Top 10 Things to Do in Palm Springs
Stirring the imagination with scenery of long boulevards, glamorous boutiques and swaying trees with a mountainous backdrop, Palm Springs has stylish hotels, golf courses and a wonderfully laid-back vibe. Here are the top things to do in Palm Springs according to the season.
Spring – Golf, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Coachella
In springtime, make the most of the warm weather with a round of golf, an activity for which Palm Springs is famous. There are a number of courses and dedicated resorts set within the dramatic landscape of Palm Springs and its surrounding areas including Desert Willow Golf Resort, Escena Golf Club, Indian Wells Golf Club and Indian Canyons Golf Resort. Alternatively, view the sprawling landscape from the world’s largest rotating tramcar journey with breath-taking views over Chino Canyon, and the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Tickets are $25.95 for adults, with discounts for seniors and children. Another thing Palm Springs is known for is its close proximity to the globally admired Coachella Festival. The festival takes place in Indio, which is located just half an hour from the city centre, so it’s the perfect place to tag onto the holiday before or after the event.
Summer – Hiking, Bike Riding, Horse-riding
Greater Palm Springs, surrounding the city, has plenty of wonderful outdoor activities for those wanting to stay fit and active on their holiday. The views are impressive and the top hikes include the Andreas Canyon Trail at Indian Canyons, Araby Trail and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. If you would like a guide, Palm Springs Hiking Tours start at around $75. There are also a range of bike routes for those who’d like to explore the region on wheels. Palm Springs has a useful map to show visitors the range of options for cycling paths. Whichever route you go, you are guaranteed great views and good times. Big Wheels Tours offers guided experiences if you would like a helping hand to navigate. If horse-riding is your thing, there are some great companies here who will show you the area with beautiful rides past the streams of the Indian Canyons. Smoke Tree Stables are a great choice since they offer custom-designed packages, picnic lunches and a western cookout with entertainment.
Autumn – Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs Art Museum
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the top places to visit and is just a short drive east from Palm Springs. The quieter months outside of peak summer time are just as appealing with walking and camping as great experiences for visitors. There’s a wonderful array of nature and wildlife to be seen on hikes through this vast desert park, and overnighters will be able to stargaze in autumn, as the ‘Great Square of Pegasus’ star formation appears in the north-eastern sky at dusk.
For those more artistically swayed, Palm Springs itself is known for its wonderful architecture and design, so head to the Palm Springs Art Museum where there are exhibitions and events for the culturally curious. Opening times are from 10am-5pm but the venue is closed on Wednesdays.
Winter – Spa
Warm up in the cooler months with a visit to one of the relaxing spas. The Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel is a particular standout location, offering mineral spring whirlpools, as well as an extensive list of spa beauty treatments. For an extra special experience, the L’Horizon offers a unique boutique-hotel experience just minutes from downtown Palm Springs, offering a luxurious spa and wellness programme.
All year round – Shopping at Desert Hills Premium Outlets
Desert Hills Premium Outlets has the largest collection of luxury retailers in California and offers a wonderful year-round shopping experience. Easily located just 20 minutes west of the city (or around an hour from Los Angeles) this outdoor shopping centre has 180 designer shops for guests to enjoy. For luxury shopping at a great price, there’s Burberry, Armani, Roberto Cavalli and Tom Ford. The property is also home to the only Mont Blanc and Alexander McQueen outlet on the West Coast.