If the thought of having to wait until April to attend California’s coolest music festival fills you with sadness, why not spend the next few months planning the ultimate road trip to ensure the fun doesn’t just begin and end with Coachella?
The two-weekend music festival located in the Coachella Valley in Greater Palm Springs, is a once-in-a-lifetime festival for most. With that in mind, here’s the lowdown on how to get festival-ready and where to find the best chill-out spots post-Coachella.
Start your ultimate festival road trip in the beautiful beach city of San Diego.
Stay: Lafayette Hotel oozes glamour and style, perfect for the ‘gram—it even had its own moment of fame when Top Gun’s famous “You’ve Lost the Loving Feeling” bar scene was filmed there. Situated in the North Park neighbourhood, you’ll have the very best of San Diego culture on your doorstep.
Do: Start the day with a walk around Balboa Park, which is home to more than 16 museums, loads of performing arts venues and of course, the world famous San Diego Zoo. With Spanish Renaissance buildings aplenty, your Instagram posting will go into overdrive.
Get festival-ready at Native Poppy, where you can either make your very own flower crown or, if you’re not feeling creative, treat yourself to a pre-made one—it wouldn’t be a music festival without it.
Want to up your festival apparel game? Spend an afternoon exploring North Park to find vintage clothes and boutique shops you won’t find elsewhere. Hipsters rejoice, you’ll certainly be able to bag yourself some great festival get-ups here.
Eat: Start the day the right way, at one of San Diego’s best spots for breakfast, Breakfast Republic. Its Insta-worthy offering of delicious breakfasts will change your life. Did somebody say Breakfast Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese? Yum.
If you’re looking for something a little more sweet, head to the Donut Bar. Often rated one of the best doughnut bars in California, you won’t be disappointed with its mix of pop culture and deliciousness. (It’s not every day you get to sample a Captain America Cotton Candy doughnut.)
Greater Palm Springs
You’re obviously in Greater Palm Springs for a reason and that’s Coachella. With the line-up announced and the likes of Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala headlining it’s time to start planning ahead to ensure you make the most out of your time. One of the best things you can do before the festival is to download the Coachella app. The app has tonnes of important information at your fingertips, including interactive maps to find your way to the different stages, and a filter system to locate different food and drink options. If you’re prone to losing things, the Lost and Found section of the app will be a lifesaver. With useful alerts so you can stay up-to-date with festival news, the Coachella app is essential for any festival goer.
Stay: If glamping in an air-conditioned safari tent isn’t your jam, then a stay at the Saguaro Palm Springs Hotel during the Coachella festival will ensure your trip is as colourful and vibrant as possible —think Barbie with a side of pick ‘n mix. With pool parties galore, you’ll be posing with friends atop of hot pink Flamingos or chilling under the desert sun with a cocktail.
Do: Aside from poolside DJ sets, there are a ton of other activities to help make your weekend magical. If you’re looking for something a little more arty and less party party, check out Desert X—a unique collection of desert-inspired art installations. The works of art will span 50 miles across the Coachella Valley as well as to the Salton Sea and Mexico.
Can’t get enough of the desert landscape? Joshua Tree National Park will take your love of the desert to the next level. Giant rock boulders dotted between otherworldly looking cacti trees make this desert scape one of a kind. Hike through the desert plains and when the sun goes down and the stars come out to dazzle, you’ll truly see what makes this place so special.
Eat: With all the dancing and outdoor activities on your agenda, you’re going to want to keep your energy levels up. Pull up a chair at Birba’s tree-adorned patio and indulge yourself in some tasty pizzas and inventive craft cocktails.
Don’t want to waste precious partying time refuelling? The iconic fast food chain, In-N-Out Burger should keep hunger at bay, but still leave you with enough time to find your next pool party to attend.
Stay: The Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A. makes for the perfect end to a jam-packed road trip through some of California’s hottest locations. If you’re not quite done with the partying and sun worshipping, the hotel has a pretty spectacular rooftop bar and pool with views overlooking L.A. As well as top music, the hotel regularly hosts yoga parties and cool art exhibitions too.
Do: Before your flight back home, find your inner Zen with Yogaqua, where the ocean is your yoga mat. Located in Marina Del Rey, Yogaqua is essentially yoga on a stand-up paddle board. How hard can it be? As you go with the flow and get in touch with the yogi within, there couldn’t be a more chill way to end your trip.
Flash your cash one more time along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, near Venice Beach, for the latest in fashion, art and tasty food. As you soak in the laid-back Venice vibes no shopping trip will have ever been so care-free.
Eat: If you’re in L.A. you’re going to want to try animal. Gather with your fellow carnivores and indulge in a meat-centric menu, where all parts of the animal are turned into delicious and creative dishes. Flavour is everything here, so don’t be afraid to try something new and step out of your foodie comfort zone.
Plant-based foodies fear not, you’re in the right city. Plant Food + Wine is up there with the best vegan restaurants around. When in Venice, you’d be crazy not to indulge in dishes such as Kung Pao cauliflower and chickpea frittata, they are exquisite.