Fed by underground springs, Palm Springs is a place where the desert comes alive, with a string of nine resort communities: Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, the namesake town of Palm Springs, and more.

Whether you choose to hike the pristine Indian Canyons; soar up the cliffs of Chino Canyon’s granite walls on the Aerial Tramway; take a side trip to the Joshua Tree National Park where the high Mojave Desert meets the low Colorado Desert and explore its amazing desert flora (including those wacky namesake trees); or soak up the cool and kitschy history on a celeb or architecture tour, this is just the beginning of an amazing desert adventure.

Hit links with amazing views, then leave the world behind at a spa hideaway. Splash your way back to the pool at the end of the day, and gaze up at a million stars by night with nothing but you, your thoughts and the sound of the desert wind. By the time you come home, we just know you’ll remember what relaxed actually feels like.

 

On this page...

1/ Highlights

2/ Regions

3/ Where to Stay 

 

 

Highlights

El Paseo, Palm Desert

Give yourself plenty of time to stroll along this swanky strip in Palm Desert. First, you’ll want to see all the art. This strip of roughly one-mile, and its adjacent streets, house one of the largest concentrations of art galleries anywhere in Southern California. As inviting as mini-museums, these galleries let you get close to art, chat with knowledgeable gallery owners and staff, and even meet the artists on during special openings and events.

After this you’ll want to grab something to eat—perhaps a juicy steak accompanied by jazz (Sullivan's Steakhouse), oysters on the half-shell (Pacifica Seafood Restaurant) or wood-fired pizza at Sammy’s.

And then there’s the shopping. There’s definitely a reason why El Paseo reminds people of Rodeo Drive, what with the impeccably-appointed boutiques of top designers, including Bottega Veneta and St. John, all tempting you to flex your credit card. There’s more to explore at the Gardens on El Paseo complex: where favourites like Saks Fifth Avenue, Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn, Brooks Brothers and Tommy Bahamas have set up shop.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Palm Springs

Got 10 minutes? That’s all it takes to go from the hot desert floor to cool, pine-filled highlands, thanks to this engineering marvel. Spinning slowly as it ascends, the tram rises two-and-a-half miles in one smooth ascent to 8516 feet at Mountain Station, on the flanks of towering Mount San Jacinto. On the ride up, you’ll be Instagramming non-stop as you take in incredible views of jagged cliffs and canyons (keep your eyes peeled for waterfalls in spring).

Up top, there’s access to more than 50 miles of trails into the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area. But you don’t have to hike to have fun. You’ll also find two restaurants (fine dining at Peaks Restaurant, or cafeteria fare at Pines Cafe), a bar (aptly named The Lookout Lounge), an observation area, natural history exhibits, and a small theatre showing documentary films.
Palm Springs Golf

If golf’s your game, welcome to paradise. A staggering 110 courses dot the Coachella Valley, with a list of top pros who have designed championship courses in the Palm Springs region that couldn’t get more name-droppy.

Some of the best-known courses are at PGA West and La Quinta Resort. Three public courses offer tight fairways, multi-tiered greens, deep sand bunkers, and plenty of water features. At Indian Wells Golf Resort, test your skills on the rolling Celebrity Course, or try the peaceful Players Course – its road- and house-free surroundings make for especially beautiful backdrops while you play. If you’re aiming to hone your skills, consider taking a lesson with one of the course’s outstanding pros; or have your swing evaluated at Indian Wells’ Callaway Performance Centre.
Palm Springs Nightlife

Palm Springs is the best kind of party town, always evolving and never resting on its laurels. Hip hotels with poolside DJs attract the short-skirt/high-heels crowd: with top spots including the Ace Hotel & Swim Club and the Hard Rock Hotel.

Night-time also brings a host of bars serving desert-cool libations in outdoor settings: the Sidebar at the Riviera on North Indian Canyon Drive lets you relax on bed-size lounges to watch the stars while you sip. And party music thumps the night away at Shanghai Reds, Village Pub, and Zelda’s Nightclub. The area’s casinos draw headliners from classic crooners to of-the-moment stars. And each Thursday a more casual party unspools along Palm Canyon Drive, the very heart of Palm Springs, as locals and visitors enjoy live bands, booths by local shops, and Villagefest.
Palm Canyons

For an intimate look at the region’s amazing desert environment, plan a visit to one of the palm canyons that lie within Agua Caliente Reservation land. All of the palm canyons – Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz (pronounced ‘Tah-quits’), Chino and Palm Canyons – are beautiful, but Palm Canyon is without doubt the showstopper. Easily accessed from the end of South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, this 15-mile-long canyon is home to the world's largest stand of California Fan Palm trees – more than 3000 in all.

Native Cahuilla (‘Kaw-we-ah’) Indians lived in these cool, natural retreats and Palm Canyon was a favourite resting spot. Hike along its trail, moving through a serene world punctuated by birdsong, the castanet-click sounds made by the palm fronds moving in the wind. Fees are charged to enter the canyons, and some offer guided tours that shed light on Native American life.

  
Guide to Greater Palm Springs


              

Palm Springs | Tucked into the foot of the majestic San Jacinto Mountains, with a village atmosphere, palm-tree lined streets and wide-open avenues.

 

Palm Desert | A dynamic, resort destination renowned as the desert’s hub for shopping, commerce, recreation, dining, culture and higher education.

Cathedral City | Nicknamed ‘Spirit of the Desert’, this hub for family entertainment also offers superior hiking and exciting events and festivals.

Indian Wells | Though geographically small, Indian Wells is home to a number of the desert’s premier resorts, most challenging championship golf courses and best spas.

Coachella | One of California’s fastest-growing municipalities, this City of Eternal Sunshine is the valley’s eastern-most city.

La Quinta | Twenty-five miles east of Palm Springs, this city is home to several golf courses, some designed by legends like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye.

Desert Springs | Greater Palm Springs’ only city on the North American Tectonic Plate, its unique geology is the source of the famous healing mineral springs found at many local independent hotels.

Indio | City of Festivals, Indio’s year-round events schedule includes two of America’s hottest music festivals, Coachella and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival.

 

Rancho Mirage | Stellar golfing, lushly-landscaped estates, first-class shopping and dining are exactly why the likes of Frank Sinatra called this ‘Playground of Presidents’ home.

  
Stay


Avalon Hotel Palm Springs
Palm Springs

 
The Parker Palm Springs
Palm Springs

 
​L'Horizon Resort & Spa
Palm Springs

 
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
Rancho Mirage

 
Omni Rancho La Palmas Resort & Spa
Rancho Mirage

 
​Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa
Indian Wells

 

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