The quickest and warmest getaway in California is easily Palm Springs. Endless pools to sunbathe at, lively restaurants at night, and everything you could dream of in terms of design makes it a sure bet. You can escape into the warm desert, where the sun heats everything up. There’s always a buzz and this hip guide to Palm Springs will show you just exactly what you can indulge in.
Shadowed by the San Jacinto Mountains, the unspoiled landscape of the towering palm trees and cacti set the scene for Palm Springs. There’s plenty to do here, and whether you’re looking to chill and get a dose of Vitamin D or head to a lively pool party, you can do both.
Be sure to visit The Official Greater Palm Springs for more information during your visit!
The Hip Guide to Palm Springs
What to Know Before Visiting Palm Springs
- Direct flights are easily available into Palm Springs airport.
- Getting around town can be done one of two ways. A rental car would be ideal for those looking to explore the valley, but if you’re planning on being at the pool, Lyft or Uber are easily available.
- It’s good to be sure your accommodations have a pool, so you have somewhere to cool off.
Where to Stay in Palm Springs
- ARRIVE Palm Springs: Located near the heart of the city, this hip hotel is teeming with things to do. With a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and ice cream shop, you literally never have to leave. The rooms are cozy, won’t break the bank, and it’s the perfect escape for the weekend.
Browse all Palm Springs Hotels here:
Where to Eat in Palm Springs
- Reservoir: Come here for brunch and find a spot on the patio with a view of the pool, mountains, and palm trees. Their breakfast is to die for, with a menu constantly changing!
- Draughtsman: A gastropub with draft beers on tap, comfort food, and an outdoor game area. This spot is on the same block as ARRIVE!
- Customs Coffee: Come here to get caffeinated in this eclectic, travel-inspired café serving Joshua Tree Coffee beans.
- King’s Highway: A bohemian, roadside diner with Stumptown coffee beans. This is a favorite for those looking to experience a classically, updated diner.
- Rooster & Pig: Come here to enjoy Vietnamese-American fusion in a bright, cheerful space. Sometimes the line can be long, but trust me, it’s worth it.
- Counter Reformation: “A shrine to great wine” at the famous The Parker Palm Springs hotel, where an underground bar serves wine and small plates.
- Workshop Kitchen: A sleek, stylish eatery with a beautiful outdoor courtyard and communal table. After multiple visits to Palm Springs, we finally ate here and it was incredible.
- The Barn Kitchen: Sourced at the local farmers’ markets, the ingredients are freshly served in this beautiful space for lunch.
- Truss & Twine: A beautiful space paired with great cocktails and desert cuisine.
What to Do in Palm Springs
- Head to the Palm Springs Art Museum: Multiple floors of art, ranging from modern to American, you could spend hours here. Don’t forget to stop in the sculpture gardens too, and Thursdays after 4 pm are free entry!
- Soar to new heights on the Palm Springs Aerial Tram: Take a ride above the valley, and here to hike some incredible trails.
- Take an architecture tour: If you’re looking for a dose of mid-century modern, this is the place to be. Many tours are available pending what you’d like to see.
- Ride bikes around the neighborhood: One of the best ways to see the town is by bike, and the houses are incredible to take a peek at. ARRIVE includes bikes with your stay, so you can easily get out to explore!
- Shop local: Plenty of boutiques to explore along the main drag, with a favorite being Thick as Thieves for curated goods!
- Pick up a cactus and explore the botanical gardens at Moorten’s: This is a must-do, plus did you know you can fly home with a small plant!
- Hit a pool party: Palm Springs is full of pool parties to attend, like at the Ace Hotel, Saguaro Hotel, and ARRIVE!
Save this post for later on Pinterest
PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: