staring at the lush green golf courses that are literally all over the place – courses that are some of the best to play from what I’ve heard. Hoping to give it a try next time I am there…miniture golf or hitting balls aimlessly doesn’t count as having “golfed” and I have to say I’ve done it at least once.

So bottom line is that Vegas is out, Palm Springs is totally in when it comes to enjoyable weekend getaways from Los Angeles/Orange County. So glad I was able to get out there for a few days in April and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Southern California. You have Indian casinos there to get your gambling fix, awesome Palm Springs resorts to lounge around, and some of the best restaurants and shopping all set against a gorgeous desert backdrop. It is for sure one of my “happy places” in the world and I cannot wait to go back.