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Palm Springs, California

Updated on September 19, 2014

The Best Sightseeing Destinations in Palm Springs and Coachella Valley, California

The Coachella Valley of California is in a incredible place to plan a relaxing, warm getaway to a reliably sunny area of the west coast. It rains here only a handful of days of the year!

While it may not be directly on the beach, Palm Springs and all of Coachella Valley make up for that in hiking, sightseeing, relaxation, restaurants and pooltime. This arid region of California lies about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, and 150 miles west of Arizona. Here you'll find tips on what to see and do in this incredible desert community of Southern California.

What's Palm Springs Like?

Warm, sunny, dry desert paradise in Southern California

The Palm Springs area lies in the middle of the Mojave Desert of Southern California. The temperature in the winter months usually still stays in the 70s during the day, while night temperatures will be comfortable 50s. Summertime temperatures increase dramatically, peaking above 100 regularly in May, June, July, August, and September. Despite this seemingly hostile summer weather, the air is very dry and managable if you stay hydrated and use sunblock.

Palm Springs night shot by boscco.

Many different cacti line the desert floor, along with dry, colorful brush. The towns in the valley are completely surrounded by the San Jacinto Mountains and San Bernardino Mountains. No matter where you are in the valley, you'll always have a great view of mountains all around you. Natural running water is scarce, but can be seen in the wetter winter months from snow melt and rainfall. Wildlife varies from jack rabbits to coyotes, desert snakes to roadrunners.

Ascending the surrounding mountains around the valley will bring about very different landscapes and wildlife. The temperatures cool greatly in towns like Idyllwild, and offer a wide array of hiking, plant life, and wildlife.

Aerial Shot of Palm Springs Area

Aerial Shot of Palm Springs Area
Aerial Shot of Palm Springs Area

El Paseo

El Paseo
El Paseo

Summertime temperatures in the months of June, July, August and September regularly reach over 100. Is this your type of thing?

Is 100 degrees too hot, or nice?

See results

The San Andreas Fault

Just around the corner from Palm Springs is the San Andreas Fault...

Steaklovers Rejoice!

The Palm Springs area has some of the most well known and all around best steakhouses in the country. LG's Steakhouse, The Chop House, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, and The Falls are some of the areas most visited. They're all worth a try!

Just one of the Indian Canyons of Palm Springs

Just one of the Indian Canyons of Palm Springs
Just one of the Indian Canyons of Palm Springs

It's a Big State!

Not only is California the third largest state in the country, but it offers a huge variety of scenery and activities. In San Diego, you'll find pristine beaches, cool clubs and fun amusements. Los Angeles has some of the most famous sites in the world, like Hollywood and Santa Monica Pier. To the west, you'll find Coachella Valley and the Inland Empire. To the north lies coastal communities like Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, and Monterey, followed by San Francisco and the Bay Area. To the northeast lies Napa and Sonoma, the famed wine country region. Back on the coastline, Redwoods shoot to the sky. On the Nevada border, you can find Lake Tahoe, which isn't too far from Yosemite National Park. Further south is Death Valley, the hottest place in North America. Each of these sites offer days and days of sightseeing that you'll definitely need a good amount of information for...

A Greenhouse Cactarium in Moorten's Botanical Garden

A Greenhouse Cactarium in Moorten's Botanical Garden
A Greenhouse Cactarium in Moorten's Botanical Garden

Where is it?

Palm Springs is only 100 miles east of Los Angeles, 142 miles north of San Diego, and 4 hours west of Phoenix. It has its own International Airport, or you can fly into LAX or San Diego International Airport and drive there.

East African Crowned Crane, found at the Living Desert Zoo

East African Crowned Crane, found at the Living Desert Zoo
East African Crowned Crane, found at the Living Desert Zoo

Palm Springs Aerial Museum Memorial Day Flower Drop

Palm Springs Aerial Museum Memorial Day Flower Drop
Palm Springs Aerial Museum Memorial Day Flower Drop

Did you pack your sweatshirt?

If you're heading up the mountains, expect the temperature to drop anywhere from 10-30 degrees! The higher you go, the cooler it will get. Expect snow if you're hiking on some of the taller mountains, along with some muddy conditions after rainfall and during the winter.

California's Small Towns

There are many beautiful towns within California. This book is an excellent photographic example of some of these cool towns, some which are more well known, while some are hidden California gems.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow great lense very detailed

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      9 years ago from So Cal

      Great lens, I used to hike Tahquitz Canyon. Well done.

    • missbat profile image


      9 years ago

      I always love driving through Palm Springs when I fly down to visit friends in Indio. Such a beautiful place! Great lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great charming. Good details and picture to the topic. I love your lens very much. So I right back to your lens.

      Thanks for sharing by comment.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      I see the weather in Palm Springs is a balmy 82 degrees today!

    • Shorebirdie profile image


      10 years ago from San Diego, CA

      What an excellent lens! I shall add this to my list of favorites.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great job on the lens. I like visiting Palm Springs. It's fabulous in April.

    • jolou profile image


      10 years ago

      Love your lens. Palm Springs is a beautiful place.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      11 years ago

      Nice job... I love Palm Springs! Welcome to All Things Travel.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      11 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      This is great, if I find my way out there, I'm reviewing this lens before I go!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      11 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great lens! I went to Palm Springs for a business meeting a few years back. Great place to hold a winter meeting!

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 

      11 years ago from Austin, Texas

      A hearty SquidAngel Blessing for this gorgeous lens! 5*s and fav'd.

    • GlobalOpps profile image

      Steve & Carol 

      11 years ago from San Marcos, CA

      Way to go Kiwi, another great addition to the "Best Places to Visit in California" Group. Keep it up!

    • sisterra profile image


      11 years ago

      Great lens!

    • ecovicki profile image


      11 years ago

      Nice lens! I saw you on the Stores board.


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