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Palm Springs Travel Tips

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Set in the picturesque Coachella Valley, Palm Springs has long been a hideaway for the rich and famous, with spectacular mountain views and sunshine all year round. It’s known as a party spot, but it’s also rich in arts and culture, with festivals and events hosted throughout the area. And you can really make the most of the epic landscape thanks to the biking and hiking trails on offer.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

July and August can get very hot around these parts, although it’s made more bearable by the fact that it's a dry heat. Summer sees the nearby Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival hold sway, although tourists tend to stay away during this period because of the sizzling temperatures. Spring months can be better for outdoor activities such as hiking and golfing, with a cooler atmosphere and less intense sunshine, or you could visit during the quieter fall season, which tends to be cheaper, yet still has decent weather and plenty going on.

 

Not to Miss

 

For the best view of the area, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is an essential day out, and ideal for those visiting for the first time. The city is also known for its cultural attractions, so take a look at events going on at the Palm Springs Art Museum, which actually boasts its very own theater. Prestigious annual events such as the Palm Springs International Film Festival also bring in lots of visitors, including Hollywood celebrities and producers, while the colorful Greater Palm Springs Pride festival brings concerts and pageants to the city.

 

Getting around

 

The small and friendly Palm Springs International Airport has excellent connections across the US, with extra services during the busy spring season. The airport is just a short minute drive or taxi ride from downtown, while plenty of buses are available as well. The airport is also the site of the Palm Springs Amtrak Station, which has regular services on the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle lines, with trains traveling as far as Ontario, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Chicago. If you're staying downtown, then a car might not be necessary, as the area is pedestrian friendly, and there are bus routes around Palm Springs.

 

Cuisine

 

Palm Springs has a great selection of restaurants, most of them casual and laid back, and many of them focused on healthy eating. You'll find vegan and vegetarian joints for the health and body conscious tourists, as well as exotic, fresh cuisine such as Thai and Mexican for when you are craving a little spice. Like a lot of Californian cuisine, the restaurants in Palm Springs embrace fusion cooking, with influences from around the world added to modern classics. Palm Springs also has a few fine dining eateries for special occasions, with upmarket steakhouses and French restaurants where you might just spot a celebrity or two.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

As with any American city tipping is expected for most of the service industries, and many workers in customer-facing roles live off their tips. You should remember to add 15-20% to your bill for the waiting staff or cab drivers, plus a couple of dollars for hotel staff. Most restaurants and bars are laid back, with very few eateries expecting men to wear jackets, but you should check the dress code if you've reserved a table somewhere special. Otherwise, you can probably get away with shorts and casual day clothing in the majority of places.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 46280

Spoken languages: English

Electrical: The USA runs on 120V, 60 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +1 760911