Best Places to visit in Palm Springs this winter
Chasing the sunshine to enjoy the outdoors
This winter, instead of complaining about the cold weather and wishing the season was over; why not embrace winter somewhere sunny, like Palm Springs, California. Forget scraping off the ice of your car’s windshield or adding another layer of clothing to stay warm. Leave your earmuffs at home and head down to Palm Springs where the average winter temperature is 71 degrees. Air Canada and Westjet offer nonstop flights into the Palm Springs International Airport.
With gorgeous weather and unparalleled views, Palm Springs is a hiker’s paradise or simply anyone wanting to enjoy the outdoors. There are literally hundreds of trails all across the Coachella Valley to explore.
There are a number of easy hikes through Indian Canyons. Pick up a free map when at the main gate. If you want to start out easy, head directly for West Fork Falls via a short downward trail. This hike is short, easy and the payoff is a beautiful waterfall crashing through the desert palms and boulders at the end. The water levels vary depending on the time of year.
A portion of Palm Canyon Trail is similarly simple. It will take you past Palm Canyon Creek, with its array of majestic palms clinging to the banks. Or hike the full route (more moderate) to see more sights including the Stone Pools.
Hikes on Seven Sisters Waterfall trail or the Andreas Canyon Loop are also on the easy side. There are dozens of trails of varying intensity in the park. Drop in on the Trading Post and chat with a ranger to get some recommendations.
Palm Springs Art Museum Trail
This trail gets its name from the trailhead being located in the north end of the Palm Springs Art Museum parking lot. This is a good uphill hike but the payoff is stunning views and a picnic area on the mountain where you can eat lunch and enjoy the sights. This hike is about two hours round trip. This trail continues and becomes part of the Cactus to Clouds hike, which is an ultra-advanced hike that only pros should attempt.
Araby Trail past Bob Hope’s House
If you have ever seen the famous former home of entertainer Bob Hope in Palm Springs, you will know the giant domed structure sitting atop a hill is a sight to behold. While the property is private and off limits to the public, there is a way to get a closer look.
Hiking the Araby Trail will give you decent views. The hike starts near a residential area (access to the trail head is just off East Palm Canyon Drive) but then moves out into the desert. Be prepared for sun by taking water, sunscreen, a hat and fully charged cell phone.
While the trail scenery is fairly rocky and sandy, the views are stunning. Plus, if you are keen to spot celebrity homes, peering over at Mr. Hope’s former abode can’t be beat.
City stepping – stroll a neighborhood or Downtown
Of course it’s worth noting you can put on your comfy shoes and stroll through any one of the beautiful neighborhoods in Palm Springs to gaze at mid-century modern homes and beautiful yards. From the Movie Colony neighborhood, to ritzy Vista Las Palmas or the Racquet Club Estates where you will find the rare Wexler Steel Houses.
Downtown and uptown are perfect for a relaxing stroll without the hectic traffic one encounters in most other city centers. Experience the revitalized downtown with stylish hotels, fashionable restaurants, new chic shops and boutiques, fun entertainment venues as well as welcoming public spaces for gathering, celebrating and relaxing.
Planning your sunny trip now will give you something to look forward to as fall and winter approach. Whether you are into hiking and outdoor adventure or simply want to soak up some rays lounging in the pool, Palm Springs is your destination.