Hey travelers! Welcome to my article on the 7 best things to do in Palm Springs. I’m Kiran Kaur – a financial analyst based in Los Angeles. I grew up in India and Hong Kong, and moved to California four years ago to pursue an MBA in finance. Traveling has always been an important part of my life.
It was a trip to Italy that first inspired my love of travel. I have always been a fashion enthusiast too, and I thought why not incorporate these hobbies into a profession? That is when I started my Instagram @kirankkaur.
Palm Springs – A Frequent Weekend Getaway
Palm Springs is a city that inspires me so much! I love the modern architecture and beautiful landscapes on offer there. Palm Springs is my frequent weekend getaway, actually – where I explore the downtown area, venture out to the Indian Canyons and check out the best restaurants.
This city is chill and it’s home to California’s best architecture. The vibe is calm and carefree. It’s the perfect blend of nature and sophistication. Palm Springs has newly renovated hotels and they are simply fun to be at.
The unique stays on Airbnb have so much art and aesthetics about them. Palm Springs is just a fun, laid back place to enjoy a sophisticated holiday. Also, the pool parties there are amazing! PS has the best pool parties and Hotel Saguaro is one famous place to experience them.
Favorite Place in Palm Springs: Windmills
I love each and every part of Palm Springs, but the most attractive feature to me is the windmills. They suddenly transport you to a different world. To get there is a bit of a task. However, the sunset would be the best time to go and check them out – this time makes for stunning photography.
7 Best Things To Do in Palm Springs
1. Explore Downtown Palm Springs
From amazing food to vintage boutiques, the downtown area in PS has so much to offer. It has one of a kind stores and boutiques, homegrown restaurants, art museums, walk of stars, ice cream shops and whatnot!
2. Discover the Neighborhoods of Palm Springs
Palm Springs neighborhoods are classy. You can even do a photoshoot in the streets there, of course not disrupting the residents as you do it. Modernism Week is the best time to explore the architecture of Palm Springs. If you are a lover of mid-century architecture, then PS is your place.
3. Surround yourself with Palm Trees at Indian Canyons
Just a little drive from the city will take you to this nature heaven. Surrounded by trees and a river running by the side, a picnic is heavenly on the brinks of the river. A 3.6 mile hike is also of interest to people. Check out the photo below to get a better idea of what the Indian Canyons look like.
4. Take Photos at the Palm Springs Windmills
When you just enter the city of Palm Springs, you will start to observe the big white windmills on the side of the road and it’s a heavenly lustre. That is my favorite place for photoshoots in PS, but keep in mind that it’s always windy there! Below is a photo that will make you fall in love with this place.
5. Try your Luck at the Various Casinos
Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley have introduced some new casinos and they are worth checking out if you’re into making a few cheeky bets.
6. Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in PS and it lands you at a fancy restaurant on the other side. I personally haven’t done this activity yet but I am looking forward to experiencing the tramway in winter.
7. Have an Adventure or Two at Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree National Park is an hour’s drive from Palm Springs. Joshua is so beautiful and relaxing. You can hike or simply enjoy a sunset because golden hour at the national park is magical and one of a kind!
Best Bars, Restaurants & Accommodation
My favorite place to have a drink is The High Bar in Kimpton Rowan. Enjoying the views with drinks is an experience in itself. Lulu California Bistro is another famous restaurant in the downtown area. PS is also home to many great Italian restaurants and my favorite one is called Il Corso.
The travel season affects the rates of hotels and Airbnb’s in PS. The city is very famous for its unique hotels and thus they can get very expensive at times. Below are a few accommodation spots I can highly recommend:
- Parker – one of my favorite hotels to enjoy a Mediterranean vibe.
- Saguaro Hotel – known for its pool parties, and you will experience a whole lot of vibrance and energy there.
- Kimpton Rowan – a sophisticated hotel situated in the heart of Palm Springs, the restaurant in the hotel has some good food and amazing drinks. The High Bar is the highlight for sure, you have to go!
- Airbnbs – I personally LOVE the Airbnb’s in Palm Springs because most of them have pools and they are dog friendly too.
Cherished Memories from Palm Springs
When I was in school I would often go to PS Starbucks to study, the one right in downtown. The energy, crowd and vibe is so full of life. You will always see smiling faces there. From a traveler’s point of view, I find the art installations in PS to be so unique. Each installation has a meaning behind it. In 2019, I happened to visit an installation by Pia Camil, Lover’s Rainbow.
The art was installed in two places – in the US and Mexico. Rainbow is a symbol of hope: “The art signalled a hope of development in Mexico and located in desert territory, the act of bending the rebar into the ground is a way to reinsert hope into the land”- Pia Camil (Camil, January 2019).
Need to Know Before you Go
The weather in PS is hotter than usual, so get yourself some good breathable clothing before you go. If you are an art lover, have your camera ready. Instead of visiting just one place, take a drive in the neighborhood, you will find so much beauty. Check the time of visiting PS, they usually have art installations in the summer and they are so good to see.