Are you ready for some fun in the desert sun? Then pack an overnight bag and head 110 miles southeast of Los Angeles to beautiful Palm Springs. Located in the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs is the perfect escape for a girlfriend getaway, romantic retreat or guys golf outing. The desert is sure to accommodate your every need.
Start the day by exploring the heart of Palm Springs: Palm Canyon Drive. Stroll down the star-studded street and discover the many boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants and coffee shops. The charming desert community embraces the fact that this is a safe, pleasant and melodious place to live and visit. Grab an ice cream cone from Cold Stone Creamery or a decadent coffee from the always packed Koffi as you shop for anything from designer garb to antiques.
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Mix in education with entertainment when you visit the Palm Springs Air Museum. This not for profit museum has 28 fully operable planes on display, as well vast amounts of memorabilia. Check out the models, collection of uniforms or the art work by famed artists Robert Taylor or Stan Stokes. Popular with the kids are the interior tours of a B17 and the flight simulators, as well as a special education corner. Staffing the museum are former vets from all of the armed forces, who are happy to give you a personal tour or answer any daunting questions you may have. The library upstairs features 8,000 volumes and an immense DVD collection, and you can grab your own flight jacket in the gift shop on your way out.
For an outdoor adventure, Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway; one of the world’s largest rotating tram cars. The ride gives you spectacular views of Mt. Jacinto State Park as you travel two and a half miles in just 10 short minutes. At the top, enjoy a mountaintop snack in the Peaks Restaurant, or grab a libation at the Pines Café or Lookout Cocktail Lounge. Explore the Natural History Museum or watch one of the two documentaries on the history of the State Park and Tram System. If feeling adventurous, discover the picnic areas, hiking trails, and campgrounds.
Grab dinner at hip Azul Restaurant. This tapas inspired lounge and patio has great ambiance, a friendly staff, and yummy food. Pull up a chair at the bar or grab a swing on the patio as you nibble on delectable delights such as the jerked beef skewers, chicken pot stickers and choice of several flatbreads. The fresh ingredients make the mixture of California, Mediterranean, Asian food selections truly unique. If you’d like to make your happy hour that much more cheerful, try out the fantastic mojitos. Made with fresh mint and delectable rum, this concoction will keep you smiling for hours.
If you brought your dancing shoes, head over to Zeldaz. One of the few clubs in Palm Springs, it has been bringing good times to locals and tourists alike for over 30 years. Housing two dance floors and 8 full bars, take your pick of tables by the dance floor or if your feeling feisty grab a spot on the stage.
So whatever your need may be, Palm Springs is sure to satisfy even the most disconcerting traveler. Having fun in the sun is just a way of life while vacationing in Palm Springs!
What & Where:
Cold Stone Creamery (155 S Palm Canyon Dr, Ste B-2; 760-327-6892)
Palm Springs Koffi (515 North Palm Canyon; 760-416-2244)
Palm Springs Air Museum (745 N Gene Autry; 760-778-6262)
Azul Restaurant (369 North Palm Canyon; 760-325-5533)
Palm Springs Aerial Tram (One Tram Way off highway 111; 760-325-1391)
Zeldaz (174 N. Palm Canyon Dr; 760-325-2375 Check for special events)
WHEN TO VISIT PALM SPRINGS
The best time to visit Palm Springs is between January and April when daytime temperature only reach between the 70s and 80’s. Fall’s temperatures are almost as nice, but unless you love the heat, we wouldn’t recommend visiting in the summertime when daily highs regularly reach the triple digits.
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Traveling To Palm Springs Soon? Here are a few tips:
How to get there: Palm Springs is a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles and a 2.5-hour drive from San Diego. If you are coming from out of state, the two closest airports are Palm Springs International Airport and Ontario International Airport.
Where to stay: There are many places to stay in Palm Springs as well as in California. There is a wide range of hotels, from budget to luxury. For a luxury hotel that won’t break the bank, I recommend the Colony Palms Hotel, which is currently the #1 hotel on Tripadvisor. For a mid-level hotel, I suggest the Hilton Palm Springs. Finally, for a budget hotel, try 7 Springs Inn & Suites. You can also check HotelsCombined for the best Palm Spring Hotel Rates.
What to pack: The temperatures each season vary greatly. I visited in February and was very happy to have a crisp white shift dress, a silky serum for skin hydration and a pair of day to night sandals. The weather is beautiful year round, and you’ll be able to take a dip in the pool, even in winter, so you’ll want to pack swimsuit coverups.
Palm Springs Trip Essentials
6 Indispensable Items to Pack for a Palm Springs Vacation
- Get the The Ultimate Travel Guide to Greater Palm Springs.
- Bring a good quality mirrorless camera for getting those beautiful Palm Springs landscape shots. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- Palm Springs is hot most of the year, so make sure to bring Neutrogena Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 45
- A great cross body travel bag. Crossbody bags prevent theft and are much easier to access.
- Don’t forget sunglasses for the beautiful sunny days. A.J. Morgan Unisex Sunglasses are a great choice and very affordable!
- Day to night sandals are a great item to pack for a perfect Palm Springs vacation. They’re more sophisticated than a flip-flop, but less formal than a wedge which means you can get away with wearing them by the pool and out to dinner.
Read More About Palm Springs, California
A California Weekend Road Trip With the 2018 Toyota Rav4
My 800-mile Walk to California’s 21 Historic Mission
Family Fun Day in Palm Springs
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.