Christine Soto, owner of Dead or Alive Bar + Shop, shares her tips for exploring her hometown.

Two Bunch Palms pool - mineral hot springs resort and spa in Desert Hot Springs, California
Stephanie Pia

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Follow along as we learn where to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

Christine Soto, owner of Dead or Alive Bar + Shop in Palm Springs, California
Christine Soto
Photo by Bianca Simonian

Meet the insider: Christine Soto, former owner of the deeply missed Dead or Alive Bar + Shop

On any given evening, you’d find a group of people—young and old—deep in conversation inside Dead or Alive. Christine Soto opened the Palm Springs bar and bottle shop to create a space for connection, and for folks to learn about wine. To offer even more opportunities, she founded Palm Springs Wine Fest to celebrate California winemakers. Here are her tips for exploring her hometown.


Bar Cecil burger in Palm Springs, California
Bar Cecil burger

Elevation Creative Agency

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Soto is a fan of Bar Cecil, which is currently the hottest ticket in town. The intimate restaurant is led by chef Gabriel Woo, who was born and raised in Palm Springs. Try the deviled eggs and onion tart; or just order The Fifty Dollar Martini: The Beluga vodka cocktail is served alongside a deviled egg with caviar.


Head down Interstate 10 to Whitewater Preserve, a sprawling, lush oasis that’s nearly 3,000 acres. There’s free hiking around the Pacific Crest Trail, or you can dip your toes in the river.


Two Bunch Palms hotel room - mineral hot springs resort and spa in Desert Hot Springs, California
Two Bunch Palms

Stephanie Pia

It doesn’t get better than a poolside room at the adults-only Sparrows Lodge. Soto also likes to hop over to Two Bunch Palms, a mineral hot springs resort and spa in Desert Hot Springs.


Truss & Twine bar in Palm Springs, California
Truss & Twine

© Audrey Ma

Two locals are behind the city’s only brewery, Las Palmas, where you’ll find a quaint outdoor patio and low-ABV table beer. After that, grab a Game Changer cocktail made with gin, cucumber, and onion brine at Truss & Twine. It’s attached to the acclaimed restaurant Workshop Kitchen + Bar.


Thick As Thieves shop in Palm Springs, California
Thick As Thieves

Jeremy Smick

Bohemian-chic home goods and apparel abound at Thick as Thieves, a downtown boutique. Soto also heads to Rancho Relaxo in nearby Rancho Mirage for accessories and decor.