Find your vacation oasis in Palm Springs, California
Thanks to the rich history and pleasant weather, Palm Springs is a popular getaway known for its consistent sunshine, palm-lined streets and amazing blue skies. It is situated at the bottom of the San Jacinto Mountains, 120 miles east of Los Angeles. You’ll find plenty of ways to relax with indoor and outdoor entertainment. Vacation near prestigious neighborhoods that many celebrities call home.
Things to do
The beautiful weather of Palm Springs allows for a great amount of outdoor fun. Children will love visiting the "Living Desert," home to over 400 wild animals. This zoo and botanical garden is located on 1,200 acres of protected land. Enjoy live shows, or visit the modern train exhibit.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is also a must-see attraction. Guests venture on a 10-minute trip through various climate zones. At the top, you may decide to walk the nature trails or strap on skis in the winter. No matter what time of year, the view is always impressive.
Palm Springs is a desert community with numerous exciting trails. The Indian Canyons are the perfect place to watch the birds and gain a greater appreciation for nature. Look out for lizards and other animals that may make an appearance.
History buffs will want to visit the Air Museum, one of the largest collections of WWII memorabilia in the world. Airplanes, artifacts and artwork are on display. You will even be able to test your skills in a real flight simulator.
The city is filled with mid-century modern architecture. Most buildings are sleek and unlike any others in the country. Numerous tours present some of the most unique buildings and homes of the stars. For instance, the Kaufmann House is one of the best examples of international-style architecture. This property has been owned by the likes of none other than Barry Manilow. Araby Cove, home of Howard Hughes, is another architectural landmark. Be sure to visit Elvis's Honeymoon Hideaway as well.
The Downtown and Uptown Design District provide wonderful mid-century retailers, art galleries, antique shops and fashion boutiques. For big name designers, head to El Paseo, the "Rodeo Drive of the Desert." El Paseo includes blocks with awning-covered storefronts, designer boutiques and sidewalk cafes.
Palm Springs has a unique blend of dining options. You can begin the morning at one of the specialty cafes, enjoy a poolside lunch, and eat an al fresco dinner beneath the San Jacinto Mountains. One of the best coffee shops is in the Uptown District. Ernest Coffee is the only independent coffee shop to serve Stumptown coffee, an especially aromatic beverage. For a great Italian dinner, try Appetito; the menu is rich with homemade pasta, paninis and pizza. Most ingredients are sourced from local produce stores and, although the atmosphere is casual, the food is sure to please.
Where to stay
All of the Palm Springs hotels offer guests mountain views. Smaller hotels and boutique accommodations offer distinct architecture and personalized service. For complete pampering, there are numerous, luxurious full-service Palm Springs hotels. The Renaissance Palm Springs and Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs are popular vacation destinations. Well-known chains like Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton and Comfort Inn are ideal for families.
The wonderful weather allows for special events throughout the year. In January, Palm Springs hosts the country's largest International Film Festival. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the Bob Hope Classic. Summer brings VillageFest, a celebration with art, crafts, live music and great food. On weekend mornings in the summer, there is a bustling street fair downtown.
Best time to visit
The peak season in Palm Springs is January to May. The weather is warm, and most visitors try to escape the cold from other parts of the country. Few hotel deals are offered at this time. As summer hits, the desert heat kicks in, and temperatures soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This slows the crowds, so hotel discounts are common. To avoid the heat, try planning activities in the morning and enjoying the pool in the afternoon.
* Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.