If there is one ultimate relaxation spot, it has to be Palm Springs, California. Something in the dry desert heat just beckons you to take it easy on a world-class golf course or enjoy long, lazy days gazing at the mountains after a refreshing splash in the hotel pool. Hollywood has known about this posh playground for decades, but the secret is out, and now you, too, can aspire to the life of the stars. This is essential California luxe, with extravagant architecture, indulgent shopping, and recuperative sojourns into nature…or into the spa.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Palm Springs to get the most out of your getaway, our helpful guide is here for you.
Out and About in Palm Springs
If you thought Las Vegas or Los Angeles were the havens of the rich and famous, think again. One look at the Palm Springs Walk of Stars will surely convince you this is a movie-star city. Take a photo at the stars for the vivacious Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren, then get ready for even more brilliant encounters. See where Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned, dine like Frank Sinatra at Melvyn’s Restaurant, and enjoy stunning mountain views from the very Palm Springs lodging where Charlie Chaplin stayed in the 1930s. Continue your journey with a walk through the Movie Colony neighborhood and marvel at the architectural wonders, including the former homes of Cary Grant and Bob Hope. This luxurious community manages to be both modern and timeless, exuding a classic charm truly reminiscent of the stars that once walked its streets.
It’s true, there’s no shortage of frolicking among the famous to be had here, but there are plenty of other things to do in Palm Springs. You don’t need to have the cachet of a celebrity to enjoy the world-class shopping in downtown. Stroll the tree-lined streets of Palm Canyon Drive in search of that perfect sarong or fedora to wear as you sip poolside Cadillac Margaritas. Peruse locally made beauty products or peer into the windows of art galleries and bookstores to see what draws you inside. Plus, Palm Springs hotels near this shop-till-you-drop avenue will also be near some of the best nightlife in town.
If it is art that inspires you, be sure to see the amazing collection of contemporary painting and sculpture at Palm Springs Art Museum. Enter the sparkling blown-glass world of Dale Chihuly and delve into the haunting desert landscapes of photographer Stephen Willard. The art museum also houses the Architecture and Design Center, a cutting-edge building in its own right, with floor-to-ceiling windows and mountain views. In true pioneering fashion, the exhibits in its gallery space are always changing with the times.
For the free-spirited and fashionable, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival astounds every spring, so reserve one of our Palm Springs vacation packages early. Taking place in nearby Indio, this is the premier music event of the year. Perhaps you will have a magical encounter with a modern-day celebrity—numerous performers in a variety of mediums big fans of this famous event.
Are you getting the impression this is a city that caters to those who enjoy the finer things in life? If so, you are certainly correct, and there is no exception when it comes to exquisite options for dining. In fact, food is an art here, with bold new talent opening showcase restaurants and celebrity chefs forging innovative cuisine and techniques. The tony-yet-artsy Uptown neighborhood is one of the best places to stay in Palm Springs if you’re here to experience the food. Just steps from your accommodation, savor everything from mouthwatering steaks and American comfort food to Spanish Basque-inspired tapas and braised rabbit that will transport you directly to the French countryside.
Hotels in Palm Springs offer easy access to nature as well as culture, creating the ideal getaway. There is even a bit of adventure to be had: Climb aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for a ride up Mount San Jacinto. At the top, enjoy stunning views of the city below and the wilderness all around you. The unique high-country forest, at nearly 11,000 feet above sea level, delights all the senses with alpine trees, fern-filled meadows, and scenic hiking trails. Relish a delectable dinner at the top before returning to the tramway for a relaxing descent.
Following the Open Road
Roaming through beautiful national parks and going on quests to the houses of the stars are endeavors worthy of any day. But sometimes, the call of the open road is simply too much to resist. When it beckons you, the Palm to Pines Scenic Byway is the ideal solution. This 100-mile loop travels through so many ecosystems, you’ll feel like you traveled the whole Western United States. Wind your way through the Lower Sonoran Desert and high-altitude alpine forests, peer over craggy cliffs, and stop for a hike or two. You’ll surely be glad to sink into a plush down pillow at one of our luxury hotels in Palm Springs upon your return.
To the east of town, Joshua Tree National Park is an easy car ride away. At the meeting point of the Sonoran and Mojave deserts, the spindly arms of the trees that give the park its name reach for the sky, as if asking for rain. Search for one of the five rare fan palm oases in the park, providing gifts of shade and moisture. While Hollywood starlets may rise and fall, the desolate beauty of Joshua Tree is a reminder that nature is boundless and enduring.
Palm Springs has been the home of the good life for generations of movie stars, socialites, and everyday people looking for an escape from the ordinary. If you yearn for a life of lavish shopping sprees, five-star dining, and elegant nightlife, there’s no need to empty you wallet to get there. Travelocity’s Palm Springs hotel deals fit all travel styles and budgets, so you can save your money for that prime cut of steak—or those new Louboutins. Sunning by the pool in your new purchases, well, that’s free.