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Palm Springs Travel Guide for Canadians

midcentury Dinah Shore Estate. Modernism. Architecture.

Welcome, Canadian travelers! Are you looking for the perfect escape from the cold winter months? Look no further than Palm Springs, a delightful desert oasis in Southern California. With its year-round sunny weather and stunning natural beauty, Palm Springs offers an ideal getaway for Canadians seeking warmth, relaxation, and adventure. In this Palm Springs Travel Guide for Canadians, you’ll discover many great reasons why Palm Springs should be your next destination this fall or winter.

Sun Soaked Weather

One of the biggest reasons why Canadians should flock down south to Palm Springs during winter is because of the fantastic weather conditions that persist throughout the season! While most parts of Canada are blanketed in snow and experiencing freezing temperatures, those conditions are non-existent in Palm Springs, thanks mainly to its location within a desert climate zone. Average daytime temperatures during winter hover around a balmy 23 degrees Celsius. So, if you’re looking forward to basking in some warm sunshine this winter instead of trudging through slushy streets back home, then Palm Springs is certainly worth considering as your go-to travel destination.

Pool-day-at-The-Marley-optimised

Getting to Palm Springs is Easy as PSP

Another great thing about Palm Springs is its convenience factor – specifically when it comes to travel. For Canadians looking to escape the cold this winter, Palm Springs is easily accessible thanks to its close proximity to major Canadian airports.

Seasonal direct flights from Canada to Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) include:

Air Canada nonstop service from Toronto and Vancouver

Allegiant has nonstop service from Bellingham, which is close to the western Canadian border.

Flair Airlines with nonstop service from Vancouver

WestJet has nonstop service from Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.

westjet plane

Pack Light

Since it’s a desert climate, you’ll want to pack light, loose-fitting clothing and plenty of sunscreen. A hat and sunglasses are also essential for protecting yourself from the strong sun. If you’re planning on doing any hiking or outdoor activities, be sure to bring appropriate footwear.

Outdoor Recreation

Another great reason to visit Palm Springs during fall/winter is all the different activities that are available to visitors throughout the season. From hiking and biking in the beautiful desert landscapes, to just relaxing by the swimming pool.

Explore the Surrounding on a Hike

There are many hiking trails throughout the Palm Springs area. We highly recommend Indian Canyons and Tahquitz Canyon. Located just outside of downtown Palm Springs, this is the reservation and ancestral home to the Agua Caliente Indians. Hiking paths through the mountains range from beginning to challenging. From October – June there are free ranger led interpretive hikes or talks for families to learn more about the natural landscape and history of the Agua Caliente Indian people.

There are also a number of different trails to explore throughout the Palm Springs area.

Palm Springs Hiking Guide

Palm Canyon creek

Take a Bike Ride

Another great way to explore Palm Springs is on a bike. Many resorts offer these complementary. You can also rent bikes like cruisers or even electric bikes. Here’s some information to plan your own Palm Springs Bike Ride.

Palm Springs Big City Loop Bike Tour

Self-Guided Bike Tour – South Palm Springs

Deepwell Ranch Estates Bike Tour

biking in South Palm Springs

Enjoy Sweeping Views from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the perfect destination for Canadians looking to experience the unique landscapes of California. The tramway takes visitors up to 2,590 meters above sea level, providing stunning views of the desert below. Additionally, the tramway offers a variety of hiking trails and activities for visitors to enjoy, making it the perfect place to spend a day or two. Keep in mind if its 29 degrees Celsius downtown, its likely to be around 18 degrees Celsius at the top of the Tram.

tram mountain station

See a Winter League Baseball Game

Nearly 200 players from around the world come to Palm Springs to compete in the California Winter League Baseball Games. Each team plays about 20 games. For 2024, the season kicks off on January 26th and concludes on February 19th. All stadium games are live, and free to stream on YouTube.

Ticket Prices are $10 adults, $8 seniors, and $5 for youth.  Parking is free. They also run various promotions, like an Out-of-Towners Day on Thursdays where adult tickets are half price at just $5. 😊

POWER baseball stadium

Go Golfing

Escena Golf Club: Designed by renowned golf course architect Jack Nicklaus, Escena Golf Course showcases his signature style with strategically placed bunkers, undulating fairways, and challenging greens. The course is known for its immaculate maintenance and exceptional playing conditions.

Golfers of all skill levels can enjoy the course, as it offers multiple tee options to accommodate different abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer looking for a challenging round or a beginner learning the game, Escena Golf Course provides an enjoyable and satisfying experience.

escena golf

Indian Canyons North Course: The Indian Canyons North Course is a par-72 course that offers a unique desert golf experience. Designed by William F. Bell and opened in 1961, it is characterized by its tree-lined fairways, stunning mountain views, and challenging water hazards. The course provides a strategic challenge with well-placed bunkers and undulating greens. It has hosted many professional tournaments and is known for its demanding yet enjoyable play.

Indian Canyons South Course: The Indian Canyons South Course is also a par-72 course with a storied past. It was designed by Casey O’Callaghan and opened in 1962. This course showcases the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, including breathtaking views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Golfers will encounter wide fairways, elevation changes, and strategically placed bunkers throughout the course. The South Course presents a fair challenge to golfers of all skill levels and offers a memorable round of golf.

indian canyon golf

Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort: The resort features two championship golf courses: the Legend Course and the Resort Course. The Legend Course, designed by William F. Bell, has been a favorite among golfers since it opened in 1959. This challenging course boasts stunning views, strategic bunkering, and meticulously maintained fairways and greens.

The Resort Course, designed by Ted Robinson, is known for its playability and scenic desert landscape. With wide fairways, water features, and well-placed bunkers, this course provides an enjoyable round for golfers of all skill levels.

golf course

Window Shop

Shopping is a popular activity, especially at the many boutique stores in downtown Palm Springs and in our Uptown Design District. There are also several museums and art galleries worth visiting.

While you’re here, why not do a little holiday shopping – Palm Springs style?

Vintage shopping in Palm Springs is a true delight for fashion enthusiasts and collectors alike. The city is known for its vibrant mid-century modern aesthetic, and its vintage shops reflect this unique style. From retro clothing to antique furniture, Palm Springs offers a wide range of vintage treasures waiting to be discovered.

Vintage Shop ‘Til You Drop

ouple shopping outside Peepas

Tour a Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum is one of the most popular in the area. It features both contemporary and classic artwork from around the world.

If you’re interested in learning about the history of Palm Springs, then be sure to visit the Palm Springs Historical Society.

And no trip to Palm Springs would be complete without a visit to the Palm Springs Air Museum. This museum is dedicated to the history of aviation, and features a collection of over 50 vintage aircraft, the largest collection of flyable WWII aircraft in the U.S. So whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something to do, be sure to check out these museums in Palm Springs.

art museum

palm springs air museum

Discover Everything Midcentury Modern

We are the capital of cool and midcentury modern architecture and design is at our core. Palm Springs has the largest collection of preserved architecture in the world. Movie stars or Rat Packers like Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, Peter Lawford, and Lucille Ball once owned or visited these architectural treasures. Because the walls can’t talk, book a tour with an outfit like Palm Springs Mod Squad to learn more. Some programs even take you inside private homes.

Palm Springs Modernism Week

Palm Springs Modernism Week is an annual event that celebrates midcentury modern design, architecture, art, and culture. It takes place annually in February and is very well attended.

During Modernism Week, visitors have the opportunity to explore the city’s architectural treasures through home tours, bus tours, and walking tours. These tours showcase famous landmarks such as the Kaufmann Desert House, the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway, and the Frey House II, among others.

In addition to the tours, Modernism Week also features various events, including lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, art exhibitions, and social gatherings. These events provide further insights into the mid-century modern movement and its influence on design and lifestyle.

The smaller version of Modernism Week, known as Modernism Week – October. While it has a more condensed schedule compared to the main event in February, this event still offers a range of tours, talks, and parties. It provides a taste of the Modernism Week experience for those who may not be able to attend the full programming in February.

midcentury architecture

Check Out Downtown

Be sure to check-out our new downtown Palm Springs park located just in front of the Art Museum. You’ll also be greeted by Marilyn, who’s returned.

downtown park

Marilyn Monroe

Save Time for Pool Time

And of course, no trip to Palm Springs would be complete without spending some time relaxing by the pool!

pug at pool

A Grand Variety of Places to Say

One of the best things about Palm Springs is that it offers a wide variety of accommodations to suit every type of traveler and budget. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious 5-star hotel or a more affordable vacation rental house or condo, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for in Palm Springs.

Vacation Rentals

Palm Springs has a collection of over 2,000 vacation home rentals, so we have you covered for those extended stays. Although you can book through a number of on-line websites, we recommend booking with a local agency. Some with larger inventories and local offices include Vacation Palm Springs, Oranj Palm Springs Homes, Acme House Company, and McLean Company Rentals.

Vacation Palm Springs rental 3

Stylish Resort Stays

Consider what type of experience will best fit you. Choices include cool modern desert dwellings formerly owned by celebrities for that Hollywood style stay. For a romantic getaway, Palm Springs has a large collection of boutique resorts that range from historic to hip. Many of these are centrally located downtown and in the tennis neighborhood. Consider staying at a mid-century modern boutique resort and really experience the vide of Palm Springs.

orbit in pool

We also offer large full-service hotels and can accommodate your every need. The Kimpton has their pool on the 7th floor with sweeping views of the desert, while the Renaissance has the largest pool in Palm Springs.

kimpton pool

Money-Saving Tips

Due to the summer heat, July, August, and September is the slow season. Therefore, if you can stomach the heat, or are someone who thrives in it, you can cash in on big hotel deals or easily score prime rentals and timeshare slots.

If you aren’t attending one of the music festivals in April, avoid those weekends if you can. They mark the most crowded and expensive time of the year to visit. Even budget motels ask several hundreds of dollars a night. Traffic ratchets up, and lines are long. If you are a ticket holder, secure accommodations early.   Explore Palm Springs Care/Free

Check attraction websites to see if there are weekly or monthly free days or discounts for active-duty military, seniors, or AAA members. For instance, the Palm Springs Art Museum is free every Thursday night from 5 to 7 p.m. (times may vary).

Attend the free VillageFest every Thursday night in downtown Palm Springs.  Here you will find an array of artists, food and fun.

VillageFest

Awarded Top Snowbird Destination

Architectural Digest ranked the best 75 US cities for Top Hidden Gem Cities for Snowbirds. Ranking is based on housing and lodging availability, Yelp ratings for activities and eateries, home sale prices, and winter weather conditions.

Palm Springs ranks #4 among the top hidden gem cities for snowbirds.

Palm Springs is the #4 top hidden gem city for snowbirds with the most housing and lodging availability.

Palm Springs is the #5 top hidden gem city for snowbirds with the best activities and dining options.

→ Check out the full study here

Plan Your Palm Springs Getaway Today!

When considering your next vacation destination, Palm Springs should be at the top of your list. With its unparalleled weather, natural beauty, outdoor adventures, luxurious resorts, cultural offerings, and vibrant nightlife, this enchanting desert oasis promises an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, leave the cold behind, and immerse yourself in the warmth and charm of Palm Springs!

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