Palm Springs, California
Adventures To Explore, Things To See
Palm Springs is known for golf, its beautiful natural scenery, warm weather, and mid-century modern architecture and style. The desert resort is 100 miles east of Los Angeles, and as long as you avoid LA rush hour, it takes about two hours to drive between the two cities.
The revitalized downtown Palm Springs area offers a range of shopping, both trendy modern brands and locally owned boutiques, as well as a bunch of new hotels and a huge range of dining options. The city is also home to some interesting museums and cultural attractions. This is an easy place to fill your days and evenings.
Downtown Palm Springs
The downtown area, roughly extending from Ramon Road to Vista Chino at the north and south end and between Belardo Road and Indian Canyon Drive from the east to the west, can be easily explored on foot. There is a lot of shopping, and the area is filled with restaurants and unique food shops. Don’t miss the Sonny Bono statue or the Walk of Stars. Some shops of note are Rocket Fizz with candy and sodas, Ruddy’s 1930’s General Store, and Elena Bulatova Fine Art with their unique art pieces.
Palm Springs VillageFest
If your visit falls over a Thursday night, be sure to explore the Palm Springs Village Fest. Happening each Thursday night, year-round, a quarter-mile-long stretch of Palm Canyon Drive is closed to cars and turned into a street fair and night market. There are food booths, crafts, artists, and more to discover. You can find the entire vendor directory here, but come hungry for anything from ice cream tacos to homemade tamales. There are also kiosks of antiques and local stores setting up downtown, so you can shop in between your food stops. The weekly event is dog and family friendly, as well.
Palm Springs Air Museum
If you want to just get a little outside of downtown, the Palm Springs Air Museum is a fun way to spend an afternoon. The large museum has a vast collection of civilian and military aircraft. It’s located right at the PSP airport. The Palm Springs Air Museum is a living history museum dedicated to educating the public about the role Air Power played in preserving American liberties and way of life. The Museum preserves, exhibits, and flies aircraft from World War Two, Korea, and the Vietnam Wars. Most of the aircraft are in flyable condition.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
You can also take a drive to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and explore the local mountains. In 10 minutes, the rotating tramway takes you up the side of the mountain from the desert to an alpine forest at around 8,500 feet above sea level. There is snow at the top most of the year, so you can swim in the sunshine and play in the snow all within an hour. There are 50 miles of hiking trails at the top as well. Don’t forget to attempt hiking or running the steep 6k road that leads to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station. There is also a popular organized run challenge every October that was started in 1983. Click here for information about registering.
Getting Outside In Palm Springs
The city’s perfect weather (it’s sunny and warm about 350 days a year) means you can always just go outside and take a walk or go for a run. It’s also fun to go swimming, especially during the hot summers. We are partial to the Gene Autry Bikeway; if you need a bike visit BIKE Palm Springs Rentals. You’ll find all of Palm Springs is bike friendly. As for hiking try the North Lykken Trail and of course the Palm Springs Museum Trail. For something more challenging try the Cactus to Clouds Trail which assends to San Jacinto Peak with a net elevation gain of roughly 10,300 feet. Palm Springs is full of trails, but if you’re seeking something a little different, try the Indian Canyons or even the 4 mile hike of Murray Canyon Trail that leads to the Seven Sisters Falls
Where To Stay In Palm Springs
The Parker Palm Springs
The Sparrow’s Lodge
The resort city offers a lot of accommodation options, many located in the downtown area. Staying in a downtown hotel makes it easy to explore the city on foot. If you’re flying into Palm Springs it’s easy to get to the downtown area, it’s only about five minutes from the airport terminal. It is easy to find AirBnb rentals in Palm Springs, which is mostly what we recommend. But if hotels are your thing, there are two that we like the most. The Parker Palm Springs is a quirky hotel set on a 13-acre complex and featuring decor by designer Jonathan Adler, this chic, upscale resort is 3 miles from Palm Springs Airport and 4 miles from shopping in downtown Palm Springs. The Sparrows Lodge is a rustic-chic, adults-only hotel with a ’50s retro vibe is 9 miles from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The understated rooms (no TVs) feature unique artwork, wood furnishings and/or stonework; some have patios. Lastly, if hotel luxury and spa treatment is something you’re desiring then take a look at La Quinta Resort & Club. With over 40 swimming pools, La Quinta Resort & Club offers an array of outdoor fitness programming, including daily yoga classes, spin classes, guided stretching classes and meditation as well as organized 2.6-mile runs organized seasonally. We’re fans of the Executive King Suite if available to you. If you’re seeking out the party at one of the more instagramable locations then you should seek out the Saguaro Hotel, with their colorful walls and central pool complete with weekend parties with the pretty people.
Kelly @ the Saguaro Hotel
Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Let's Talk About Food
There are many fantastic restaurants in the Palm Springs scene. The Coachella Valley’s best restaurants range from the upscale and elegant to the hole-in-the-walls servings some of the desert’s best-kept secrets. Workshop Kitchen + Bar is located in the historic El Paseo building on Palm Canyon Drive, featuring a farmhouse-style table and a selection of large format plates allow patrons to meet new friends over a shared ribeye or grilled chicken. We’re also big fans of Copley’s on Palm Canyon. You’ll love the romantic, open-air patio in the garden, and the sublime cuisine, which includes Muscovy duck breast, seared Scottish salmon, lobster pot pie, and tandoori chicken breast. A broad wine list arranged by type promises an appropriate accompaniment.
Estrella Spa @ Avalon Hotel.
Now It Is Time To Relax
Palm Springs has long been a favorite winter destination for its warm weather and sunny days. Aside from the physical activities like swimming, hiking, biking, golfing, and more – the desert paradise, known for its Old Hollywood glamour and mid-century modern architecture, is also home to some of the best spas. Right at the top of the list is Spa La Quinta at La Quinta Resort and Club. Owned by the Waldorf Astoria Group, this spa drips in luxury. Step into the Estrella Spa with its idyllic garden hacienda and decompress with a glass of bubbly. Seasoned therapists will guide you through the facilities, pamper and heal with a natural menu of options, from body scrubs with Vichy showers to Natura Bisse facials and reflexology massage, and perhaps a nibble of chocolate.
And there is no way to go wrong with The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. Set on a beautiful hillside, the spa takes a holistic approach to wellness and treatments incorporating the natural healing powers of the desert with local indigenous herbs and plants. The facility also includes a co-ed relaxation area with a Jacuzzi, which is very different from most spas.