10+ Attractions & Things To Do to Visit Palm Springs in the Winter

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Many people don’t think of Palm Springs as a winter destination, but there are actually plenty of reasons to visit in the colder months. The weather is milder than in other parts of the country, and there are plenty of things to do in Palm Springs in winter no matter what your interests are. So if you’re looking for a change of scenery this winter, here are some reasons why Palm Springs should be at the top of your list.

First things first: Best Time to Visit Palm Springs, Weather & Other Travel Tips

The reasons why you should visit Palm Springs in winter

The weather in Palm Springs is usually quite mild, with sunny skies and temperature usually ranges from the lower 70s to the lower 80s. However, there can be a brief frost or freeze on occasion, but rarely, and the coolest months are December and January. Evenings and nights are pleasantly cool, slightly chilly, and very little rain falls in Palm Springs during the winter. This makes it the perfect time to visit this upscale desert retreat.

There are also many things to do in Palm Springs during the winter. You can enjoy breathtaking desert views at Joshua Tree National Park, soak up art and architecture at the Palm Springs Art Museum & Architectural Design Center, or relax by the pool,…

Palm Springs is also only about a two and a half hour direct flight from PDX, making it the perfect getaway for those who live in the Pacific Northwest. So if you’re looking for things to do in Palm Springs this winter, look no further! You’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay.

What to do in Palm Springs in winter?

Hop on a bike

If you’re looking for a way to explore Palm Springs in winter, hop on a bike! The city has put together a map of bike loops that will take you through different corners of the town, as well as bike rentals at multiple businesses. You can even explore some of the charming parks, country club golf courses, and lovely residential streets. Be sure to stop and enjoy the views of the palm trees and mountains! You might even get a glimpse of a famous former resident’s home.

Play Footgolf after sundown in the desert

If you’re looking for a fun and challenging way to spend your winter days, look no further than FootGolf! This sport combines soccer and golf, and is perfect for people of all ages. The best place to play is at The Lights at Indio Golf Course, where you can absorb the pleasant winter weather and enjoy a beautiful view while you play. FootGolf is a great way to get some exercise, and it’s also a lot of fun. So come out and play today!

Take the Palm Springs hiking trails

When thinking about hiking in Palm Springs, the first thing that comes to mind is the La Quinta Cove. This beautiful natural area offers stunning views of the preserved landscape, and it’s a great place to hike if you’re looking for something relatively easy. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also explore Joshua Tree National Park, which is located just on the other side of the cove. This National Park is known for its strange and surreal rock formations, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

If you’re looking for something a little bit closer to town, Palm Canyon is another great option. This world-famous oasis is home to the largest fan palm forest in the world, and it’s definitely worth a visit. Indian Canyons is another great Palm Springs oasis hike you should visit, and it features some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the area. You’ll be able to see magnificent rock formations and towering palm trees, and you may even spot some deer or sheep grazing in the hills.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

Or you can join a ranger-led hike, they are available between October and June, and they provide a great opportunity to learn more about the history and ecology of the area. No matter what you decide to do, Palm Springs is a great place to hike and explore. So put on your hiking shoes and head on out!

Take part in an upscale film festival

Plan to attend the Palm Springs International Film Festival in early January. This event is packed with famous faces, and it’s one of the most popular film festivals in the country. There are screenings of new films as well as older classics, and there are also a number of related events such as panel discussions and Q&As with directors and actors. The gala night with the awards show is always a major event, and it’s usually quickly sold out. If you want to get a good spot by the red carpet, you’ll need to reserve your pass early. And if you’re really keen, try securing an autograph from one of your favorite stars.

Soar to the mountains for watching snow

While you may not expect to find snow in the desert, there is actually a small chance of seeing some up at the peak of Mount San Jacinto.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

The best way to experience the winter wonderland up at the ski resort is by taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This attraction takes you up over 2,500 meters in just 10 minutes, offering stunning views of the Coachella Valley along the way.

The temperature can drop sharply, so be sure to bundle up! There’s plenty to do up at the ski resort, including skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Or if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, check out the ski lodge atmosphere and enjoy a hot coffee or steaming bowl of clam chowder at Peaks restaurant.

No matter what you choose to do, be sure to check out the natural history museum at the top. This fascinating museum tells the story of how this unique area was formed and how people have lived and worked here over time.

See: The Most Amazing Resorts in Palm Springs For Families

Dine at the best restaurants in Palm Springs

One of the best ways to take in all of the local culture is by enjoying a meal as well as happy hours at one of the many restaurants in town.

There are many different types of restaurants to choose from, ranging from fine-dining establishments to casual eateries. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find something to your taste in Palm Springs. Some of the best restaurants in town include Miro’s Restaurant, Le Vallauris, Copleys on Palm Canyon, Elmer’s Restaurant, and La Perlita Mexican Food.

If you’re looking for an outdoor dining for romantic date, Miro’s Restaurant is a great option. This intimate restaurant serves up delicious Mediterranean cuisine in a charming setting. Le Vallauris is another excellent choice for French food lovers. This charming restaurant features classic French dishes with a modern twist.

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Photo courtesy of Miro’s Restaurant

If you’re looking for something a little more casual, Copleys on Palm Canyon is a great option. This fun American restaurant serves up tasty breakfast and lunch items, as well as mouth-watering pancakes. Elmer’s Restaurant is also perfect for those who are looking for a casual dining experience. This popular diner offers up classic American comfort food with a twist.

Finally, La Perlita Mexican Food is the perfect place for those who are craving some Mexican cuisine. This authentic Mexican restaurant offers up delicious dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings. Bill’s Pizza is also a great choice for those who want to enjoy some delicious pizza.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

So if you’re looking for a great meal in a relaxed setting, be sure to check out one of the many restaurants in Palm Springs – you won’t be disappointed!

More: Try the Best Palm Springs Date Shakes

Start your shopping excursions

If you’re looking for some good shopping in Palm Springs in winter, you’ll want to check out the upscale boutiques and unique shops on El Paseo in Palm Desert. You can also explore The Fine Art of Design, and check out the year-round College of the Desert (COD) Street Fair for handcrafted items, pottery, or skincare. If you’re looking for some good bargains, you’ll want to check out the Desert Hills Premium Outlets, where you can find endless racks of discount Armani, Gucci, and more. If you’re looking for a more relaxed shopping experience, you can check out the waterfront shops at The River Mall at Rancho Mirage, or wander through the charming Old Town La Quinta. And if you’re looking for some home decor inspiration, be sure to check out the Uptown Design District in Palm Springs.

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Photo courtesy of Old Town La Quinta

Go to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

If you’re looking for things to do in Palm Springs with kids in December, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a great option. Palm Springs is known for its warm weather, but the zoo is a great place to visit in winter too. You can see elephants, giraffes, and other animals from around the world at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Plus, there are gardens to explore and a nature preserve with trails to hike. You also can learn about the desert and see some of its unique plants and animals.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

Immersing yourself in the culture and arts

When it comes to immerse yourself in the culture and arts in Palm Springs, there are plenty of great options. Some of the best places to start are at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Center, and Palm Springs Air Museum.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is home to a variety of exhibits, including photography, desert landscape paintings, Native American textiles, and glasswork. There are also exclusive galleries located in South Palm Canyon and North Indian Canyon Drive.

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Photo courtesy of The Palm Springs Art Museum

The Architecture and Design Center is a must-visit for anyone interested in these subjects. It features exhibits on architecture and design from around the world, as well as lectures and workshops from leading professionals in these fields.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is a great place for aviation enthusiasts. It showcases a variety of World War II and Korea- and Vietnam-era combat aircraft. There are also a variety of interactive exhibits that will teach you about the history of aviation.

Enjoy the festival and show

The Southwest Arts Festival in Indio is a Coachella Valley city located less than 30 miles away from Palm Springs. The festival takes place in the middle of January and showcases hundreds of gorgeous artistic exhibits for thousands of visitors. The Fine Art Fair is a distinguished festival that provides a chance to savor a variety of fine art, including paintings and pottery. If you’re looking for things to do in Palm Springs in December, the Southwest Arts Festival and Fine Art Fair are two excellent options.

The architecture in Palm Springs is a mix of styles, but the most common type you’ll see is Mid-Century Modern. This style emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, and many of the homes and buildings from that time period are still standing today.

See: Try These Best Burgers in Palm Springs (2022 Update)

Tour the local architecture in Palm Springs

If you’re interested in touring some of Palm Springs’ iconic Mid-Century Modern homes, there are a few things you can do. You can take self-guided tours by car or on foot, sign up with one of the professional tour groups in the city, or take a bus tour during Modernism Week. Modernism Week is a grand celebration of buildings, gardens, classic cars, fashion, and art that takes place each February.

See also: 25+ Best Mid Century Modern Hotels in Greater Palm Springs

Relax poolside amidst beautiful desert scenery

One of the best things about visiting Palm Springs in winter is that you can enjoy the beautiful desert scenery while relaxing poolside. There are a number of resorts and hotels in Palm Springs with lovely pools, and many of them offer great views of the mountains or desert landscape.

If you’re looking for a place to relax and take in the natural beauty of the desert, check out the nine-year-old Ace Hotel & Swim Club or Sparrows Lodge. Both resorts have stunning pools with plenty of lounge chairs for sunbathing.

If you’re looking for a slightly more secluded pool experience, the Desert Riviera Hotel is a great option. This mid-century modern style boutique hotel has pool that heated to perfection, secluded whirlpool Jacuzzi. Or simply prop your feet up by one of their fire pits surrounded by hummingbirds and gorgeous San Jacinto Mountain views.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

See also: Enjoy Top 20+ Romantic Hotels in Palm Springs

Spend time in dive bars

Palm Springs in winter is a great time to visit the dive bars in the area. There are a number of them, and each has its own unique charm.

One of the most popular dive bars is Billy Reed’s. It’s a 43-year-old bar with stained-glass windows and a tumbler of gin and a slice of fresh pie.

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Photo courtesy of Yelp

Another great dive bar is the Bootlegger Tiki Bar. It’s tiny, but it offers a great selection of drinks, including a Pearl of Wisdom.

So if you’re looking for some good times and cheap drinks, be sure to check out the dive bars in Palm Springs in winter!

Palm Springs attractions in winter

Special events in Palm Springs in winter

Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the most popular events in Palm Springs, California. Held annually in January, the festival attracts thousands of visitors each year. The event showcases some of the best new films from around the world, and it also features a number of celebrity guests and special screenings.

Tour de Palm Springs

Tour de Palm Springs is an annual bike race through the scenic streets and desert in and around Palm Springs. The race typically takes place in December.

Modernism Week

Modernism Week is a celebration of modern architecture and design, typically held in Palm Springs, California each February. The week-long event offers educational programming, as well as tours and exhibits of modern homes, hotels, and public spaces.

Looking for more events? Check out this Palm Springs events calendar.

What to prepare for a winter visit to Palm Springs?

When packing for a winter visit to Palm Springs, be sure to bring a warm coat, hat, and gloves. It can get cold at night, so you’ll want to be prepared. Layering attire is also essential, as temperatures can vary drastically from day to day. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must, especially if you plan on spending time outdoors. And finally, be sure to ask your rental home or condo about the pool temperature before booking. Many properties offer heating for an additional fee, which is well worth it in the winter months.

In case you are a vegan or vegetarian, this is the best Vegan Restaurants In Palm Springs you can try


Is Palm Springs warm in the winter?

Yes, Palm Springs is warm in the winter. The average morning temperature is 43°F (or 6°C), the sunrise at 6:44 am, sunset at 6:14 pm. Mid-day the temperature hits an average high of about 70°F.

Is December a good time to visit Palm Springs in winter?

Yes, December is a great time to visit Palm Springs in winter! The weather is perfect and there are lots of great things to do in the area. You can explore the vibrant city, enjoy the outdoors, and experience all that Palm Springs has to offer.

Is it warm enough to swim in Palm Springs in December?

The answer is yes, you can swim in the pool as long as you stay at a place with a heated pool. Days are usually warm and sunny, but rain sometimes. Nights are cool, and this is the best time to enjoy nightlife in Palm Springs.


If you’re looking for a fun, winter getaway, Palm Springs is the place to be! With plenty of attractions and activities to keep you busy, you’ll never run out of things to do in this desert oasis Palm Springs in winter.

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