A week in Palm Springs is plenty of time to see and do just about everything, but where do you begin? This popular vacation destination has so much to explore, from world-championship golfing to some of the best shopping in the country, along with plenty of culture and more. Palm Springs has long been a popular destination for the likes of the rich and famous, the notable and noteworthy, and those who want to experience just a glimpse of that lifestyle for a week or weekend.
In the summer months, the heat is generally too much for most people, so things are pretty quiet. However, once things cool off in the fall, the town beckons visitors with golfing, an amazing food scene, and stunning midcentury homes that you can book for vacation rentals or tour as part of the Historic Register. While most people will tell you that a week is too long to stay in Palm Springs, residents beg to differ. After all, just check out all that there is to see and do in our sample itinerary below.
Day One: Relax and Settle In
While some people like to hit the ground running, It’s always a good idea to plan the first day light. That way, you have some leeway if there are travel snafus or if you just end up being more tired than you expected upon arrival. Consider getting settled into your accommodation, and then taking a short stroll through town to get a quick lay of the land and find something to eat. If you can, end the day with a drink on the patio or by the pool for that true Palm Springs feel.
Day Two: Shop ’til You Drop
Shopping is one of the biggest draws to the area, and even locals will rave about their options for perusing the racks and finding the best deals. You’ll find local boutiques and stores, along with plenty of art galleries and antique stores lining Palm Canyon Drive. Whether you want to window shop or you’re considering buying some new pieces for your home, the day of shopping will be well-rounded when you explore all of the great midcentury modern pieces of art, furniture, and décor.
Day Three: Golf and More
Now that you’ve gotten settled and gotten the shopping bug out of your system, check out all the activities in the area. If you’re a golfer, Palm Springs is home to some of the best championship golfing in the country. If not, check out the hiking, biking, and even stargazing that are available in and around the Palm Springs area.
For a truly unique experience, take the two-mile loop hike through Tahquitz Canyon, which leads to a hidden waterfall flowing 50 feet down from the rocks. This hike passes through the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians reservation, so there’s an admission fee to get to the falls of $12.50. This money is used to keep the trail maintained and in good condition. There are also guided hikes available if you prefer not to go alone.
Pro Tip: If you visit during the warmer months, take in hikes and outdoor excursions in the morning before the heat gets too unbearable. Sometimes, it’s too hot to be outside in the afternoon sun and you’ll be better suited to exploring indoors.
Day Four: Cultural Exploration
Palm Springs is also a cultural Mecca, from the Midcentury homes to the art museums and other places to explore. This is easily an entire day, and maybe two if you’re really into the history and culture of the region. You can also check out the Palm Springs Air Museum and feed a giraffe or ride a camel at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens. The Moorten Botanical Garden should also be on your list, as it dates back to the 1930s and although it’s only an acre, it is home to over 3,000 desert plants.
Day Five: Brunch and the Tramway
Why not start your day in true Palm Springs style with a patio brunch that includes cocktails? You’re probably already starting to feel like a local, and with great places like Wilma & Frieda’s, Lulu’s California Bistro, and Cheeky’s, you’ll be on your way to a great local brunch in no time at all. The dining in Palm Springs is known around the world and if you’re willing to fight the crowds or can go during a less busy time, brunch is a must.
Once you’re finished, head over to the Aerial Tramway. A lot of people avoid it by force of habit simply because it seems so “touristy”, but it’s popular with visitors for a reason. The rotating car will take you up over the Coachella Valley, to the mountaintop restaurant and café, or for a hike into the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains.
Be Sure to Check out the Spas
Since Palm Springs is known as a relaxation and rejuvenation destination, it is full of wellness spas, massage services, and other ways to relax and unwind while you’re enjoying the beautiful weather of the area. Whether you visit the local hot springs or just book a relaxing massage away from the family for the day, you’ll be sure to come back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your vacation. We didn’t add this to the itinerary specifically because there are so many options, but be sure to check out the various spas, mineral spas, and other relaxing destinations in the city.
Where to Stay
While there are plenty of quaint motels and chain properties throughout the Greater Palm Springs area, nothing says style like renting your own private vacation home or villa for the duration of your stay. Weekly rates generally include a discount for the longer stay, and all rentals come with premium amenities, fully-furnished accommodations, and 24-hour concierge service to take care of your every need.
If you want to enjoy your week in Palm Springs with a luxury home away from home, learn more, and check out the available luxury rentals at Isle Blue.