Palm Springs, located in Southern California, was once the preferred winter getaway for celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Located 110 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is within easy reach by car or air with many major airlines serving Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), such as Virgin America, Delta, US Airways and more.
The best time of the year to visit is from October through May. The dry desert landscape makes sure that autumn and winter are still quite comfortable. December and January, the coldest months, still benefit from balmy 21C average high temperatures. On the flip side, summer here is extremely hot, easily a scorching 40C and up.
Palm Springs has always, and will always, be known for golf. There are a whopping 130 courses spread out in the area! From professionally-designed courses that would make Rory McIlroy weep with joy to the smaller, public courses that are great for novices, Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley won’t leave you at a loss on where to play.
If golf isn’t your thing, there are plenty of spas, tennis courts, shopping, restaurants, events, casino gaming and outdoor activities to pique your interest. Below, we’ve picked a few of the real gems that makes Palm Springs such a fabulous place to visit.
Palm Springs was at the peak of popularity between the 1930s to the 1950s with many movie stars calling it home. Celebs such as Tony Curtis, Bing Crosby and Elvis all owned homes here. Nightclubs and restaurants were plenty and the town was hopping with activity in the colder months. As all good things come to an end, the place fell out of favour with the jet set in the 1970s and soon became a victim of neglect.
One thing about Palm Springs that has started a mini-renaissance of sorts is the interest in the many examples of mid-century modern architecture. The area is chalk full of it! If you’re looking to spend a bit of time in the area, you can rent one of these architectural wonders for your next holiday. If you’re keen on seeing more, the Palm Springs Modernism Week allows you to take guided tours of some of the most iconic buildings and homes in the area.
If you’re fond of hiking, I can’t recommend enough the amazing Joshua Tree National Park located about 50 miles or so away from town. The varied terrain is peppered with a variety of cacti and succulents with the star attraction being the Joshua trees themselves. Not only that, there is camping, stargazing, hiking, rock climbing, nature walks, geology tours and a whole lot more. The park’s website should have all the information you’re looking for regarding a day trip or an overnight outing.
For those that are big fans of contemporary music, the Coachella Music Festival is the must-see event of the year. The festival takes over the polo grounds in nearby Indio for two weekends in April and has seen top artists grace the stages, such as Prince, Paul McCartney, Blur, Radiohead, Jay-Z, Beastie Boys and a whole lot more! If you’re going to get tickets, book your accommodation early as rentals in the immediate area fill up fast.
It wouldn’t be right to talk about Palm Springs with mentioning its roots in the film industry. Many movies have been shot in the area - Sahara (1943), American Gigolo (1980), Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and many, many more. The Palm Springs International Film Fest is an almost two week gala that brings out stars and industry types from Hollywood en masse to celebrate film in the run up to the Oscars.
We could go on and on about how much we love the area, but you should really get out and see it for yourself. The things we’ve mentioned above only scratch the surface of what there is to do in the area. Ultimately, Palm Springs has a vibe that is relaxing and you’re sure to dig what the local lifestyle has to offer you in the way of a holiday.