Summertime in Greater Palm Springs is all about finding cool ways to chill out under the sun. Whether you’re looking for lazy hours spent poolside, a pampering spa getaway, an escape for the entire family, some adults-only fun or a cultural excursion, we’ve compiled your ultimate guide for beating the heat.
Cool Places to Stay and Play
Monkey Tree Hotel
Book a room at the Monkey Tree Hotel, site of Palm Springs’ only Scandinavian spa. Spend a day cycling between hot and cold pools in this unique Nordic hydrotherapy experience that will leave your pores tight and your body refreshed.
Opt for a stay at the hip ARRIVE hotel and you might find yourself leery of ever leaving the property. On Sundays, you can drink while you dip in the pool along to classic vinyl spun by L.A.-based DJs.
An on-site ice cream shop delivers such delectable scoop options as rum raisin, pink ginger and date. Afternoon cocktails over a nostalgic game of Connect Four at the Draughtsman are a must followed by sesame tuna and tamarind summer tacos for dinner at the property’s chic restaurant, Reservoir.
L’Horizon Resort and Spa
Spend some private time at the Adults-only L’Horizon Resort and Spa designed by renowned designer Steve Hermann. You’ll be whisked back to Hollywood’s glamour age in one of twenty-five guest rooms made to emulate luxurious private residences. Dine alfresco at the onsite SO•PA Restaurant Mediterranean-style with a plate of tangy labneh on grilled naan.
For a truly intimate experience, choose one of five rooms at the ultra-modern Amado or rent out the entire place for your entourage of family or friends. Built in 1955, this classic mid-century complex boasts five curated suites.
Better yet, Amado guests can book private cocktail classes at Bootlegger Tiki, the sexiest tiki bar in town. Lead bartender Chad Austin will start with a blind tasting followed by education on the history of the eponymous cocktails and recipes for three specialty cocktails.
Palm Mountain Resort
Packages are geared toward pairs at Palm Mountain Resort. The “Summer Splash” package includes a gift certificate for breakfast at Ruby’s Diner before a day of splashing fun adventures for two at Wet N’ Wild waterpark. The more romantic “Under The Desert Sun” package provides a gift certificate to LULU California Bistro and chocolates in room upon arrival.
Omni Rancho Las Palmas
Families will want to flock to the Omni Rancho Las Palmas for their version of wholesome summer extravagance. Splashtopia is an onsite waterpark with two 100-foot waterslides, a cliff-side Jacuzzi, a sandy beach and unique water-play zones with fountains and sprinklers for the kids – all surrounded by a 425-foot lazy river.
To add to the indulgence, the spa offers a sweet, mini ice cream mani & pedi for kids. While your kids are luxuriating in all of this unique pampering and play, grab yourself a Cocomango Massage.
For dinner, bluEmber has created a three-course summer menu that can be enjoyed on the patio with mountain views with fresh items like yellowfin tuna and grilled vegetable ravioli.
Cool Ways to Replenish the Mind, Body and Soul
Parker Palm Springs
Try the Spa Junkie package at the Parker Palm Springs. Pay $249 for your room but receive $250 in free services at the hotel’s Palm Springs Yacht Club, which has recently undergone a comprehensive renovation by uber-designer Jonathan Adler.
Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage
At the mountaintop Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage you can “Create Your Own Desert Experience.” Guests can choose two or more spa services such as neck, back, leg, foot or shoulders massages with refresher facials or hydrating body scrubs.
Once duly relaxed, enjoy some freshly crafted sushi at the outdoor Air Pool Bar.
Colony Palms Hotel
For midweek travelers, Colony Palms Hotel is offering a break from the bustle of the city and busy workweek with the “Double Your Leisure” package. Guests can spend the day relaxing by the newly refreshed pool area, complete with cabanas, enhanced with hand-painted awnings and new daybeds, which play up the Old Hollywood feel.
From June 1st through the end of August, you’ll receive a Swedish massage for two, lunch at the hotel’s Purple Palm restaurant featuring California-inspired menu items such as smoked brisket bahn mi sandwich, Purple Palm wellness salad and the ginger chicken satay salad.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club
If you stay at the funky, hipster Ace Hotel & Swim Club you get the extra perk of free Saturday morning “mellow” yoga and DJ’s spinning poolside. If you are there during a full moon, you can join an evening drum circle for some soulful reverberation under the stars. The aptly named “Feel Good Spa” features hydrating aloe vera body wraps for a refreshing experience post-tan.
Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa
The Westin Mission Hills is having a “Chillabration,” also known as a delightful spa promotion consisting of 32° Summer Chill Spa Specials, all at 32% savings off the normal price. This includes Swedish massage, hydrating facials, citrus body wraps and a glycolic pedicure.
Cool Things to Do and See
Pool parties have always been signature to the desert. But Splash House has upped the game. This festive roving poolside fete and dance party takes place across three fabulous properties: The Saguaro, The Riviera and The Renaissance.
Shuttles provide transportation between each location and water stations provide hydration in between all the drinking and dancing. Meet and mingle pool to pool at this fabulously social event. Tickets can be purchased online.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Head up to cooler climes with a two and a half mile climb up the mountainside on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway’s rotating cable car. At the top, you’ll find a bevy of nature hikes amongst pristine wilderness with views of the entire valley below.
Take an early morning hike up the legendary Tahquitz Canyon on the historic reservation of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. At the end of your trek, enjoy a picnic lunch at the base of the 60-foot Tahquitz Falls waterfall.
Palm Springs International ShortFest
Buy tickets for the annual Palm Springs International Shortfest, taking place June 20-26, where you can watch over 300 films from over 100 countries around the globe and participate in master classes, roundtable discussions, and panels on the film industry.
Like to schedule your vacations around concerts and live entertainment? Spotlight 29 Casino has a rockin’ summer line-up that includes Ziggy Marley on June 16, Elton John on July 15, and Metallica on August 12th, amongst others. Or check out the roster at Indio’s Fantasy Springs Casino, boasting such world-class talent as Chris Rock, Lionel Richie, The Doobie Brothers, Steve Winwood and Garbage.
Palm Springs Art Museum
Whet your cultural appetite during the hottest hours of the day with some air-conditioned entertainment at one of four different Palm Springs Art Museum (PSAM) venues. The main museum in downtown Palm Springs is showing works by international modern artists from Europe and the Americas via the “Making it Modern” exhibition.
The Annenberg Theater, housed in the museum’s lower level, features a “Hot is Cool: Sizzling Summer Film Festival” where free films are shown on the third Thursdays of the month June through September. During intermission, guests can sip summer cocktails inspired by the evening’s film.
If architecture is your jam, the museum’s Architecture and Design Center presents a show called “On the Grid: a look at settlement patterns in the high desert” centered around seminal artist Andrea Zittel’s major sculptural work titled Lay of My Land.
Further east in Palm Desert at PSAM’s The Galen resides the lush and complex world of artist Pat Lasch with her “Journeys of the Heart.” Her first major museum survey includes her signature, delicate pastry sculptures alongside rarely seen stitched canvases and bronzes.
Cool Places to Eat and Drink
For a casual light meal, sidle up to the bar at Fisherman’s Landing like the locals do for an oyster and chardonnay ritual. Or, go for tiny plates of tapas and thirst-quenching house made sangria at Alicante. Zin American Bistro’s free-range chicken salad with Roquefort-citrus dressing is a notorious fan favorite for lunch or dinner, accompanied by a glass of white from the fantastic Wine Spectator award-winning wine list.
For some fresh Modern European food in downtown Palm Springs, a visit to Johannes is a must. Their summer special Chef’s Choice Prix Fixe for $29 will be served all summer long between 5p.m. and 6 p.m. Although the menu options will change daily, the award-winning schnitzel will remain a steadfast choice.
Truss & Twine
For swanky drinks, try the newest venture from Workshop Bar + Kitchen owners: Truss and Twine. This atmospheric bar is located in a historic El Paseo building on North Palm Canyon Drive in the heart of Palm Springs. It features swanky cocktails broken down by era (think Hanky Panky or a Queen’s Park Swizzle) along with groovy tunes from a rotating band of merry disk jockeys.
Best of all, the place is open till 12:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Looking for more ways to chill in the oasis? Check out these summer events in Greater Palm Springs.