Destination: Palm Springs


The Ultimate Palm Springs Getaway Guide

Sure, it’s fun to unwrap presents underneath the tree on Christmas day — but with your busy life, what you really need is a vacation. You’re looking to explore somewhere totally new — somewhere sunny, warm, and exciting, with shopping, hotel accommodations, and activities worthy of the stars.

Whether you’re looking to plan a quick weekend getaway, a romantic couple’s retreat, or a week-long getaway with your best girlfriends, Palm Springs checks all the boxes. It’s luxurious, yet boasts plenty of affordable options. It’s a must-visit destination with plenty to offer, but it isn’t overrun by tourists. And with an incredible 354 days of sunshine per year, it’s the perfect place to soak up some rays and work on your tan.

We’ll help you plan your perfect getaway to Palm Springs, California, taking you through where to stay, when to go, what to do, and more.

How to Get to Palm Springs

Palm Springs’s central location in Southern California makes it easy to access from all over the world.

Palm Springs is home to a small but well-connected international airport. Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) welcomes over 2 million passengers a year with daily flights from 500 places around the world. The airport is located just minutes from downtown Palm Springs, making it the most convenient option for international or out-of-state visitors.

Palm Springs is also well-connected to the US Interstate 10 highway, making it easy to drive to from many large Southwest metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

When to Go to Palm Springs

Palm Springs may be sunny year-round, but that doesn’t mean it’s always perfect weather.

Most agree that the best time to visit Palm Springs is January to April. That’s when temperatures are most hospitable, with highs of 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit on average (18-29 degrees Celsius). However, it’s also the peak tourist season, which means attractions are more crowded and hotels are more expensive.

October to December is also a nice time to visit Palm Springs. Temperatures are similar to peak season with fewer visitors and lower hotel prices.

May to September marks the hot season of Palm Springs — and hot means hot. We’d recommend not visiting Palm Springs during the summer. Average daytime temperatures regularly climb to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), making it difficult to enjoy the city even if you’re spending most of your time by the pool. However, higher temperatures do lead to very few tourists.



Where to Stay in Palm Springs

When it comes to visiting Palm Springs, you’ll want to take advantage of the incredible accommodations this resort city has to offer. We’ve narrowed down a couple of our favorites for every price range.

Luxury hotels:
If you want the best of the best, look no further than The Parker Palm Springs. This Jonathan Adler-designed desert oasis is colorful, luxurious, and absolutely stunning. Enjoy the perfectly manicured grounds, cozy firepits, relaxing hammocks, and sparkling pools.

Another opulent option is The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage. This stunning hotel sits on a cliff, overlooking the entire desert valley below. Rooms have breathtaking views and guests have entire hiking trails all to themselves. And the spa is truly second to none.

Boutique hotels:

Looking for more of a stylish party destination that still keeps an air of luxury? Check out the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. With constant parties, live music and cool vintage details like a photo booth and record players, this hip boutique-style hotel is a favorite among young travelers.

You’ll find one of the best values at Avalon Palm Springs. With gorgeous landscaping, three pools, and pristine white rooms, you’ll feel like a queen while paying a reasonable rate. (Extras like spa treatments and meals will definitely start to add up, though.)

Budget hotels:
If you still want the resort experience without exhausting your wallet, check out Hyatt Grand Regency Indian Wells Resort. With plenty of pools, great restaurants, spa amenities, and even a golf course, it’s great for families or cost-conscious travelers.

Alcazar Palm Springs is a popular choice among young travelers. It offers free cruiser bikes and is conveniently located by two of the best restaurants in Palm Springs. Add that to its hip decor and wallet-friendly price and you’re looking at a steal.



10 Things You’ve Got to Do in Palm Springs

  1. Take a Celebrity Tour
    Did you know that Palm Springs was once known as “Hollywood’s Playground?” Visit famous neighborhoods, legendary spots, and gorgeous homes owned by stars like Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and others on a guided celebrity tour.

  2. Aerial Tramway
    Palm Springs is home to the world’s largest rotating tram car. Travel over two-and-one-half miles along the gorgeous cliffs of Chino Canyon on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. You’ll see spectacular views of the valley you’ll never forget. Then, once you reach the top, enjoy observation desks, restaurants, hiking trails, and more.
  3. Dine Like Sinatra
    Visit Melvyn’s Restaurant and dine at Frank Sinatra’s regular table. He’d always order a pepper steak prepared tableside at his corner table.

  4. Visit the bar at Parker Palm Springs Hotel
    Even if a stay at the Parker Palm Springs Hotel is a little out of your reach, it’s still worth a visit. See its beautiful architecture and decor for yourself, then sip some wine at its iconic Counter Reformation bar.

  5. Pamper Yourself
    Every vacation needs a healthy dose of relaxation. Book a massage or spa treatment and feel your worries wash away. If your hotel doesn’t offer spa services, don’t worry — you can still book a treatment at a different spa or hotel without being a guest.

  6. Go for a Bike Ride
    Located in the desert, Palm Springs has a lot of great bike routes for everyone from beginners to experts. Whether you bike through the city or on a nearby desert trail, biking is a great way to get some exercise in and see the sights.

  7. Go Hiking
    Explore the natural beauty of Greater Palm Springs on a nature hike. Here are some great trails you might want to try out for yourself.

  8. Shop Til You Drop
    You’ll find world-class shopping right in the heart of Palm Springs. Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs is home to over 525 shops ranging from vintage shops to art galleries to trendy boutiques.

  9. Visit the Art Museum
    Don’t miss the beautiful Palm Springs Art Museum. Its architecture, design, and stunning collection makes it a great place to visit whether you’re an art fanatic or not.

  10. Take a Day Trip
    Palm Springs’ central location makes it a great jumping off point to explore other parts of California.
    If you love the outdoors, don’t miss Joshua Tree National Park, located just outside of Palm Springs. (it’s a great place to take some photos and explore nature!)
    If you’re lucky enough to visit Palm Springs at the right time (and be able to snag a ticket), don’t miss out on the nearby Coachella Music Festival in April!
    Looking to visit the happiest place on earth? It’s not far away — take a two-hour drive to Disneyland!
    If you’d rather get a taste of city life, take the two-hour drive out to Los Angeles.
    If beaches are what you’re after, take a day trip to San Diego.

Once you’ve planned your Palm Springs getaway, all that’s left to do is enjoy it! Relax by the pool, soak up the sun, shop ‘til you drop, and take in the breathtaking desert views. It’ll be a trip you’ll never forget!

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