Palm Springs, California
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
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?
The San Andreas Fault
Just around the corner from Palm Springs is the San Andreas Fault...
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
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...
Learn More About Palm Springs - Featured Destinations
- City of Palm Springs
The official site for all things Palm Springs.
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Ascend 2.5 miles high above the hot valley to see an unforgettable view of the valley, along with great hiking and dining.
- Palm Springs Art Museum
A great variety of modern art and older art are available for viewing in downtown Palm Springs.
- The Living Desert
Coachella Valley's excellent zoo right in Palm Desert.
- The Shops of El Paseo
A directory of shops and things to do on El Paseo in Palm Desert.
- Indian Canyons
The Indian Canyons of Palm Springs are an amazing sightseeing and hiking opportunity not to be missed!
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
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.