The desert heat can be exhausting. Locals get tired of the endless days of heat and scorching sun, but newcomers and visitors can find the summer weather especially stifling. Don’t get stuck inside all summer; here are a few great ways to get out of the house or hotel and still keep your cool.
What to do in Palm Springs in Summer
Find your Oasis
Seek out a cool shady spot by heading to the Thousand Palms Oasis. Take an amazing hike through the huge stand of palm trees and marvel at the fresh water bubbling from fissures in the earth thanks to fault lines. There’s no admission fee, but donations are welcome.
What to do in Palm Springs when it’s hot? Hit a water park
Nothing keeps us cool like water. The new Wet n Wild Palm Springs (formerly Knott’s Soak City) is open, where you can enjoy waterslides, a massive wave pool, or just lounge in a semi-private shaded cabana. Make time too for the FlowRider surf machine or the 4-storey Kahuna’s Beach House! Whether you go for the day, or just the hottest hours, you’ve got all kinds of options for cool pool entertainment.
Find Air Conditioning
Whether your indoor activity of choice is a movie, or a museum, there are plenty of ways to keep cool by getting inside and out of the summer heat. Try the Palm Springs Art Museum for starters. The largest of the museums, its cavernous space is ideal on a hot summer afternoon. The building is tucked near the base of a craggy mountain and is filled with both permanent and ever-changing collections from art, to sculpture, photography and artifacts.
You can also slip into the Architecture Design Center. Housed in a former bank, the building maintains all its original grandeur, but has now been refreshed and renewed. Check out things like original drawings and blueprints from gorgeous mid century modern or desert modern buildings. You’ll see really cool vintage photographs, models, and dioramas too.
What to do in Palm Springs in summer? Take a Palm Springs Driving Tour
Speaking of architecture and air conditioning, one of our all time favorite ways to enjoy all that Palm Springs has to offer is to take one of Modern Tours Palm Springs self-driving architecture or celebrity tours. All you need is a vehicle and a smartphone; these tours run online and feature guided directions, voice narration, and lots of interior and exterior photos. It’s a fun way to get out of the house and learn about all the cool architecture and style that’s uniquely Palm Springs.
Seek shade on a patio
Enjoying the outdoors while still being able to keep cool is best done by sitting in the shade, near a cool pool. Some places to dine out al fresco include The Purple Palm at the Colony Palms Hotel, which hearkens back to old world Morocco.
Spencer’s also has a gorgeous patio that brings the indoors out. Small lanterns tucked into the cool tree canopy keep it shady, but once the sun goes down, a fire pit provides additional ambiance.
Chill by a pool
Many hotels in Palm Springs and area will allow you to purchase a day pass to use their facilities, including outdoor courtyards, pool bars and pools. I’ve lounged at Ace Hotel & Swim club, as well as the Saguaro and each has its charms. Call to ask about availability and pricing before you go so you’re not disappointed, or check out our list of “5 great pool scenes” to enjoy