When it comes to things to do in Palm Springs, there’s something for everyone. From outdoor activities to cultural attractions, this desert oasis has plenty of exciting things to explore. Depending on the season you visit, you can enjoy different activities and take advantage of the changing landscape.
Winter (November – February)
Winter in Palm Springs is the perfect time of year to escape the cold. With mild temperatures ranging from mid-70s (F) during the day to upper 40s at night, this climate is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, biking and golfing. Spend your day exploring Joshua Tree National Park or take a hot air balloon ride over the stunning Coachella Valley landscape at sunset. Another popular activity is biking around the 20-mile Palm Springs Citywide Loop, where you can ride through downtown and past historic homes owned by movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Winter is also a great time to take in cultural events in the area, like the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January and Modernism Week in February.
Due to the mild temperatures creating a comfortable environment for enjoying outdoor activities, winter is considered the high season in Palm Springs. But with so many things to do, you will have no problem getting away from the crowds.
Spring (March – May)
If you visit in spring, temperatures begin to rise and wildflowers start blooming. With sunny days and average temperatures between 55 – 85° (F), this time of year is ideal for enjoying outdoor activities any time of day. Explore the area’s natural beauty on foot, bike or horseback without too much worry about extreme heat. Joshua Tree National Park is a very popular area to visit during this time of year, as the Joshua trees and millions of wildflowers bloom between March and May, coloring the desert landscape with brilliant blossoms of yellow, purple, white and pink. The comfortably cool evenings invite visitors to spend their time dining outdoors and wandering through the lively entertainment district of downtown Palm Springs.
Spring can also be considered the high season, especially when Coachella Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Country Music Festival take place in April. These vibrant festivals bring thousands of visitors and an exciting atmosphere to the area, but visitors should be aware of the impact it can have on accommodation availability and pricing.
Summer (June – August)
The summer months bring hot temperatures, but don’t let that stop you from having fun in the sun! Mid-day temperatures can reach 100 – 110° (F), so visitors should leave strenuous activities for the early hours. Early golf tee times, or hiking one of the many surrounding trails at sunrise are popular options. This is also a great time of year to head up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, where the temperatures at the top of the San Jacinto Mountains National Monument will be 25 degrees cooler while you enjoy expansive views of the surrounding valley.
During the middle of the day, head to the pool for some relaxation, or enjoy one of the indoor activities in Palm Springs. Admire the modern art showcased at the Palm Springs Art Museum or stop into one of the many galleries and mid-century modern antique stores on Palm Canyon Drive. Temperatures cool down to the mid-60s in the evening, perfect for having dinner on an outdoor patio, especially during the annual Restaurant Week, held in June.
Summer is the low season in Palm Springs, so visitors will enjoy lower prices and fewer crowds.
Fall (September – October)
In fall, temperatures cool off again, making this shoulder season one of the most popular times to visit Palm Springs. Average high temperatures during the day range from 100° in September to 80° in October, with temperatures typically dropping 30 degrees after the sun sets.
These conditions make exploring the outdoors a very appealing experience. During the day, visitors can hike or take an ATV tour through Joshua Tree National Park, or spend the day fishing and hiking in the uniquely beautiful Lake Cahuilla Park. Those looking for a less rustic experience with nature may appreciate the Moorten Botanical Garden, an acre-sized exhibit of over 3,000 species of desert plants. Visitors looking for a laid-back afternoon activity will enjoy many options for wine tasting or sampling craft beers at the many local wineries and taprooms. In early November, the Palm Springs Gay Pride Festival brings music, parades and a party atmosphere to Palm Springs and the surrounding valley.
No matter what time of year you visit Palm Springs, there are plenty of things to do and see in this unique desert destination. The area’s culture, history and natural beauty create an unforgettable experience in any season.