Millions of tourists from the United States visit Palm Springs every year for the relaxation, spa treatment and chance to get away from the busy life at home. You can find luxurious Palm Springs villa rentals or comfortable hotels to suit your budget in this city. There are also lots of restaurants, bars, lounges as well as different things to do and see. Here are the essentials on how to plan your perfect vacation.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
Most tourists visit Palm Spring between January and May and again towards the end of the year. Temperatures in the summer average around 42°C making the city feel like a furnace. If you want to go sightseeing and explore the attractions, the best time to visit is when the weather is cooler. On the other hand, hotels tend to drop their prices in the summer, and if it’s a vacation you’re looking for, you may want to visit then. After all, it doesn’t matter what the outside temperature is if you’re going to spend your time in the air-conditioned spa!
Where are the Best Places to Stay?
Most of the hotels and resorts are in either Downtown or the Uptown Design District. Both areas have plenty of restaurants and bars to cater for your needs in the evening. You can find high-end chain hotels and resorts with a world-class spa treatment. If it’s your first time in Palm Spring, it’s recommended that you find a place to stay in either one of these districts for the convenience.
Palm Desert, a small city near Palm Springs, makes a great place to spend a few days if you’re looking for relaxation. This area has lots of boutique shops, art galleries and is near the Living Desert and Zoo Gardens. Some of the best and most luxurious resorts are in this part of the city. You can also stay at one of the casinos or golf resorts.
Compared to other cities in the United States, Palm Springs is tiny. Downtown is pedestrian friendly with both Indian Canyon Drive and Palm Canyon Drive having shady places for people to walk. The streets are often lined with shops and cafés for some retail therapy and a place to relax afterwards.
The majority of tourists rely on their own set of wheels to get around either by driving to Palm Springs or getting a rental when they arrive. Having your own vehicle gives you the flexibility to explore the city and surrounding region while providing that essential air-conditioned shelter in the hotter months.
Public transport is limited but reliable. The Sun Bus operates on various routes around Palm Springs and to neighboring resort towns. Fares are inexpensive, and the buses usually arrive on time. If you don’t have a car, the bus is a perfectly good way to get around for a few days.
Some people like to rent a bicycle and cycle around the city. Many hotels offer rentals or can guide you to a rental shop with the choice between mountain, road and hybrid bikes. The streets are safe and free of major congestion seen in other American Cities. And seeing the city on a bicycle is a rewarding experience. If you do rent one, be sure to check out the mid-century district and cycle along roads lined with unique and modern architecture. You can head off road along the desert trails too.
The Must-See Attractions:
Palm Springs has been a tourist resort for more than 100 years, which makes the place very tourist friendly. You won’t find as many attractions compared to other cities in the United States, but there are still lots of things to see and do. Most people who visit will go to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The cable car takes people to the top of the mountain with views stretching more than 100 kilometers on a bright day. The Living Desert and Zoo Gardens are popular too with giraffes, ostriches and range of other wildlife inside.
If you like art, head to the Palm Springs Art Museum where you’ll see contemporary paintings and have the chance to walk around an outdoor sculpture part. The mid-century architecture is also worth visiting, especially the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway.
The best day trips from Palm Springs are to Joshua Tree National Park and Idyllwild. The first is a massive protected area in the desert full of cacti, rock formations and the twisted Joshua Trees. Idyllwild is a mountain village about an hour from Palm Springs, a favorite during the winter with skiers and snowboarders.
Essential Travel Tips
If you ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, expect the temperature at the top of the mountain to be much cooler than in the valley. The 12-minute ascent in the cable car can cause a temperature difference of almost 22°C! In the summer, the air is refreshing. At other times of the year, it’s a bit chilly, and there’s often snow on the floor in winter.
Make sure you bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat. High temperatures, endless sunshine and very low humidity, combine to make life difficult for humans. Staying hydrated and protecting yourself from the hot sun is essential or you may find yourself with heat stroke.
Having a Perfect Vacation
If you’re planning to visit Palm Spring, you’ve made a good choice. The city has lots of activities for recreation and relaxation. Get away from the pool and experience what this desert city has to offer. But remember to bring your sunhat and sunscreen!