relaxing by pool

Plan A Warm-Weather Getaway to Palm Springs!

Heather Taylor - October 26, 2021

Have Some Fun in the Desert Sun!

golf course by mountains

As chilly fall weather sets in around the country, we’re left dreaming about warm-weather getaways. There are plenty of fun things to do in Palm Springs in the winter, along with a healthy dose of warm, sunny weather to go along with it. Perhaps it’s time you visited this desert paradise?

When it comes to things to do in Palm Springs this winter, your options are nearly endless. Whether you want to enjoy breathtaking desert views at Joshua Tree National Park, soak up art and architecture at the Palm Springs Art Museum & Architectural Design Center, or relax poolside amidst beautiful desert scenery, you’re in for the getaway of a lifetime. 

It is located within walking distance of some of the top things to do in Palm Springs, including the famed Palm Springs Art Museum. Warm weather is waiting for you – book your Palm Springs getaway today!

western architecture

10 Best Things to do in Palm Springs

Though Palm Springs is a popular year-round destination, there’s little doubt that winter is one of the best times of year to visit the desert.  There are an incredible array of things to do in Palm Springs throughout the year, but the weather is perfect in the winter. 

Winter weather ranges from cool and crisp in Joshua Tree National Park to warm and cozy, perfect for poolside lounging in Palm Springs.  But that’s just the beginning.  There is an incredible variety of things to do in Palm Springs, no matter the weather. Here are some of our favorites!

  1. Immersing yourself in the arts is one of the best things to do in Palm Springs this winter. Visit the Palm Springs Art Museum, the nearby Architecture, and Design Center, followed by a trip through the art galleries in downtown Palm Springs.
  2. If you can’t be in Palm Springs for Modernism Week (February 2022), you can still enjoy the Mid-Century Modern architecture that made this area famous on this self-guided tour.
  3. With over 300 days of sunny weather each year, it should be no surprise that Palm Springs is a world-class golfing destination. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Palm Springs. Here’s a great guide to golf courses in the area. 
  4. The shopping is always good in Greater Palm Springs! Head to El Paseo in Palm Desert for upscale shops and boutiques, browse the waterfront shops at The River Mall at Rancho Mirage, enjoy the quaint charms of Old Town La Quinta or navigate your way through the Uptown Design District in Palm Springs.  
  5. Take a hike! Winter is the perfect time to get outside and explore! There are many outdoorsy things to do in Palm Springs in the winter, but hiking at Indian Canyons is easily one of our favorites.
  6. If you’re in town in early January, plan to attend the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Not only is it an excellent opportunity to attend film screenings and related presentations, but it’s also prime for celebrity spotting.
  7. If you want to cool off while in Palm Springs, head to the top of the mountains to San Jacinto State Park via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.  Taking this ride is one of the most beautiful things to do in Palm Springs. The views from the top are breathtaking.
  8. Head to the Palm Springs Air Museum, which showcases a variety of World War II and Korea- and Vietnam-era combat aircraft.
  9. There is an impressive collection of desert cacti and other desert plants at the Moorten Botanical Garden. You can even take some home with you from their nursery if you feel so inclined. 
  10. Head to Joshua Tree National Park, where you’ll find plenty of unique desert flora and fauna, beautiful hikes to take, and an exquisite night sky that is perfect for stargazing. It’s one of the top-rated things to do in Palm Springs, and we’ll talk about it in more detail below. Just be sure to pack layers, as the park can be cold in the winter!
joshua tree

A Day at Joshua Tree National Park

We mentioned it above, but visiting Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most popular things to do in Palm Springs, and for a good reason. A visit to this park is breathtaking.

The untamed desert landscapes at Joshua Tree National Park are home to an exciting variety of plants and animals, with dramatic landscapes that have been sculpted by centuries of wind and rain. Joshua Tree National Park is only about an hour outside Palm Springs and is more than worth the trip. 

If you’re going to spend a single day in Joshua Tree National Park, we recommend starting at the West entrance and continuing through to the South entrance. There’s a lot to see as you make the journey, but here are seven highlights we don’t think you should miss. 

  1. Hidden Valley is home to over 8000 climbing routes, making Joshua Tree a world-famous destination for rock climbers.  If you’d instead not scale boulders, the Hidden Valley Trail is a moderate 1-mile loop through these incredible rocks.
  2. Next, take the Lost Horse Mine Trail, which will lead you to a well-preserved gold mine, sweeping views into Pleasant Valley, and burnt Joshua trees.  
  3. After your hike, relax and take in the views at Keys View, the highest point in the park. You’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea.
  4. From there, head to the Jumbo Rocks area, which is home to one of the most popular and photographed rocks in the park, Skull Rock. It’s easily accessible for a quick photo just off the road.
  5. Keep driving south, and you’ll find yourself on Pinto Basin Road. Make sure to look around, as the landscapes will change before your eyes.  The Mojave Desert merges into the Colorado Desert, where cholla cacti replace Joshua trees. The large boulders smooth out into the rolling hills of the Little San Bernardino Mountains.
  6. Visit the Cholla Cactus Garden. It’s called one of the most dangerous hikes in the park, but certainly not because of its strenuous nature – be sure to avoid the spines on the Teddy Bear Cholla!
  7. Finally, stop at Cottonwood Springs Oasis before leaving the park.  It is one of the most unique ecosystems in the park and the perfect way to wrap up your day at Joshua Tree National Park.

As you make the drive back to Palm Springs, reflecting on your day in this beautiful paradise, you’ll quickly realize why this is one of the most popular things to do in Palm Springs. We hope you enjoy this and so much more when you visit our Select Registry member property this winter. 

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