Sunny skies and 75° have long made Palm Springs an ideal escape for those who are winter weary.
Whether you prefer to play 18 holes or sunbathe poolside, Palm Springs is perfect for all things outdoors this time of year. In this era of social distancing, the area’s attractions lend themselves to staying apart—vast deserts, surrounding mountains, and no shortage of al fresco dining.
Explore the ideas below for what you can safely do right now:
Fun in the Sun
Golf, golf, and more golf: One of the main Palm Springs draws consists of endless tee time. You can now get your golf game back in the swing of things at these top-notch golf courses that are currently open in the greater Palm Springs area.
Hikes: Head out on a self-guided or ranger-lead hike of Tahquitz Palm Springs Canyon, one of the most beautiful and culturally-rich areas of Agua Caliente Band of the Cahuilla Indians Reservation that culminates in a spectacular 60-foot waterfall! Click here for more local hikes.
Bikes: Pedal your way through the bike-friendly Palm Springs city streets while taking in the surrounding mountains and glam midcentury architecture. Download free maps of city-sponsored bike routes that include insight into local attractions and old movie star homes.
Palm Springs Staples
It’s a Date: Head to the iconic Shields Date Garden, which has been in business since 1924, and pick up blonde and brunette date varietals found only in Palm Springs, or sip on a famously delicious Palm Springs date shake.
Crazy about Cactus: Check out the funky Moorten Botanical Garden, home to over 3,000 varieties of desert plants. Make sure to walk through the “Cactarium,” a greenhouse filled solely with different kinds of cactus, including a 20-foot tall one.
Aerial Tram: The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a vertical trip inside of a slowly-rotating tram car that transports you from the hot and dry desert floor to the cool, pine-filled mountains in just under 10 minutes—truly a one-of-a-kind experience!
Bites and Brews
Make it a Good Morning: Start the day off right with an outdoor brunch at Cheeky’s, featuring some of the desert’s most creative farm-to-table breakfast dishes. Come for the “World Famous Bacon Flight”, stay for the mouth-watering cinnamon rolls.
Shop Fresh and Local: Feast your senses at the outdoor Coachella Valley Certified Farmers Markets, featuring California-sourced fresh fruits and vegetables along with artisanal products like cheese, honey, olive oil, chocolate, soap, and fresh cut flowers.
Grab a Cold One: Sip on local Palm Springs craft beer at Las Palmas Brewing. This microbrewery and natural wine bar in the heart of downtown brews all its beers on-premise and features an outdoor patio garden seating.
Click here for a full list of outdoor dining options currently open in the Palm Springs area.
Wild, Wild East
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: To experience the best of this desert, head on the 4.5-hour off-road Jeep tour or hike the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail. For a more leisurely experience, explore the Cactus Loop Nature Trail and drive through the bronze sculptures.
Painted Canyon: If you’re feeling down for an adventure, head to the Mecca Wilderness to experience the rock formations and vibrant colors on the 6.5-mile hike through Ladder Canyon, a steep slot canyon trek with ladders placed along the way.
Highway 74: Otherwise known as the “Palm to Pines” Drive, Highway 74 is a 130-mile scenic stretch of road that winds through the desert backcountry before eventually connecting to the charming towns of Idyllwild, Julian, and Temecula. Pack a picnic and hit the road!
With your well-being remaining our top priority, please see our most recent safety measures we’ve implemented to ensure you Vacation Well. With the wider Palm Springs area also reopening, see the most up-to-date information about what’s open in the area along with any local guidelines.
No matter how you choose to spend your days in the desert, book a stay at Vista Mirage Resort, located just minutes from downtown Palm Springs!
*This article was published on 2/19/21. As state and local health guidelines are subject to change, please confirm hours of operation with local businesses.