Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs waterworks in full force this summer

Ed Walsh
A cool break in Tahquitz CanyonPhoto byEd Walsh

Palm Springs has long been one of the favorite getaways for San Francisco Bay Area residents. It’s been a typically cool San Francisco summer this year following a spring that was much cooler than normal.

The spring was also abnormally cool in Palm Springs but it is making up for that now with temperatures that have been over 110 degrees daily. That cool spring combined with a record snowfall has translated into abundant streams and waterfalls in the city that could last until Labor Day.

If you can get to Palm Springs in the summer, traditionally the slowest time of year for tourism, you will be rewarded by bargain hotel rates and no crowds at the most popular attractions and restaurants in the city.

The Tahquitz Canyon is one of the best hikes to see a waterfall and wade in the cool spring water. You can also get a similar experience in the Indian Canyons.
Photo byEd Walsh

As the weather gets too hot for an afternoon hike, a cool Palm Springs summer attraction is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. In just ten minutes, the tram ride takes guests to the summit of Mount San Jacinto. You can take in a hike in the mountains, which is about 30-plus degrees cooler than it would be in the city. During the current heatwave, while it got over 110 in the city, it never made it out of the 70s at the summit.
Palm Springs Aerial TramwayPhoto byEd Walsh

One of the best ways to see some of Palm Springs’ best natural attractions is through Desert Adventure Tours. The company offers tours through the Indian Canyons as well as tours through a private desert oasis that the company owns and makes available for use for special events.
Desert Adventures Red Jeep tourPhoto byEd Walsh


Palm Springs’ newest spa, The Spa at Séc-he, opened in April in downtown Palm Springs and is already drawing rave reviews. It is one of the most upscale and modern spas in the country. You take a bath in a private room in the hot springs waters for which Palm Springs is named. Those waters are considered sacred by the Agua Caliente tribe which owns and operates the property. Normally to use the spa on a day pass costs $145 but over the summer you can get a pass Mon-Thurs for $99. Be sure to check out the futuristic therapeutic chairs. You can listen to nature sounds as you adjust the chair to raise your feet over your heart to get the maximum benefit. Insider tip If you order a massage or other extra spa service, you can use the spa for free.
The Spa at Séc-hePhoto byEd Walsh

One of Palm Springs hottest nightclubs is Reforma in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. The building had been abandoned for years but it is seeing the love now. It is common to see long lines to get in over the weekend. The restaurant has a gourmet menu served up in a dark and dramatic intimate setting.
ReformaPhoto byEd Walsh

The Eight4Nine restaurant in the trendy Uptown Design District features a mid century style lounge and outdoor patio with a very unique selection of cocktails, wines, and gourmet food.

The V Wine Lounge & Martini Bar serves up great food and live entertainment where patrons are encouraged to get up and dance to the live music.

While you are in downtown Palm Springs, check out Juniper Table at the Kimpton Rowan Hotel, the tallest, and one of the newest hotels in Palm Springs. The building opened in 2017 and already is a landmark that can be seen for miles silhouetted against the mountains to the west.

Another great casual eatery in downtown is the Clandestino featuring fresh fare and boasts local and organic ingredients. Be sure to check out its flight of four margarita tastings.
Flight of margaritas at ClandestinoPhoto byEd Walsh

Lulu California BIstro is a landmark in downtown Palm Springs with its huge, climate-controlled patio and indoor mezzanine seating. Lulu’s award-winning weekend brunch is a must and the downtown eatery deservedly attracts a crowd even during the slower summer months.

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