Palm Springs is a California desert city in Riverside County. A famous resort city for decades, Palm Springs offers natural hot springs, high-end restaurants, golf courses, and sunny year-round weather. There are so many things to do in Palm Springs it’s no wonder the city has been a favorite of Hollywood celebrities since the 1930s and a popular community for US and Canadian snowbirds.
Palm Springs lies within the Colorado Desert’s Coachella Valley and has a population of 44,575. The city’s population triples between November and March with the arrival of retired winter snowbirds. The city sees approximately 1.6 million visitors annually. Some Palm Springs’ attractions include Joshua Tree National Park, shopping, museums, and the annual Coachella Festival in nearby Indio.
Weather-wise, the best time to visit Palm Springs is between December and April, when temperatures average below 75°F. Winter is peak season, with crowds and higher accommodation rates. October to November has warmer but still pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds.
By April, temperatures in Palm Springs begin to increase, with July and September reaching highs of 110°F. The school summer break attracts visitors during this time, but nowhere near the numbers that arrive for the winter months. With over 130 resorts and hotels, along with AirBnB accommodations, you can find places to stay in Palm Springs no matter when you travel.
The Palms Springs International Airport (PSP) is the closest airport to Palm Springs, only two miles from downtown. Transportation from Palms Springs International Airport to the city and surrounding resorts includes car rentals, rideshares, and shuttle buses.
Things to do in Palm Springs
Resorts, spas, golf courses, and the chance to spot celebrities are the main Palm Springs attractions for many visitors, but you can find plenty of things to do in Palm Springs away from the crowds. Here are some less well-known Palm Springs attractions that are well worth checking out on your next trip:
- The Moorten Botanical Garden is a one-acre garden and home to over 3000 desert plants.
- The Backstreet Art District is a collection of art galleries and studios near downtown Palm Springs.
- The Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is a four-story historical museum constructed by homesteader Cabot Yerza.
- The Palm Springs Windmill Tour is one of the most unique things to do in Palm Springs.
- For an odd, slightly disturbing experience, check out the Giant Faceless Babies sculpture next to the Palm Springs Art Museum.
How to get around Palm Springs
Do you need a car in Palm Springs? No, although one is recommended if you want to explore the surrounding area. Within city limits, getting around Palm Springs without a car is easy. Taxis and ride-share services are readily available, or you can use the SunLine bus service, the main public Palm Springs transportation option.
Walking and bicycles are popular Palm Springs transportation choices. The downtown core is pedestrian friendly, although if you're taking a summertime stroll, remember to stay hydrated. Many Palm Springs resorts provide complimentary bicycles to guests, and bike lanes run throughout the city.
Where and what to eat
Famous restaurants in Palm Springs include Miro’s, Le Vallauris, and Spencer’s, where you might catch a glimpse of celebrities as you dine. The most famous food in Palm Springs is the date shake, a refreshing shake best enjoyed with burgers or street food.
The following may not be the most famous restaurants in Palm Springs, but they all offer excellent food:
- Workshop Kitchen+Bar offers farm-to-table fine dining within a classic 1920s industrial-chic setting.
- Located in Cabazon, Hadley Fruit Orchards in Cabazon offers what is one of the best date shakes in the Greater Palm Springs area.
- The Tropicale Palm Springs offers an eclectic menu in a fun, retro-inspired dining room.
Palm Springs offers excellent opportunities for novice and experienced travelers alike. You can spend a weekend or a month exploring Palm Springs attractions and still have more to see. If you’re making a short trip to this fantastic desert resort, a travel backpack or carry-on may be all you need. Families planning extended trips to Palm Springs should consider a luggage set like the Maxlite® 5 Floating On Air Luggage Set.
Looking for more travel ideas? Check out our Top Travel Destinations for inspiration!