Things To Do In Palm Springs
Palm Springs is the best-known city in the Coachella Valley, a chain of desert towns extending from the Cathedral City to the glamorous Palm Desert, all connected by Hwy 111. A hike into the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons is one of the highlights of a tour of Palm Springs. It is an oasis between the rocks, complete with palm trees and green vegetation. There are several hiking trails ranging from easy to very hard. After you leave the vegetation, the trail continues over rocky paths without any shelter. It’s a dangerous trek, but it's definitely worth it to go; especially if you're interested in the history of the Native American population.
When To Go:
The ideal time to visit is from the middle of January until April when the climate is the most pleasant. Fall is also nice, but unless you enjoy high humidity, it is not a good idea to go during the summer when highs consistently reach the triple digits.
Winter (January-April) is the peak of tourism season in the desert territory of America. The climate is ideal for all of the activities Palm Springs offers, like hitting the fairway, relaxing by the pool and hiking. Normal highs in January range from the mid-40s up to the low 70s. In April, you'll see lows in the upper 50s and highs in the upper 80s. At the same time, you'll likewise encounter the best inn rates and the biggest tourist presence.
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Summer (May-September) is a long and exceptionally dry season. You will need to fight with normal daytime temperatures that routinely pass 100 degrees. The heat can make it hard to appreciate the city, regardless of how much time you spend relaxing poolside. Nonetheless, the heat fades marginally at nights, so if you're a night owl who appreciates warm evening climate, you may still find the summer season ideal.
Here is a rundown of the popular places and memorable things to do in the city of Palm Springs:
Palm Springs Visitor Center
A stop at the Palm Springs Visitor Center is always worthwhile. Here you can get a good overview of the available attractions, activities, and restaurants in Palm Springs. It is right on the road leading to the Aerial Tramway so you will not miss it.
Here at the visitor center you will learn what to explore and will also be welcomed by the friendly and always helpful tourism board staff. You will be given excellent advice on the various points of interest, and a lot of documentation on attractions and activities to see and do in the surrounding area. Visit this site first before engaging in any tourism activity in Palm Springs.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway that runs from the desert to the alpine climate is a unique experience in California. It starts at the bottom of the desert and after a breathtaking ascent on a rotating cable car you’ll arrive at 2500 meters in an alpine landscape with a view of the majestic trees of California. From the base, you can enjoy a stunning view of the city. If you are an adventurous type, a hike along the trail is highly recommended. The site is absolutely safe and full of park rangers who protect the mountain area (their camp base is located just a few meters from the gondola). Remember to bring water and food- there are not many shops for food around, but there are shelters to rest and eat.
Try the cable ride for a trip to the top, passing through some of the most beautiful landscapes (after a couple of hours of hiking) and terraces in all of Southern California. The mixture of alpine landscapes and desert is something unique and unimaginable. The top (about 3100 meters) can be reached in 3 hours at a leisurely pace which totals 17 km round trip. Plan excursions with your friends, you will find that there is something for everyone in this place that is so diverse and truly worth visiting.
San Jacinto Mountain
The ride on the Aerial Tramway (with the rotating gondola) is already great, but up here at the San Jacinto Mountain there is so much to do and see. Once at the top you have a complete view of the entire Coachella Valley on a clear day. There are trails of various difficulty, levels, and lengths. Choose the Desert View Trail for a beautiful route through the forest to the edge of the mountain with a wonderful view of the city. You should definitely schedule a half-day at least because there is so much to see and things to do.
You will see a completely different mountainous landscape with dense pine and fir forests and abundant wildlife, inviting you to take walks. You can also take refuge from time to time in the higher regions, especially in the summer, to enjoy the much colder weather. Along the way, you will see the extreme difference between the wonderful desert with their sparse vegetation (particularly in Joshua Tree National Park) and the densely wooded, cooler mountains that makes the idyllic location of Palm Springs.
The ride alone is worth it, as the cable car turns on the way up twice on its axis so that every passenger gets to enjoy the view in all directions. At the top of the mountains, there are many options, from short strolls to multi-day hiking with backpacks and tents. If you have a whole day available and enjoy walking, you should make your way to the summit of San Jacinto Mountain. A day should be sufficient if you bring food and water. Registration at the ranger station is required for this tour. Even during good weather, always pack warm clothing, because here the weather can quickly change. The way to the peak (10,834 ft.) is fairly easy down to the last few meters where you have to climb over rocks that are all easily accessible. However, one should wear appropriate footwear for walking. If you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a wonderful 360° view of Palm Springs.
Indian Canyons (Palm Canyon Hike)
The Indian Canyons is an enchanting desert oasis in California. When you visit Palm Springs, you should not miss a walk through at least one of the Palm Canyons. The whole area is managed by the Agua Caliente tribe. You’ll find gorgeous areas for hiking through the palm groves, often leading along to a stream and a waterfall. Hiking here is recommended even on hot days, as the palm trees often provide shade, but you should have enough water packed – this is a desert.
From the parking lot of the "Trading Post" starts the Palm Canyon Hike. You will walk through the largest collection of fan palms that exist in the world. The area is beautiful and you forget that you are in the desert. Sometimes you will want to pause because there are numerous photo opportunities on this very scenic hike.
Even more impressive and blessed with abundant vegetation is the Andreas Canyon where you can enjoy a short walk. Bring a picnic blanket and allow half a day for visiting the Indian Canyons.
The Indian Canyons consist of the Palm and Andrew Murray Canyon and lie on an Indian reservation. Indian Canyon is the easiest and most convenient canyon to explore in Palm Springs and is lined with a full ten kilometers of palm trees. The lush greenery is in stark contrast to the bare walls of the canyon. Especially in the spring when it is not too hot for walking, the Canyon is an authentic nature experience. Since the trail is lined with countless palm trees, it runs for the most part in the shade. Summers can be very hot, so spring and autumn is the best time to visit the canyon.
Palm Springs Air Museum
The Palm Springs Air Museum holds a spectacular exhibit that runs through the history of aviation in the Second World War. The historical context and explanations are very exhaustive. The exceptional aircrafts are displayed on the three hangars in the museum where you can see samples of the B17 Mustang Spitfire and the Mustang Spitfire Dakota. These planes are still functioning and in good condition.
To better understand the exhibits, there is a group of war veterans explaining their experience and the technical details of the aircraft. Besides the visual and film images, there is a well-stocked library as well as books on aviation and newspapers of the time. The museum is impressive and not to be missed when in Palm Springs.
The Palm Canyon near Palm Springs is a wonderful haven for hiking and walking. In the middle of summer, it is sweltering here, but this is an excellent place for walks until late spring. There is something here for everyone, and it offers challenging trails as well as very moderate walks. The further one goes into the canyon, the quieter it is. It is a tourist excursion in a natural environment. In any case, take water. Hiking in the Palm Canyon is a beautiful alternative to hanging around the pool - and easy to reach, doable in half a day. The landscape is very impressive, as the dense greenery offers a high contrast to the desert. The map, trail routes, and other tips can be found at the tourist office.
The Palm Canyons lie on the outskirts of Palm Springs in the middle of the desert landscape. At the entrance, you pay the fee and receive a card with the various hiking trails as well as recommendations for the day. You can opt for the path to the little waterfall called the "Westfork Falls" and then the long walk to the Palm Canyon Trail. For the latter, you must walk down to the oasis. The scenery is really amazing. In the middle of the desert, you will find a palm forest. Due to the high amount of heat in this region, you need to bring sufficient water if you will take the trail. There are no restaurants along the canyon but at the trailhead there is a gift shop and Dixie toilets to answer the call of nature.
Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway
The Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway is not easy to find; it really is a "circle" where there are only two houses. Go to Google Maps before leaving, it will be easier to find with directions. The cost to visit his former residence in Palm Springs is $30 for a one and a half hour tour. Upon entrance, you will be greeted by a very sweet Priscilla look-alike who has only one desire: to bring you into the intimate life of Elvis. You can sit on his bed or on his huge sofa lounge or on the chair near the kitchen or on the toilet, the bidet or in the whirlpool. Priscilla will even let you smell the perfume worn by Elvis named “Hai Karate”. This home is where Elvis and Priscilla spent their honeymoon on May 1, 1967. Elvis had rented this house from the year 1966-1967. The house is decorated in a 60s theme and contains the latest gadgets of the time (like a blender, central vacuum, and the jukebox). On entering the huge receiving room (shaped like a half moon), one can only feel privileged that they have been in the same room as Elvis.
Elvis loved sunbathing by the swimming pool and there is access to his favorite spot and a picture that shows exactly where he was sitting. You can take the photos that you want (but no video) and Priscilla will be kind enough to join and pose for pictures with you. A visit to his Honeymoon Hideaway gives guests a glimpse into his private life. As a bonus, you can end the tour by seeing the back of the house of Marilyn Monroe, its southern neighbor (on Rose Street). It is said that after a year of living here, Elvis left because of their neighbor Rona, a paparazzi who spied on him all the time. After leaving, he decided to rent a house at 845 Chino Canyon (cannot be visited). For $30, it is an enjoyable afternoon with Priscilla and the tour is well worth it.
A visit to the Tahquitz Canyon is a must if you are interested in the history of the Native Americans and their legacy. The easy trail follows a stream and leads to a small waterfall. The canyon itself is accessed by a 3 km long hiking trail that runs through the desert without any source of shade. In late April, the temperature can rise up to about 40 degrees, so sufficient sunscreen and drinking water is required. The highlight of the trail is a waterfall and a small oasis at the end of the canyon. Overall, it is worth seeing while in the city of Palm Springs.
Coachella Valley Preserve
The Coachella Valley Preserve provides a beautiful view of the desert and highly variable temperatures from hot to cold and sometimes sandstorms or high winds. It is here where the internationally known festival Coachella Festival takes place. It is highly recommended to visit the city and go to the festival.
Most guests loved the views of the desert along with the extreme temperature of 45 degrees. Before the peak season of the festival, it pays to shop around and book very early.
The Village Festival takes place every Thursday evening and is held on the main shopping street in Palm Springs. The road is closed to traffic and is lined with many beautiful objects. You’ll also find really good street music performances and other highlights which you must not miss while exploring Palm Springs.
Palm Springs is an attractive city. Its greens, pools, spas and dance club draw in a vast array of vacationers from seniors, trendy people and families who love the hiking adventures on its peaks. Additionally, the encompassing Coachella Valley has bloomed with a variety of activities to do, from the Living Desert to the Coachella Valley Preserve. However in the event that you are looking for a genuine Palm Springs experience, you ought to take it simple, whether by the pool or in a popular bar. This city is known for drawing in the biggest Hollywood celebrities that want to live or vacation in its beautiful surroundings. In short, you will love a visit to this California city, it is an incredible blend of fun and relaxing travel where even an ordinary traveler can enjoy life to the fullest.
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