Palm Springs Travel Tips from an Insider

by | Jun 27, 2020

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Last updated on June 3rd, 2024

Featured image: Plan the perfect getaway with these insider Palm Springs travel tips

Where to eat, stay and be safe

by Kathy Condon, Guest Writer

If you’re thinking about a weekend getaway, Palm Springs might just fit the bill.  The drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs will take you 2.5 hours in good traffic. You might want to avoid coming here Friday afternoon or returning to Los Angeles on Sunday evening. The same holds true if you drive here from Las Vegas. Many people come here from these two destinations for the weekend, and traffic is considerable.

Earlier visitors, including many movie stars, came to Palm Springs. Here are a couple of reasons:

  • Most of the contracts of the famous movie stars stated they were only allowed to travel 100 miles from Hollywood.
  • The weather, most assuredly, would have much more sun than the often winter gloomy season in Los Angeles.

Thus, during the heyday of movie productions, there was a need for places to house this ever-growing influx of visitors.

Small Inns

Inns popped up directly behind our main street, Palm Springs Canyon Drive. Now, these beautifully preserved inns extend back to the foot of our San Jacinto mountain range. These inns are within walking distance of downtown Palm Springs. If you want to get a feel of Palm Springs during this era in our history, this is the area you may consider for your stay.

By the way, you will need a flashlight to walk at night if you stay in this beautiful area. Long ago, Palm Springs approved an ordinance streetlights would not be allowed, for lights would take away from the beauty of our nighttime skies. That ruling remains in place. When you walk these streets, you are safe. However, since it is so dark, light clothing is recommended.

During the last couple of years, inns in total disrepair on Indian Canyon Drive, the major road leading into Palm Springs, have a found new life. Owners have often taken the buildings down to their rafters and came up with whole new themed concepts. These boutique hotels often have amenities you may desire. Each has its unique qualities.

If you are interested in staying in an Inn, just search “Inns in Palm Springs.” You are bound to find one that has the kind of atmosphere you are looking for to relax and explore the area.

Inns in Palm Springs

Holiday House in Palm Springs, CA

Large Hotels

There are numerous name-brand hotels. Some of them are within walking distance of downtown Palm Springs: Hilton, Hyatt, Kimpton Rowan, and the Renaissance (Marriott). You will want to check their website for availability and rates. Once you decided on the total, call them directly for often they can offer you better rates when you call. The exception would be when major events such as Coachella, Stage Coach or BNP Paribas, tennis tournament.

Airbnb and Long-term Rentals

There is a profusion of places you can rent if you want a short-term home or room. If you choose to stay in the area for an extended period, I recommend you contact one of the vacation home rental agencies.

Looking for a long-term vacation rental in Palm Springs? Check out VRBO right here!

If you decide you want to stay in Palm Springs, be sure to check the address. Keep in mind Coachella Valley has nine separate cities. If you rent a place in Indio, for example, you will find yourself about a 45-minute drive from downtown Palm Springs.

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Hungry? Here are some ideas.

Just about any type of food you conjure up in your mind, you can find in our many restaurants. If patio dining is your preference, that can happen. Even on our cool winter evenings, restaurants have outdoor heaters to make your dining experience a delightful one.

Personal Favorites include:

Casual Dining:

More Formal Dining

  • Eight4Nine: You can always count a terrific meal and fun, hip atmosphere.
  • Copley’s: Mexican flair with a Palm Springs Twist. Great outdoor patio dining.
  • Melvyn’s; Old Hollywood Vibe. No shorts allowed in the evening.
  • Spencer’s; Best rib-eye ever. An excellent place for breakfast. Lunch and dinner.
  • Workshop; Fine dining with a great patio.

Now you have your place to stay, and suggestions for places to eat, time to start packing!

Copley's Inn in Palm Springs

Copley’s Restaurant in Palm Springs

Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is an eight-year resident of Palm Springs and the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guide.

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1 Comment

  1. Vonnie Bell

    That was so well said!
    We live there for 6 months a year and what a surprise to find such wonderful news to help us out!


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