Home » Ultimate guide to shopping local in the Coachella Valley — and surrounding areas\u00a0— for the holidays

Ultimate guide to shopping local in the Coachella Valley — and surrounding areas\u00a0— for the holidays

Sure, you could run to Best Buy or Target this year and snag a good deal on some new electronics or clothes for your loved ones. But where’s the personal touch? How can you make sure your holiday gift is extra meaningful this year?

We think shopping local — and shopping small — is the way to go.

The Coachella Valley and the surrounding high desert is home to countless creatives, makers, artisans and small-business owners. At The Desert Sun, we’ve been covering these people and businesses through good times and bad, and are pleased to offer what we think is a list of gift ideas for anyone and everyone on your list.  

Gifts to add a touch of the desert to someone’s home

Molly Moon Crafts candle, from $16: Give someone the gift of a desert scent memory. Molly Moon Crafts is a woman-owned aromatherapy brand based out of the Coachella Valley. All products are handmade using clean ingredients, and scents range from rosemary sage to matcha and lemon. Molly Moon also sells essential oil rollers, deodorant cream, healing salve, room spray, travel soap, face masks and more to keep you feeling — and smelling — your best. Find these products and more at:

Houseplants, prices vary. Looking to bring elements of the breathtaking desert landscape into your home or the home of a loved one? Consider purchasing a houseplant such as a cacti or succulent that’s desert-friendly. As the Cactus Mart website says, cacti “can be grown for their ornamental look, for the fruit they produce, and for the ability to thrive in harsh environments. Cactus Mart regularly has a selection of prickly pear, cholla, saguaro, golden torch, and more.” Succulents, the website added, “have the added advantage of being difficult to succumb to negligence, making them a perfect plant for the beginner gardener.”

Modernism Week and Palm Springs International Film Festival merch, from $25: Palm Springs is rich with gifting options for the modern architecture or film lover in your life. Modernism Week, a nonprofit with programming annually in February and October, as well as the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, partner with Destination PSP in downtown Palm Springs every year as the sole retailer for official event merchandise. Head to the Destination PSP website or brick-and-mortar store for official event posters, glassware, ornaments, mugs, tissue box covers and more.

Gifts to amp up a loved one’s self-care routine

760 Skin Dew or Dry Moisturizer, from $38: Founded by three Palm Springs locals, 760 Skin invents clean skincare inspired by the stillness and beauty of the surrounding landscape. The company’s most popular product, the Dew or Dry Moisturizer, is a powerful vegan moisturizer “free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates that harnesses the power of desert plants to give skin a healthy, glowing appearance,” according to its website. If someone on your list likes skin products with natural ingredients such as cactus stem cells, jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, squalane, tremella mushroom, and reishi mushrooms, this is the moisturizer to get.

Other places to get locally made skincare and self care products, from soaps to essential oils:

  • Thick As Thieves: 183 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; Shopthieves.com
  • Crystal Fantasy: 268 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; crystalfantasy.com
  • Body Deli: 73-910 Highway 111, Suite B, Palm Desert; 73-560 El Paseo Suite B,Palm Desert; thebodydeli.com/

Gifts offering a (literal) taste of the Coachella Valley

Local craft beer, prices vary: Desert Beer Co. is perhaps the most low-key of the Coachella Valley breweries, tucked away in the back of a strip mall off Country Club Drive in Palm Desert, but walking into this cozy brewery (run by Palm Springs High School and College of the Desert graduate Devon Sanchez) is like walking into a small-town bar where everyone knows each other. Those friendly vibes pair well with a menu featuring everything from sweeter offerings like a cheery-flavored kettle sour and grapefruit hazy IPA to “popo’s porter” and a cascadian dark ale — there truly is something for all types of beer lovers here. Memberships, crowlers, snacks (including La Quinta-based Tutu’s Tortilla Chips) and merchandise are also available for purchase.

Locally roasted coffee, from $21: Many locals have yet to discover the little roaster that could on the north side of Palm Springs, which supplies all the coffee for The PSP Coffee House inside the Palm Springs International Airport. Coachella Valley Coffee Co. doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar store of its own yet, but its various coffee blends, loose leaf tea offerings and sprices can be purchased on its website. And you can feel good about each purchase, because the company’s established partnerships with local nonprofit organizations such as the Street Life Project to provide essential items like sleeping bags, blankets, winter coats, socks, shoes, and personal care kits to support the homeless in our community.

Other local shops (some attached to restaurants) to find a gift for the foodie or beverage enthousiast on your list:

Experiential gifts

All the national parks for one price, from $80: This golden ticket will get an individual or family access to 2,000 federal recreation sites across the U.S., including Joshua Tree National Park right in our backyard. It’s the perfect gift for those who have vowed to hit the road in 2022. 

  • America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Passes can be purchased at usparkpass.com or at federally operated recreation sites across the country (including Joshua Tree National Park)

Museum memberships, from $35: This is a gift for someone looking to go deep on Coachella Valley history, art, mid-century design or military history. Consider an annual membership to one of the valley’s first-class museums with access to the permanent collections, traveling exhibits, members-only programming and more. Individual and family options are available. 

Tickets to the Palm Springs International Film Festival, prices vary: The wide world of cinema quite literally comes to the Coachella Valley every year in the form of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which offers a plethora of gift options for the cinephile on your list. Treat them to a star-studded experience at the awards gala on Jan. 4 (from $350) or buy individual or a six-pack of tickets for film screenings taking place between Jan. 5 and 15 (when tickets go on sale to the public on Dec. 11).

  • Palm Springs International Film Festival: 1700 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 3Palm Springs; psfilmfest.org

More: 5 most memorable moments from the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Awards

Tickets to the BNP Paribas Open, prices vary: Tennis fans will be thrilled for one or two tickets to paradise … tennis paradise. The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells is back March 4-17, 2024, with some of the top talent in the sport. Single session tickets are available now.

  • BNP Paribas Open: Indian Wells Tennis Garden, 78-200 Miles Ave., Indian Wells; bnpparibasopen.com

More: Game Set Shad: Crowds are back at BNP Paribas Open this year so plan ahead

The gift of The Desert Sun

Support local journalism, starting at $29: Being informed about, and active in, the Coachella Valley community is enriching. Help someone feel more connected to our community with a gift subscription to The Desert Sun. A digital subscription is just $29 for 6 months and $49 for a year.