The 5-Minute Guide to Palm Springs with Photographer Carley Rudd

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There’s nothing quite like a weekend getaway—but when time is tight, you need to spend it well. So we invited a few of our travel-loving friends to hit up their favorite driveable destinations and report back with mini guides (think something you could read in five minutes). First up: Photographer Carley Rudd checks in from Palm Springs

Carley’s something of a quick getaway expert. Growing up in Maine, she learned to love hopping in the car and ending up in the mountains or at the beach just a few hours later. Now, she hangs her hat in Los Angeles, spending her days shooting and art directing campaigns for travel and fashion companies, and her weekends escaping the city buzz. Here, she tells us what not to miss in the California desert.

Destination: Palm Springs

Drive time from LA: 2 hours and 36 minutes in a Mini Cooper Convertible from Zipcar.

When you’re in Palm Springs, stay…
At the Ace Hotel. The vintage, bohemian décor and artsy vibe make it a win in my book. It’s also not far from some pretty amazing natural sites (editor’s note: Joshua Tree, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain) and fields of wildflowers as far as you can see.

You can’t go wrong wearing…
Jeans, a lace-up T-shirt and a bandana.

Set the mood by listening to…
Fleetwood Mac, The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, CCR…’70s road trip vibes.

One unique thing you can’t miss is…
Catching the sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park. Climb up the Jumbo Rocks when you get there—it feels like you’re in The Land Before Time.

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When you’re packing for a quick trip, remember…
You don’t need much. Bring the staples and mix and match to make different outfits. I picked pieces that could be combined in different ways: two tops, two bottoms, one dress, two swimsuits and two pairs of shoes. The less time you spend thinking about getting dressed, the more time you have to explore.

If you take one tip from this, it should be…
You may be going to relax, but don’t forget your sneakers. Running around Joshua Tree in sandals isn’t the smartest thing.

To sum up this trip in an emoji:

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Carley packed our Libra Lace-Up TeeThe Perfect Summer JeanIndio SunglassesThe Transport Tote and The Boardwalk Lace-Up Sandal.

Craving a getaway yourself? Enter our Wander With Us sweeps for a chance to win one of four unforgettable weekend trips, or (even better) the grand prize: the ultimate Hawaiian adventure, with round-trip airfare for two, a five-night stay at Moana Surfrider c/o HotelTonight, $500 of free driving with Zipcar and a free one-year membership, a $1,000 Madewell shopping spree, a $500 Artifact Uprising credit and more.*

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