Stepping into spring in the California desert
For sun worshipers such as myself, spring is an optimal time to visit Palm Springs.
First, the weather is warming up in the desert, but hasn’t yet reached sweltering levels of heat; it’s usually sunny and about 80 degrees, every single day. Second, Palm Springs in the spring provides adventure-seekers ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
Whether your mission is to golf, explore the city by bike, or hike nearby Joshua Tree National Park, the Palm Springs area offers something for every traveler. During the spring months, Palm Springs also is host to many outdoor festivals (Coachella, anyone?). Here are several ways to spend spring in and around Palm Springs.
Take a hike
On my family’s last trip to Palm Springs, we spent a day hiking the majestic Joshua Tree National Park. The temperature on that late afternoon hike in February was a perfect 75 degrees. During spring months average temperatures in the region climb rapidly, but still are moderate (especially if you can get out early in the morning) when compared to the 100-degree temperatures during the peak of the summer. The park attracts a fair amount of visitors and hikers in spring, when stretches are in full bloom with wildflowers. We explored the south side of Joshua Tree and hiked a portion of the Lost Palms Oasis trail. Along the way, we climbed large boulders, hiked flat gravel trails, and passed by an abandon mine shaft. What struck me most about this national park was its diverse terrain, and how much time you need to hike and explore it all.
Spring for a festival
If there is one thing that Palm Springs knows how to do, it’s party. Every Thursday night, thousands of visitors and locals descend on downtown Palm Springs on Palm Canyon Drive for VillageFest, an outdoor street fair and art walk. At VillageFest you can soak up art from local artists, fresh produce from local farmers, and more. Live music abounds at the local restaurants and bars and the whole downtown strip is buzzing with energy and music. In April, nearby Indio also is host to the renownedannual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a three-day outdoor music festival for music lovers, free spirits, and aspiring hippies such as me.
Viewfinder Tip: Bring a coat on the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, as it is much cooler at the top.
Find family fun
There are ample places for families to stay and play in Palm Springs. Spring is a great time to climb to new heights on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, spend a day splashing at Knott’s Soak City, or exploring The Living Desert, a 1,200-acre wildlife and botanical park. The last of these options features rare and endangered desert animals. Here are a few more fun ideas of where to stay, eat, and play in Palm Springs with kids.
There are no shortage of gorgeous golf courses for golf enthusiasts in Palm Springs. On our last visit over President’s Day weekend, my husband and our friend enjoyed a day of dads-only golf on one course, while President Obama was in town golfing on another.
With all of these great options, grab your hippest sunglasses, hiking shoes, swim suit, and golf clubs and consider a spring fling with the oasis in the desert known as Palm Springs.
What is your favorite way to spend a spring day while traveling?
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