Things to do in Palm Springs

Palm Springs, a city in the Sonoran Desert of southern California, is renowned for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses, and luxurious spas. It’s also noted for its many fine examples of midcentury-modern architecture. The core shopping district along Palm Canyon Drive features vintage boutiques, interior design shops, and exclusive restaurants, offering visitors a taste of the city’s unique charm.

The surrounding Coachella Valley offers a range of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. Visitors can explore the natural beauty of the area, whether through a leisurely hike in the San Jacinto Mountains or a more adventurous trek through the desert. Palm Springs provides plenty of opportunities for both relaxation and adventure, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a mix of pampering and outdoor activity.

January-April
Winter is peak tourism season in the desert: The weather is perfect for all the pastimes Palm Springs enjoys best – spa pampering, pool lounging and hiking. Average highs in January range from the mid-40s to the high 60s. In April, you’ll see lows in the upper 50s and highs in the mid-80s. But remember, attractions are crowded and hotel rates are at a premium during these months.

The weather in Palm Springs is ideal for spa pampering, pool lounging, and hiking. Average highs in January range from the mid-40s to the high 60s, while in April, lows are in the upper 50s and highs in the mid-80s. However, attractions can be crowded, and hotel rates are higher during these months.

The best time to visit Palm Springs depends on the events you want to attend. For example, January hosts the Palm Springs Film Festival, while February brings Modernism Week. April is famous for Coachella, and October features the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival. In November, Greater Palm Springs Pride takes place, and December showcases the Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade. Therefore, the ideal time to visit Palm Springs is determined by the festival that interests you the most.

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Popular Hikes include -Andreas Canyon Trail, The Murray Canyon Trail, and the Araby Trail. Each of these will expose you to great panoramas and beautiful waterfalls.

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  • Experience Sunset at Keys View
    The highest point in Joshua Tree, Keys View offers round-the-clock breathtaking vistas.
  • Nighttime serves up sparkling splendor; and during clear days, visitors are treated to sweeping views of the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, and the surrounding peaks that stretch all the way to Mexico. But Keys View is at its very best at sunset, when bright oranges and blistering reds saturate the desert sky.

Experienced climbing guides offer lessons for all abilities—from novices to calloused and muscled rock stars—at this land of giant boulders and weathered stone outcroppings. To find a guide stop in at a local climbing gear shop, like Nomad Ventures, in the town of Joshua Tree, on the park’s north side.


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  • For an in-depth exploration of the park without having to cover a lot of ground on foot, and to probably see features you’d never know about with a guide, consider taking a Jeep or Hummer tour with outfitters such as Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours.
  • You will be showered with incredible information about plants, animals, geology, and Native American history—and if you’ve ever wanted to see inside an active earthquake fault zone, this is one of the coolest ways you can do it.
  • The three-hour San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour will take you between the narrow walls of the water-carved slot canyons created by the seismic movement of the earth’s plates, and teach you about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians. Go during the cooler months (November through March) for the most comfortable temps on the open-air ride through the desert.

 

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The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—the world’s largest rotating tram car—travels over two-and-a-half miles along Chino Canyon’s cliffs, offering stunning views of the valley floor. At Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet), you can enjoy two restaurants, observation decks, a natural history museum, two documentary theaters, a gift shop, and over 50 miles of hiking trails. This adventure is one of the top things to do in Palm Springs, providing visitors with a unique way to explore the area’s natural beauty and diverse activities.

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Palm Springs is home to some of the best museums in the Golden State. The great thing about them is that you can visit them any time of the year.

Palm Springs Air Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum

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Palm Springs is all about self-care—top-notch hotels, high-end boutiques, exclusive restaurants, and fancy spas. Check out these hotels that redefine luxury and are perfect for friends and family getaway:

  • The Rowan Palm Springs: Located in the heart of downtown, this hotel offers stunning views, a rooftop pool, and luxurious accommodations.
  • Korakia Pensione: A Moroccan-inspired retreat known for its serene ambiance and beautiful architecture.
  • Two Bunch Palms: Famous for its mineral pools, this resort provides a relaxing oasis with a focus on wellness and rejuvenation.

Dining at these restaurants is one of the many things to do in Palm Springs, a city renowned for its diverse activities and attractions. Whether you’re exploring the San Jacinto Mountains, enjoying the nightlife places, or visiting the Palm Springs Art Museum, there are plenty of options to fill your day. From outdoor adventures in the Coachella Valley to enjoying live music and more, Palm Springs offers something for everyone.

For the best dining experience, where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content, visit these top restaurants in Palm Springs:

A green golf course with a lake and mountains in the background on a sunny day in Palm Springs
A shopping area in Palm Springs with outdoor cafes, shops, and a fountain with a statue.
An aerial view of Palm Springs showing a main road, houses, and mountains in the distance
An aerial tramway car traveling up a mountain with a scenic view of valleys and distant mountains in Palm Springs