If you follow along on my Instagram, you know I recently got back from a long weekend trip to Palm Springs. This was my first time ever visiting Palm Springs and I completely fell in love with it (but don’t we all fall in love with the places we vacation to lol). Getting way ahead of myself here but I may have to retire there! Josh and I were actually talking on our trip that this may be a go-to spot when we’re looking to get away to some nice weather for a long weekend maybe twice a year or so since it’s just a short 2-3 hour flight away from us!
In case you missed it, I shared a vlog over on my YouTube channel here where I take you along on our trip, and wanted to round up some must-sees and things to do in Palm Springs here on the blog!
Josh and I stayed in Palm Springs for four days and I’d say that was the perfect amount of time to spend in the area and was the perfect blend of adventure + relaxation in the sunny and warm weather.
Pro tip: I would definitely recommend renting a car if you can while visiting the area since everything is pretty spread out, especially if you’re staying in the towns surrounding Palm Springs to make it a little easier to get around. Of course, Uber is an option as well!
Where to Stay
- Rancho Mirage, CA
- La Quinta, CA
- The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa
- La Serena Villas (Palm Springs)
While the city of Palm Springs is a very cute town and happening place with tons to do, Josh and I actually weren’t super impressed with the hotel options in the area and we actually found a resort in Rancho Mirage that ended up being the perfect place for the kind of vacation we were looking for.
I’d say Palm Springs is more “city” so the hotels typically aren’t very resort-style and are moreso just their own building. Once you venture out of Palm Springs into the Palm Desert/Rancho Mirage/La Quinta areas there are a ton more resort options with more space. We stayed at The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa which was just a quick 15-minute drive away from Palm Springs and it was perfect!
Our resort was absolutely stunning all around and had a ton to offer, there was almost no need to leave the resort with how much there was to do! The resort is right on a golf course, there’s a nice walking/bike path, you can rent bikes at the hotel, they have tennis courts, basketball courts, a spa, a couple of pools to choose from (one having a large water slide), an arcade/bowling alley, restaurants, coffee/gift shop, event spaces, and more!
If you’re looking to stay in downtown Palm Springs, and willing to spend a bit more money, I’ve had friends stay at the La Serena Villas and have heard amazing things about this little resort and it’s absolutely beautiful and the perfect little oasis right in Palm Springs. It’s on my bucket list to stay there next time I’m in Palm Springs!
Things to Do
There are so many fun things to do in and around Palm Springs but some of my favorites include:
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
- Palm Springs VillageFest
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Palm Springs Art Museum
- Downtown Shops
I have to admit, I was so nervous to do the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway given my fear of heights but it really wasn’t that bad and was actually a very cool experience! The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is essentially a large gondola that can fit quite a bit of people (I think the one we were on had about 20ish people and we all fit just fine) and it takes you up San Jacinto Peak, about a 7,000 ft elevation gain in just ten minutes! One thing about that experience that was so crazy to me was the difference in temperature from the bottom compared to the top. Being in the desert in the late spring in 100-degree weather, it was so shocking to go straight from 100-degree temps to 50 degrees at the top of San Jacinto, definitely pack layers accordingly! Once at the top, you get amazing views of the Coachella Valley, and there are some walking trails as well through the forest of the San Jacinto State Park, along with a restaurant and gift shop.
If you’re in the Palm Springs area on a Thursday evening, I highly recommend visiting VillageFest! It’s a large street fair that takes place every Thursday evening and pretty much takes up the whole main street in downtown Palm Springs. There are so many booths to check out! One of my personal favorites was Cathy’s Cuffs – she had the cutest assortment of ear cuffs and ear accessories and I ended up buying a few!
Another must-do in Palm Springs is Joshua Tree National Park which is about a 45-minute to an hour drive away from Palm Springs! You can view my Joshua Tree blog post here for all my recommendations on things to do in the park as well.
Restaurants to Try
- Pinzimini (located at the Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa)
- Las Casuelas Terraza
- In-N-Out (of course!)
- Cafe La Jefa
I was so blown away by the number of restaurants to choose from in downtown Palm Springs that I almost wish we would have stayed longer just so we could try more of the restaurants lol! One of my personal favorites was Las Casuelas Terraza – it was honestly probably the best Mexican food I’ve ever had and was a really cool restaurant atmosphere with its open patio seating, beautiful architecture, and live music.
Another restaurant I personally enjoyed was the Italian restaurant, Pinzimini, located at our hotel in Rancho Mirage!
Where to Take Pics for the ‘Gram:
I will say, Palm Springs is probably the most Instagram-worthy city I’ve ever seen so there is definitely no shortage of places you can stop and take a quick pic for the gram, literally any street corner or neighborhood street is so cute and aesthetic! But some of my recommendations are:
- Palm Springs Windmills (Indian Canyon Drive)
- The Saguaro Inn
- Joshua Tree
- The iconic house with the pink door (located at 1100 E Sierra Way, Palm Springs)
Pin this to your Pinterest board to save for later!
Thanks for reading,