Best Christmas Shopping in Palm Springs

Best Christmas Shopping in Palm Springs, 2013

The holidays are finally here, which means one thing: gift giving. When it comes time to find the perfect presents for the special friends and family members in your life, you’ll find plenty of options in the desert. Local Palm Springs shops are overflowing with stocking stuffers and gifts waiting to be placed under your tree, no matter who you’re shopping for. Whether the people on your list are fashionistas or pet lovers, you can find a unique, one-of-a-kind present in Palm Springs.

For one-stop shopping, you’ll want to check out Westfield Palm Desert. The desert’s premier indoor shopping mall covers all of your bases, from department store shopping to designer jewelry, collectible coins and video game consoles. For high-end gifts at budget-friendly prices, you can head to Cabazon to check out the Desert Hills Premium Outlets. Hundreds of stores, including the likes of Coach, Burberry, Armani and Banana Republic, offer a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, electronics and shoes – all at deep discounts.

You’ll also find the desert is filled with specialty shops serving niche markets, such as Savory Spice Shop in Palm Desert. Here, you can pick the perfect blends of spices for the chef in your life, including barbecue rubs, seafood seasoning and poultry spices. Next door, you can spoil your loved ones’ pets with a pampering present from Cold Nose, Warm Heart.

Check out the full list of the 10 best places for Christmas shopping in Palm Springs below.


If you've ever felt that there just aren't enough accessories out there for your furry friends, it's time to pop into Cold Nose, Warm Heart. This dog-friendly boutique sells everything you could possibly need to make sure Fido is as comfortable as possible, from high-quality grooming products to cute clothing and even cuter accessories. If your fur baby is in need of a little bling, you'll find just the right amount of sparkle in Cold Nose, Warm Heart's collection of dog collars. You can also spoil your dogs with the array of baked treats and fun toys that will keep them entertained for hours on end. Outside, you'll find fresh water bowls to keep your pup hydrated in the warm desert weather.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Cold Nose, Warm Heart is a specialty boutique offering one-of-a-kind accessories for pets, perfect for gifts for pet lovers.

Marissa's expert tip: Traveling with Fido? Bring your furry friend in – they're more than welcome!

Read more about Cold Nose, Warm Heart →

If you think CDs are so last decade, one trip to the Record Alley at Westfield Palm Desert will have you singing a different tune. The desert's only independently owned and operated record store offers aisles filled with new and used CDs, DVDs and vinyls. The racks are definitely worth a look if you've been searching for a hard-to-find record or long-lost CD. You'll also find a fun collection of movie and music memorabilia, ranging from t-shirts and accessories to lunch boxes and figurines. If you're looking for anything related to movies or music, you're sure to stumble upon it at the Record Alley.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Record Alley offers an impressive collection of new and used CDs, records and movies for the music lover in your life.

Marissa's expert tip: If you need to unload some CDs to lighten your travel load, bring them to Record Alley for a trade-in credit.

Read more about Record Alley →

Need to add a little kick to your spice cabinet back home? Then be sure to stop in at Savory Spice Shop on El Paseo. This cute boutique specializes in every seasoning and spice blend you can think of, from handfuls of pepper varieties to barbecue rubs and gourmet cheese blends. Not sure what you're looking for? The staff can recommend new seasoning blends for you to try, or you can dig right in and sample the spices yourself. If you're looking for a gift for a special chef in your life, you can even create a customized gift box of handpicked spices at Savory Spice Shop.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Savory Spice Shop offers hundreds of unique spices and gift sets for the chef in your life.

Marissa's expert tip: Want to try a spice? Use the tester and feel free to spill the excess on the hardwood floor - really! The staff sweeps up spices throughout the day.

Read more about Savory Spice Shop →


Charming, retro and uniquely Palm Springs are three ways to describe the Uptown Design District, and if you're a modernism fan in any sense, you won't want to miss the shops in this district. This stretch of Palm Canyon Drive celebrates the modern designs, art and fashion that have come to define Palm Springs. Here, shoppers can celebrate an artistic fusion of mid-century design and modern vision. Dig for antique treasures, try on the latest desert designer dresses or pick up a retro lamp for your office. You'll find contemporary art, high-end furnishings and a few of the desert's trendiest restaurants, too.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Uptown Design District offers the perfect gifts for the design lovers in your life, including furniture, art and clothing.

Marissa's expert tip: Don't miss the Trina Turk Palm Springs Boutique. This desert designer has created lines for the likes of Banana Republic, and her modern designs are synonymous with Palm Springs.

Read more about Uptown Design District →

A stroll through downtown Palm Springs is a must for any trip to the desert. The downtown area is a shopping mecca for anyone who loves art, boutique clothing stores and all things modern. Spend a day looking for antique treasures at thrift stores or antique shops, or get the perfect resort outfit for your Palm Springs retreat at one of the designer boutiques on Palm Canyon Drive. You'll also find specialty items like cigars, music boxes, collectable coins and healing stones. Some of Palm Springs best restaurants can be found downtown, which is why it's a must-visit for anyone visiting Palm Springs.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Downtown Palm Springs is lined with boutiques and novelty shops where you can get unique Christmas gifts.

Marissa's expert tip: While you're shopping, be sure to look down at the stars embedded in downtown's sidewalks. Dozens of celebrities with Palm Springs ties have been immortalized with their own star.

Read more about Downtown Palm Springs →

While Beverly Hills has Rodeo, the Coachella Valley has El Paseo. The Shops on El Paseo shopping district is often compared to the iconic Los Angeles shopping district, and for good reason. With blocks of boutiques, high-end retailers and quaint restaurants, it's easy to spend a day window-shopping along El Paseo. At The Shops on El Paseo, you'll find designer wear for men, women and even dogs. El Paseo contains a mix of large designer names, like Escada and Ralph Lauren, as well as small boutiques and storefronts for local designers. El Paseo also includes a number of art galleries and jewelry stores.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Shops on El Paseo includes big name brands and designer boutiques, offering plenty of options for Christmas shopping.

Marissa's expert tip: Leisure and luxury define El Paseo, so whether you're looking to drop big money or do some window shopping, make sure you schedule plenty of time to wander El Paseo.

Read more about The Shops on El Paseo →

The Gardens on El Paseo is an upscale retail shopping center in Palm Desert. Located in the heart of El Paseo, a street inspired by the famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, The Gardens are a separate shopping mall between San Pablo Avenue and Larkspur Lane. High-end tenants include the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, The Loft, Anthologie and Sephora. A namesake garden also sits in the middle of the center, adding a relaxing vibe to this shopping destination. After your shopping spree, grab a happy hour cocktail or a light dinner at nearby restaurants like Sullivan's or Pacifica Seafood.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Gardens on El Paseo offers both department stores and boutique shopping where you can get all of your Christmas shopping done.

Marissa's expert tip: A parking structure can be accessed off of San Pablo Avenue. Valet is available, and this two-story garage is often a much better bet than street parking on El Paseo.

Read more about The Gardens on El Paseo →

Love designer labels but not the designer prices? Head to the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon, where you can score trendy merchandise from hundreds of designers at a fraction of the retail price. Less than an hour from Palm Springs, this outlet mall features more than 150 outlets across two wings, meaning you'll be able to score discount designer goods from all of your favorite brands. The stores range from names like Kenneth Cole, J. Crew and Prada, to brands like Levi, Coldwater Creek and Sketchers. An onsite food court will also keep you satisfied while you hunt for the best deals.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Desert Hills Premium Outlets offers more than a hundred stores selling deeply discounted luxury merchandise, including clothing, accessories and electronics.

Marissa's expert tip: Weekdays are the best days for crowd-free shopping, since weekends bring dozens of tourist-filled busses to Desert Hills.

Read more about Desert Hills Premium Outlets →

Every Saturday and Sunday morning, the College of the Desert parking lot transforms into the desert's largest street fair. Hundreds of vendors set up makeshift shops at this street fair, resulting in hours of shopping and bargain hunting. You'll find everything from designer swimwear and purses to hand tools and fresh, local produce. Many local artists also take advantage of the street fair to showcase their paintings, photographs and sculptures. A food court sits in the center of the street fair, offering popular local favorites like date shakes, angus burgers and gyros. Spend a morning wandering the aisles of the COD Street Fair and you'll be sure to fill up your suitcases with gifts for friends back home--and yourself.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The COD Street Fair is filled with vendors selling everything under the sun, from handcrafted art work to assorted gadgets.

Marissa's expert tip: Don't miss the iconic kettle corn stand at the street fair entrance. Their popular kettle corn will keep you fueled during your shopping adventure.

Read more about COD Street Fair →

Want to enjoy shopping with your favorite retailers in an air-conditioned mall? Head to Westfield Palm Desert, one of the only traditional indoor shopping malls in the Coachella Valley. Anchored by retail giants like JCPenney, Sears, Barnes and Noble and Macy's, Westfield Mall offers a range of retail shops and restaurants that offer everything you're looking for. Fashion shows and family-friendly events are held on weekends throughout the year, adding an interactive level to the traditional mall experience. Westfield Mall is also home to Cinemas Palme D'or, a movie theater than screens indie and international films in addition to blockbuster releases.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Westfield Palm Desert offers plenty of options for holiday shopping, including department stores and novelty shops.

Marissa's expert tip: Feel free to shop extra early or late at night – Westfield Palm Desert offers special extended holiday hours.

Read more about Westfield Palm Desert →


Meet Marissa Willman

Marissa Willman moved to the Coachella Valley in 2001 and loves discovering the best that the desert has to offer. As a Palm Springs local, Marissa enjoys sharing her knowledge of this desert...  More About Marissa