Ah, Palm Springs. It has the ability to transform vacation into a full-time job centered around relaxation. The pace of life is slower. Rush hour is nearly nonexistent. The locals are incredibly friendly. If your goal is to chill out, zone out (and get a killer tan), this is the place for you.
The initial draw to Palm Springs is usually an event or a trendy hotel but there’s so much more to this desert city beyond the glam and kitsch. Today, I want to show you a different view — the Palm Springs that exists beyond the main thoroughfare. This side of Palm Springs is quieter and full of exotic foliage. The midcentury modern homes are so perfectly preserved it can feel as if you’ve walked onto a movie set. This is the Palm Springs I know and love.
10 Palm Springs Travel Tips
Finally, I wanted to share a few travel tips to make the most of your time and budget in Palm Springs.
1. Flights into Palm Springs are very expensive since it’s such a specific destination. It’s much cheaper to fly into Los Angeles, take a shuttle from LAX to a rental car place and drive into Palm Springs. It’s about a 2 hour drive in light traffic and your ticket and car combined will still probably cost less.
2. If you drive to Palm Springs, you can stop at the awesome Cabazon Dinosaurs on the way. Who doesn’t want their photo taken in front of a gigantic T-Rex?!
3. Hotels like the Ace are the go-to hotspots but also very overpriced. My trick is to stay at The Curve Palm Springs which is 1/4 of the price and then walk the 3 doors down to the Ace for drinks and dinner.
4. If you do need a cab, I highly recommend Yellow Cab Of the Desert. If Steve is available, request him! He’s a Palm Springs native and knows where all the best stuff is — he once drove me past Frank Sinatra’s legendary house!
5. While the trendy restaurants and shops are lined up along Palm Canyon Drive, the real exploration happens outside of this very long strip. My method is to drive to a new neighborhood each morning and walk Rocky. You get to see how the residents actually live and honestly, anything is possible. Last time we were in town, Joey and I were walking through a neighborhood at 7 am and the next thing we knew, we were getting a tour of a resident’s condo and checking out his art collection!
6. There are some great under the radar tourist attractions like Moorten Botanical Garden. Established in 1938, it’s full of more than 3,000 exotic desert plants.
7. If you’re on the hunt for the best possible hotel deals (and you’d like to book in advance), I’ve found them on Easy Click Travel. If you’re a little more adventurous and willing to roll the dice, download Hotel Tonight!
8. If you prefer to prepare your own food, there’s a great Trader Joe’s a few minutes from Palm Springs in Cathedral City. We always stop by to stock up on bottled water and snacks when we get into town.
9. If you’re searching for a great restaurant, LuLu California Bistro is the place. I’ve been there with groups of 50 and I’ve also been there with my vegan husband and dog and no matter what, there’s something on the menu for everyone. The service has always been spot-on and if you bring your pet, they can seat you along the outside patio.
10. If you want to get different perspective of town (and some great exercise), there are many bike rental places. I rented mine from Bike Palm Springs Rentals and quickly made my way through the city. Need some ideas on where to go? Check out Bicycle Palm Springs.
Palm Springs has so much to offer and I hope this post gives you some new ideas for your stay!