May 25, 2024

Happy Travel & Tour

Specialists Travel & Tours

Here’s Why You Should Visit Palm Springs in 2023

Here’s Why You Should Visit Palm Springs in 2023

Palm Springs has attracted visitors since silent film stars and 1940s celebrities headed there to escape Hollywood and play in the desert. Today, vacationers and snowbirds arrive from colder climates during winter, and many stick around to bask in the summer heat and take advantage of the season’s more subdued atmosphere and lower prices. Until a few decades ago, hotels, restaurants, and shops closed during summer, but Greater Palm Springs is now a popular year-round destination.

According to American Express Travel data, the number of airline tickets booked to Palm Springs was up by 38{6932ee47e64f4ce8eedbbd5224581f6531cba18a35225771c06e4f1b3f0d9667} in 2022 compared to 2018 and up 50{6932ee47e64f4ce8eedbbd5224581f6531cba18a35225771c06e4f1b3f0d9667} versus 2017. Palm Springs International Airport reported its busiest year on record in 2022, as it welcomed nearly 3 million travelers. The airport added airlines and new service to several cities.

Culture and Fun in Greater Palm Springs

Courtesy of Visit Greater Palm Springs

The new Acrisure Arena, home of the Coachella Valley Firebirds professional ice hockey team, features public ice skating sessions, adult and junior hockey, and private ice rink rental for special events at the Arena’s Berger Foundation Iceplex. Upcoming concerts at the Acrisure Arena include Shania Twain (May 31), Lizzo (June 2), Paramore (July 15), and Dierks Bentley (Aug. 19). At the McCallum Theater, Broadway’s Best Musical winner, “Come From Away,” will be presented from April 4-9, followed by the Irish and International Dance group, Riverdance, from April 14-16, and “Man of La Mancha” from May 5-7. 

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival returns to the Empire Polo Field in Indio for two weekends, April 14-16 and 21-23, with a wide range of musical entertainment, art installations, food, drink, games, and parties. An exclusive American Express offer is available for the second weekend. Stagecoach Country Music Festival follows from April 28-30 in the same location with top performing artists, the Compton Cowboys for equestrian entertainment, daytime fun for kids, retail shops, and Guy Fieri’s Stagecoach Smokehouse.

Through May 7, Desert X, a free self-guided outdoor art experience, features sites across the Coachella Valley. The exhibition focuses on social, cultural, and environmental themes presented by 11 international artists in a wide variety of genres. Maps and programs are available on the Desert X website and at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. 

The brand-new Spa at Séc-he at the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza features 22 private mineral baths, 15 treatment rooms, a cryotherapy chamber, two float pod suites, a boutique fitness area, menthol dry sauna, eucalyptus steam room, mineral pool with four Jacuzzis, luxury cabanas, and full-service salon. The new Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza, slated to open in downtown Palm Springs later this year, will celebrate the history and culture of the region’s original inhabitants, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, with a museum and interpretive trail. 

Mariah Tyler/Travel + Leisure

Palm Springs is known for its concentration of mid-century modern architecture, and each year during Modernism Week, tours of notable homes and neighborhoods celebrate the architectural style. Curated small-group Architecture Tours by Modernism Week continue through May 29, and self-guided walking and driving tours are available year-round. A four-day “mini-Modernism Week” is planned for Oct. 19-22, with tours, talks, and parties in locations not regularly open to the public.

Stay in a Luxury Resort or an Intimate Boutique Hotel

Throughout the city of Palm Springs and the Greater Palm Springs area, new and renovated accommodations are the trend, from upscale resorts to small, hidden-away hotels. The Hermann Bungalows, a 24-room ultra-luxury resort set within the mid-century L’Horizon Resort and Spa, features unobstructed mountain views, modern furnishings, bar and lounge area, and access to all the amenities of L’Horizon, including the main pool, the Spa, and the superb SO-PA restaurant. 

Josh Cho Photography

Casa Cody, the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, founded in the 1920s, recently reopened following a major restoration project, maintaining its Spanish Colonial heritage and adobe hacienda architecture. A variety of rooms from studios to cottages, set among winding landscaped paths, feature elegant decor, upscale amenities, original and vintage art, mini-bars, and custom robes.

The historic Colony Palms Hotel & Bungalows, once the hangout of the infamous Purple Gang, has also been completely renovated. The elegant hotel features The Spa at Colony Palms and their signature restaurant, The Colony Club, serving California fare al fresco or in its Art Deco dining room.

Courtesy of Colony Palms

In downtown Palm Springs, the new Drift features rooms ranging from single units to four-bedroom suites. A pool, poolside bar and cabanas, fire pits on the lawn, yoga studio, and all-day restaurant serving Baja Mexican fare round out amenities, perfect for families or friends groups.

Set to open in fall, the mid-century modern Thompson Palm Springs will be in the heart of downtown, a 168-room World of Hyatt hotel offering suites with private pools, coffee shop, and Mediterranean dining. 

Chris Simpson

The new Sensei Porcupine Creek, a 230-acre T+L IT List winner set within the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains, is an intimate wellness retreat featuring luxurious accommodations, golf, tennis, spa, and Sensei by Nobu dining exclusively for resort guests. The Sensei Way philosophy guides guests on a unique wellness experience with highly trained Sensei guides and expert practitioners.

Tommy Bahama plans to launch its first resort concept in late 2023, reimagining the luxe Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, a unique crossover for the lifestyle brand into the resort business. In the meantime, Miramonte’s spa is the perfect place to relax with a facial, massage, or therapeutic treatment.

New Dining Spots and Lounges

Courtesy of The Parlour

Located at the newly renovated clubhouse at Desert Island Country Club in Rancho Mirage, The Penney is a modern, stylish restaurant presenting seasonal cuisine by chef Jon Butler, formerly at the popular Los Angeles restaurant République. The Parlour is a cocktail lounge with a grand piano, billiards table, a fascinating collection of celebrity photographs, original art, and lush furnishings—perfect for post-dinner relaxing.

Courtesy of The Paloma Resort

Sol y Sombra, at The Paloma Resort, a colorful new casual hotel just south of downtown Palm Springs, offers al fresco and indoor dining specializing in tapas, paella, and Spanish-inspired dishes with locally grown ingredients. The signature paellas can be ordered in several versions, from traditional to vegetarian. 

The latest offering from the couple behind popular restaurants Farm and Tac/Quila, Clandestino is quietly set just behind bustling Palm Canyon Drive. The sultry environment, colorful seating areas, and art collection create the atmosphere they call “Tac/Quila’s moody sister.” The menu features Latin cuisine, and guests can dine al fresco or in the cantina.

Mark Your Calendar for Early 2024 Events

Can’t get to Greater Palm Springs this year? 2024 will begin with the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Expect awards, festivities, and screenings at a variety of venues in the area. Also in January, The American Express PGA Tour golf tournament brings exciting professional golf to La Quinta along with its popular Concert Series. Retail shops and on-course food stations give local small businesses the opportunity to meet thousands of golf and music fans.