An exclusive vacation spot for Californians and out of towners alike, Palm Springs is known for its outdoor exploration, relaxation and intense heat. These things blend together to create the perfect desert experience. Ideal for a girls weekend away or a couples retreat, Palm Springs is also a wonderful destination for families. Skip the beach and hit the sand in a different way—in Southern California’s desert oasis of Palm Springs.
1. Explore Nature
Los Angeles and Orange County are great fun to visit, with so much on offer, however, they provide only one side of California. Even though Palm Springs is so close to these metropolitan areas, it presents a whole different experience of the state. Here, there are an abundance of places to hike, camp and explore surrounded by scenery that will inspire your imagination and rejuvenate your soul.
Nearby spots like Tahquitz Canyon, the Andreas Canyon Trail and the Palm Springs Art Museum Trail are all great for those with kids of all ages, while places like Mount San Jacinto State Park and Joshua Tree National Park also have plenty of opportunities for on and off trail exploration.
Head up more than 8,000 feet to Mt San Jacinto State Park via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This is one of the most spectacular views across the desert below. During winter, play in snow, go snowshoeing and even cross-country skiing. Throughout the year visitors can hike around the park and visit the various exhibits on offer.
2. Lounge by the Pool
With the year round warm temperates, one of the best things to do in Palm Springs is lounge by a pool. While there are quite a few hotels in the area, you’re bound to be sharing your pool time with plenty of other guests.
Whether you and your crew are trying to relax in the sun or splash around in the water, it will be much easier at one of many Palm Springs vacation rentals. With the entire space all your own, you can do anything you choose. Beat the heat with some serious pool time and enjoy the afternoon with the whole family. Because of the hot weather, nearly all of the rental homes in the area have a pool on site. And it’s always nice to have your own space too!
3. View Wildlife
There is an abundance of indoor and outdoor family friendly activities in Palm Springs no matter what time of year it is. For much of the year however, your family fun will be centered outdoors. If your family is like ours and is always on the hunt for wild animals, take a break from your hiking and head to the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens. With a bighorn sheep enclosure and over 1000 acres of desert ecosystem, you can see all the wildlife you might have missed on the trails!
Need something indoors? Let kids get busy at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert or go to the Palm Springs Air Museum to get up close and personal with some really cool planes.
4. Visit a Local Spa (Or Hot Springs)
Palm Springs is all about relaxing—getting away from the city life and enjoying a slower pace. One of the best ways to do this is with a local spa visit. There are plenty to choose from in Palm Springs, many of them at the local hotels. But, luckily, you often don’t need to be staying there to visit the spa. Some spas may allow children, especially teens, but if they don’t, many hotels also often have kids’ programs that can keep little ones happy while you get in a massage or facial treatment.
Or better yet, get a day pass to one of the many hot springs in Desert Hot Springs, only 15 minutes from downtown. Many of the hotels have both cool and warm springs, which will be just what you need to relax, no matter what time of year it is!
5. Look at the Stars
Very few places in Southern California are as perfect for stargazing as the desert around Palm Springs. With city lights at a distance and very little pollution to disturb your view, the dark sky lights up with stars instead.
Make the most of your stargazing experience with a trip to a local park. Both Joshua Tree and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in nearby Borrego Springs are famous for having great views of the night sky. Make it into a night hike and enjoy the evening as a family. You can teach your little ones about astronomy while showing it to them first hand. If it is a Saturday night, definitely check out the weekly star watching party at Sky’s the Limit Observatory in 29 Palms.
Have you been to Palm Springs? What are you favorite things to do?
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