When you think Palm Springs, maybe you think of golf vacations. Maybe you think of Hollywood glamour (and if you’re a TV buff, Lucy and Ethel’s trip there). Or, if you’re anything like us, you think Coachella. Palm Springs is not just any one of these things, it’s all of them and more. So, what should you do in Palm Springs? Let’s take a look…
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway / San Jacinto Mountain
Take a trip on the Aerial Tramway and get a great view of Palm Springs – no visit is complete without it! A great chance to get the iconic Palm Springs aerial pic you just know you want to make your new cover photo. Plus, spend a few hours at the top of the mountain, where there are kilometres of hiking trails, and a gourmet restaurant. Bring a jacket, it gets chilly at this altitude.
Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve
Here’s where you can get in touch with nature and chill out after an intense two weekends at Coachella. With the lush palm oases and high desert, you might actually feel like you’ve found a little slice of paradise. Feel free to hike and walk around, or take a covered wagon tour if you’re not feeling the physical activity.
L.A. might be where you assume all the celebrities are, but Palm Springs is well known for its famous residents. Take a guided tour and check out the once-homes of Elvis, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller, and even more. Classic Hollywood!
Big Wheel Bike Tours
The Earthquake Canyon Express – are you daring enough to take this challenge? Wheel downhill through multicoloured canyons on the San Andreas fault line. No worries if you didn’t bring a bike – you can rent one for the tour.
After you’ve checked out the Palm Springs Art Museum, take a 2km hike along the 310m steep Museum trail. If you choose, continue on to any one of the Skyline Trail (WARNING: for experienced climbers only!) or the North and South Lykken trails for a more intense climb. The best part? The trails are totally public and totally free, so take them on at your own leisure, whenever you please.
Fantasy Balloon Flights
Live out a fantasy and take a dreamy hour-long balloon ride above the Coachella Valley! Flights depart at dawn and travel with the wind (so magical!). When you land, you’ll get a continental breakfast and chilled champagne – a ballooning tradition, naturally.
Music, Arts, and Events
This is the big one, and let’s be real – probably the main reason you’re heading to Palm Springs. Coachella brings in some of the biggest names in music and so, so many smaller bands you’ll wish you’d heard of sooner. Passes go on sale in January with the festival happening across two weekends in April. So, act fast!
Dinah Shore Weekend
Men, this one’s not for you. Dinah Shore Weekend has become the annual lesbian getaway, with special events and entertainment planned throughout the weekend, happening in April.
Palm Springs International Film Festival
Love stargazing? Then you’ll want to be in Palm Springs come January. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the most anticipated events, drawing in tons of A-list celebs. Hundreds of indie films from around the world are also screened at the 11-day festival.
Palm Springs Restaurant Week
Over 100 restaurants in the Palm Springs / Coachella Valley area participate in this week-long celebration of all things FOOD! If you’re the kind of person who travels where their stomach leads them, you’ll want to be around in early June for this one.