Palm Springs in 22 Pretty Pictures

Jessica Peterson

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California is one of the prettiest cities in America. It’s easy to see why it was the weekend playground of Hollywood elite from the 1930s through the ’60s. Snow-capped mountains tower over a manicured town full of colorful flowers, retro architecture, and shops. Sure, it’s a bubble, but it’s quite simply one of America’s most unique and charming towns.

Things to Do in Palm Springs

Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for spectacular views of the Coachella Valley from 8,500 feet. Even in the spring, you’ll find snow at the top of the San Jacinto Mountains. Stay to admire the views or even camp for a few days at the site.

Take a self-guided architecture tour to see the former homes of Elvis, Sinatra, and Monroe, as well as mid-century modern gems like the Tramway Gas Station (pictured). Also check out the colorful and kitschy Saguaro Palm Springs (pictured). It has become an icon and a must-see stop when you are in the area.

Stroll Palm Canyon Drive, the main drag downtown, for hundreds of shops and restaurants.

Golf is a huge deal in Palm Springs and reportedly one of the primary reasons the Obamas moved to nearby Rancho Mirage.

I spent two days here and left wanting more. It lives up to its reputation as a desert oasis and resort town. However, you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy it. Admire the hypnotic wind turbines, stop to smell the flowers, sit under Jurassic-looking palms, or hike the mountains — there’s lots of ways to experience nature in Palm Springs. Be sure to stay long enough to catch a desert sunset — you won’t be disappointed.

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Have you been to Palm Springs?

Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • As a nature lover who is keen on hiking and camping, Palm Springs looks to me like an absolute ‘must-do’. Such a beautiful place and your really lovely photographs show this so clearly. I really need to visit, explore and experience what you describe in this post so well.

  • Marcie Wirtz Cheung

    Oh! I’ve been wanting to visit Palm Springs for years! It seems like such a glamorous destination for a girls weekend! Your photos definitely capture that Hollywood Glam feel!

  • AMIT AGRAWAL

    Palm Springs looks so beautiful and like a movie scene. I like so many windmills amidst palms and mountains. Which is the nearest international airport or big city to go there and we need a rent a car to go there or any public transport is there?

    • I would rent a car. Palm Springs has an airport or you could fly into Ontario or LAX.

  • Genie Patra

    I’m currently trying to book a room at the saguaro for a weekend getaway haha. definitely one of my favorite hotels. love all the colors of it!

    • Cool. I haven’t stayed there. Just stumbled upon it while driving around.

  • Palm Springs must have been amazing from the 30’s to the 60’s. I love playing golf and it would be a dream to play at a course in Palm Springs and a bonus if I spotted Obama! As always you took some fantastic images, the architecture of Palm Springs is unique and perfect to photograph!

  • travelwithbird

    Once more I must say, I totally love your photographic impressions. They have this beautiful, calm touch and these amazing colours – really beautiful!
    Palms Springs looks truly so “californish”, pity just that I did miss to have a closer look when we had a Cali road trip last year.
    The wind turbines shot is great, somehow a bit surreal with this natural surrounding…

  • Erin Jayne Ross

    I’m sold – these are beautiful!!

  • Your photos are so beautiful Jess! Great talent you got there. 🙂

  • Omg the photos though…! This makes me fall in love with Cali even more than I already have. I like the idea of catching a desert sunset you mentioned too.

  • I’ll actually be in Palm Springs this weekend for Memorial Day. Your amazing photos are inspiring me to do more than just chill in the pool at the resort. I’ve heard a lot of great feedback about the Aerial Tramway, but haven’t been yet. Maybe this weekend will be the time I finally experience it?

    • Cool. How did your visit to PS go?

      • Well, at least I thought about leaving the hotel. HAHA We were having too good of a time in the pool to leave the resort. The only time we ventured out was to grab some groceries and dinner at a local burger joint recommended by the hotel. Smokin’ Burgers & Lounge. The service was so-so, but the burgers were good. My friends got some burger with jalapenos and it was crazy hot. Totally recommend it if you have the stomach for spicy food.

  • You have definitely captured the beauty of Palm Springs, it looks so colourful and charming. I am yet to visit California, but Palm Springs will definitely be on my travel list when I do! 🙂

  • Julie

    Palm Spring looks like a tropical paradise and you captured its scenic vista perfectly. There is no wonder Obama moved there. The colorful buildings and modern architecture is another plus. If I ever had a chance to visit California again, I would definitely put Palm Spring on my list.

  • Palm springs is a dream! This summer we are so passing by there before our road trip on route 66! Your pictures are amazing and would make anyone want to go! Can’t wait for it!

    • Cool, what a fun trip. Be forewarned Route 66 gets up to 120 degrees in places. We experienced it about a month ago!

  • Amazing Pictures! After going through your blog, really want to go at Palm Springs. It’s like dream now.

    Thanks!

  • It’s pretty bad that I’ve never dwelled in Palm Springs despite being less than two hours away. I know there’s more to Palm Springs than casinos, retirement homes and windmills. Your posts show very vibrantly that there’s a lot to see, so hopefully it’ll make me go one day!