Palm Springs Travel Guide | What to do and where to stay in Palm Springs, California

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Editor’s Note: We encourage our readers to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for up-to-date information on how to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs has long been known as Hollywood’s playground. From the annual Coachella Music Festival (returning April 2022) to the resort’s scenic pools, Palm Springs is a place to see and see. But there is so much more to the city and the surrounding Coachella Valley than sunshine and glamor. Palm Springs has natural hot springs and an abundance of wellness rituals ranging from alternative therapies to luxurious spa treatments. Art and architecture are also essential in the region, attracting and inspiring artists and designers with the light of the desert. Modernism Week and Desert X are just two of the large-scale arts events Palm Springs hosts, bringing new ideas to the table every year.

Greater Palm Springs encompasses nine cities. In addition to Palm Springs and Coachella, there are Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio. If you’re still looking for more beauty and excitement, the spectacular Joshua Tree National Park (you might have heard of it!) Is just a 45-minute drive away. Whatever your exploring, we’ve rounded up what you can’t miss below.


Admire the breathtaking view of the desert

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Your first stop in Palm Springs should be the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which offers visitors incredible views of the entire area. The streetcar follows the cliffs of Chino Canyon to Mount San Jacinto State Park. Once you get to Mountain Station, at 8,516 feet above sea level, you can hike or just sit on the deck and take in the views. The temperature will drop considerably, so bring a sweater (even in summer!) And look for snow in winter.

Discover the influences of art and design of the region

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Inside the beautiful Palm Springs Art Museum, you’ll find modern and contemporary paintings, photographs, and sculpture, as well as a theater that hosts performances, lectures, and films. The museum offers a glimpse of the characteristic architecture of the region, featuring the modernist house architect Albert Frey designed for himself in 1963.

Eat delicious farm-to-table food

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The Workshop Kitchen + Bar has been awarded the James Beard Award for the design (restaurateurs remodeled a 90-year-old movie theater!), But it’s the food that will truly impress you. Workshop sources most of its ingredients from local farms within an hour of Palm Springs and turns them into tasty dishes. Try the Beets + Citrus with labne dates, mint and ras el hanout nuts in a Buddha hand dressing.

Stay at Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage

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The first inhabitants of Palm Springs were the ancestors of the current Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The Native American tribe is still an important part of the Palm Springs community. The tribe runs Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage, a bustling hotel-casino with so much to do you might forget to leave the resort; spend your days lounging by the pool and your nights playing blackjack.

Buy in vintage shops

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Palm Springs is known for its quality boutiques, teeming with vintage stores and unique designer retailers. Palm Canyon Drive is a good starting point for browsing the Moroccan rugs, textiles and home accessories at Soukie Modern. El Paseo is another avenue to explore. Be sure to stop by The Body Deli for their fresh, small-batch beauty and skincare products.

Sip and savor at Comptoir Réforme

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They can’t actually turn water into wine at Counter Reformation, but the Catholic themed wine bar still looks miraculous. It offers eclectic wines by the glass from around the world, such as a Montevideo from Uruguay and an Areni from Armenia, accompanied by delicious small plates. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize any of the wines, let the bartender guide your pairings!

Pamper yourself in a top-notch spa

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Sunstone Spa has been ranked as the number one spa in California, so you can be sure your stay here will be a bliss! Try a massage with precious stone infused oils or a facial with marine collagen to feel a bit of peace.

Enjoy happy hour with cute dogs (yes, really!)

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Boozehounds is a restaurant and bar dedicated to dogs and their owners. Even if you don’t have a puppy with you, enjoy a cocktail on the large patio and watch the dogs play.

Explore the Parker and get this #Content

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The swoon-worthy Parker Palm Springs is a whimsical retreat with expansive grounds filled with shady hammocks, an adult lemonade stand, croquet pitch, and charming courtyards around every turn. To create an “Alice in Wonderland” atmosphere, the Parker even feeds wild rabbits to encourage them to frolic in the foliage of the estate.

Light and bright pack

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Before heading to the area, be sure to fill your suitcase with vibrant clothes in styles that will keep you cool. You will need a lot of swimwear as desert resort life revolves around the pool. In the evening, opt for silk dresses and bright accessories.

If you’ve fallen in love with Palm Springs, book a trip here.

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