Palm Springs usually allures California’s more affluent tourists. But more and more families make the trip into the desert for a short getaway. Instead of hitting the casinos and golf courses, they ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and see the San Andreas Fault Line. If you’re planning a Palm Springs family getaway, keep reading and discover the essentials before planning your trip.
When to visit Palm Springs
Palm Springs is a hot place. Temperatures regularly exceed 40°C during the summer months making the area hot and sticky. Most visitors would spend their time indoors under the air-conditioning throughout the day. But this isn’t an option when you’re travelling as a family. Instead, it’s a better idea to visit when the temperature isn’t as oppressive. Spring and fall have warm weather while winters remain relatively mild. Try to plan your family holiday to coincide with the cooler months of the year. This makes everything more comfortable and gives you a better chance at having an incredible vacation.
Where to stay on your family trip to Palm Springs
Families need to plan their trip differently compared to childless visitors. You need to spend more time considering where you want to stay. The most suitable location depends on the age of your kids and the type of activities you as a family are interested in.
If you’re looking for luxury, check out Uptown Design District. You’ll find several boutique hotels, resorts and vacation rentals in this neighbourhood. Throw in stylish cafés and classy restaurants and you’re almost guaranteed to have a good time. Or consider staying in the Downtown District for closer access to the amenities and attractions. This is an excellent area to start searching for accommodation because of its central location and convenient access to facilities. If you’re looking to relax in Palm Springs’s quieter areas check out Palm Desert. The neighbourhood is a short drive from the centre and has several high-end resorts and vacation rentals. But because of the location, Palm Desert is only really suitable for families looking to relax.
Getting around Palm Springs
Most families fly into Palm Springs and rent a car from the airport. Having your own car is crucial. Not only does it give you flexibility, but it also allows you to take your children out to the natural attractions surrounding the resort. Realistically, smaller kids aren’t going to want to spend their time indoors at a resort. A car lets you go out and explore the region. The city itself is small, and you can walk to all the attractions. So having a car in the centre isn’t always necessary. You can get away with public transport if you’re here for a weekend break and take tours to the attractions.
Cycling is a favorite way to get around Downtown, and growing numbers of families rent bicycles in Palm Springs. You can use them to explore the city and visit the main attractions. Or have a mini-adventure along some of the desert trails. This works perfectly with older children and teenagers. However, you need to take the weather and temperature into consideration. Don’t rent a bicycle and head out into the desert on the hot days. High temperatures, dust and limited water while you’re out can easily make someone sick. Spring and fall are the best times of the year to explore the resort town from the saddle.
Best activities and family-friendly things to do
Several activities cater to different interests. You can go hiking in the desert and take a day trip to the eerie Joshua Tree National Park. Teenagers have the chance to play a round of golf with Dad while Mom relaxes at the spa. The Midcentury Modern Homes in the wealthier suburbs are also an exciting district to visit. Wander through the opulent buildings and see a variety of modernist architecture and Elvis’s Honeymoon Hideaway.
The region’s biggest attraction is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The cable car rises up the hill to give excellent panoramic views of the desert below. Either drive the 45-minutes to the national park or join a tour which includes the tramway as one of the stops. Try to combine a trip to both the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway and Joshua Trees National Park on the same day. Start early and ride the cable car first before spending the afternoon in the national park.
The San Andreas Fault Line is a major geological attraction near Palm Springs. The tectonic plate’s boundary stretches for over 1200 kilometers (764 miles) in the middle of the desert. Because of its instability, this fault line is responsible for some of California’s most devastating earthquakes. Visitors can stand on a platform and gaze at the massive tear in the Earth. This is more suitable for older kids. Pro tip: Show your kids a documentary or a short video on the fault line before taking the day trip. This allows you to turn it into an educational experience.
Family-friendly fun in Palm Springs
Growing numbers of families take their vacation in Palm Springs. Some come to relax by the pool and enjoy the spa treatment while Dad plays golf. Others seize the opportunity to get out into the desert and cycle along the dirt trails. Try to avoid summer where the temperatures are too hot for outdoor activities. And make the most of the Joshua Tree National Park, San Andreas Fault Line and the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway. Follow these suggestions and a dream trip is almost guaranteed.
What is your favorite place to visit in Palm Springs, CA?