Fall Guide to Palm Springs

Fall is one the best times to travel to Palm Springs. Everyone knows that February has some of the most amazing weather throughout the entire year, but November is often overlooked. With an average temperature of 80 degrees, and mid season rates, planning a vacation to a sunny destination should be calling your name.  Planning a trip to the desert? Great! We have compiled are favorite local hotspots that is a must try when visiting the Greater Palm Springs area.

+ Art Museum +

The Palm Springs Art Museum is a local gem which is actually more than just a museum, expressed best in their mission statement: “As a cultural and educational leader in the greater desert community, the Palm Springs Art Museum provides extraordinary creative encounters based on its collections of modern and contemporary art and traditional art of the Americas.” The Palm Springs Art Museum has three locations, each with their own unique focus. Here’s your insider’s guide to this cultural gem.

Palm Springs Art Museum is located in downtown Palm Springs at 101 Museum Drive.  The museum is open Friday through Wednesday from 10 am – 5 pm and on Thursday from noon – 8 pm. Admission is $12.50 for adults, $10.50 for seniors and free for active military. For the budget minded, free admission is offered every Thursday from 4-8 pm and the second Sunday of each month.

+ thick as thieves +

Escape room: Team Building?  Two words which, when uttered together, conjure up a breakout meeting held in a beige mutli-use room with no windows.  A few hours of what could be aproductive work day playing games with colleagues until someone says “quitting time.”  Team building in this context is likely one of the least fun activities imaginable.  Not true for The Escape Room in Palm Springs. This fresh business model (conveniently located directly next door to Mclean Company) offers six themed rooms where a Game Master takes time to explain the rules of engagement: no lifiting of heavy objects, pay close attention to gameplay, be minded towards subtlety and get in it to WIN it.  Each themed room (Merlin’s Magic School. Vampires Lair, The Locker Room, Jack the Ripper, Bank Heist, and Titanic) are geared to present teams with a mystery in need of solving.  Teams are split into different rooms where each will have a timed, live adventure game.

Relying on wits and problem-solving skills each participant will work independently and alongside team members to create and share clues in order to solve the provided puzzle. Each game is engineered to develop communication and listening skills, demonstrate when its best to come together as a team and when it’s time to divide and conquer.  Players will learn how to problem solve under pressure and looming deadlines while overcoming petty differences while aiming at a common goal.  This common goal being WINNING! Learning life skills is a bonus of the Escape Room.

Boomers Palm Springs: Blue skies, fresh air and sunshine is splendid…even more so when experienced while flying down a go-kart racetrack or swinging for the fences of a batting cage.  Boomers Palm Springs offers these attractions among many more; miniature golf, bumper boats and a climbing wall along with a large arcade game room and ticket games with a prize counter.  Located off Highway 111 in Palm Springs, Boomers looks onto the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountain Range.  Spending an afternoon indoors enjoying ice cold air conditioning while everyone in the family has something aimed at their particular interests is great fun.  Even better is when the sun creeps behind the mountains and starts to cast a deep shadow across the acres of outdoor fun provided with paid entrance.  This is the prime time of day to take advantage of speeding go kart races, just fast enough to make it difficult yet safe enough that age appropriate youngsters can learn to drive.  Or get the tiniest bit drenched on a bumper boat excursion.  Have a blast navigating your boat around a large pool with other boats, trying hard to get the other pilots as wet as possible.  Or take a leisurely hour to introduce the young ones to golf.  Of the miniature variety.  Each hole is sized for children and offers hazards built for adults so fun can be had by all at the same time.  A few short minutes’ drive from downtown Palm Springs for a few hours of fun inside and outside at Boomers.

+ foodie heaven +

Ice Cream + Shoppe:   Cold treat in the desert? Yes, please. Stroll into Ice Cream & Shop(pe) located at the Arrive Hotel.  Offering a fun gift shop featuring items hand selected by hip southern Californian team members who are ready to assist with trinkets AND ice cream.  Featuring a rotating flavor list of both ice cream and sorbet, Ice Cream & Shop(pe) stays open long hours to help give a sweet fix late into the night.  Fan favorite flavors like vanilla bean and chocolate stay in regular rotation while flavors like macadamia nut, pink ginger and pomegranate chocolate chip are filtered in according to season.

Great Shakes: There is something remaining of California’s famous pioneer spirit here in Palm Springs.  Our valley was built up from desolation through individuals striving to fight the elements and succeed here in the face of society first saying “Where?” Followed by “WHY?”  Doug Nelson is one of these pioneer spirit people flying in the face of the norm by opening a now nationally ranked milkshake and malt shop called Great Shakes.  Located in the heart of Downtown Great Shakes keeps business hours all year long.  Yes, even in the middle of summer, that stretch of time responsible for people asked “What? Where?” Instead of seeing a lag in business during peak summer season Doug Nelson and family see an increase.  Prep time to make their signature scratch graham crackers. caramel, butterscotch and baked mini donuts increases to 3 hours prior to opening every day.  Stop by for an incredible shake or malt made with no artificial ingredients mixed into any flavor combination you care to try.  And fear not, if you pick a combination which is gutsy but not palatable then Doug and his pleasant staff will remake your mistrial into something fabulous.

+ outdoor adventures +

Indian Canyons: Of the rich history in Southern California it should not go without mention that our lands have had custodians for thousands of years before this area became the “SoCal” we know and love. The Cahuilla tribe has made the valley floor and soaring craggy rock faces home for millennia.  Thanks to their nearly zero footprint on the land not much evidence of their lives can be found today.  One rare and organic glimpse into the past life of the Cahuilla tribe is located in Indian Canyon, specifically Palm Canyon.  In modern time this trail system is maintained by the Agua Caliente Reservation.

A small entrance fee will grant access to the over 15 miles of hiking trails.  The Visitor Center and Trading post does a great job of demonstrating what the daily life of Cahuilla tribes people looked like.  Petroglyphs and ancient irrigation systems still remain from these days.  Starting on the Palm Canyon trail will wind you through narrow canyons ending in the largest grove of native California Fan Palms in the state. Literally an oasis, Palm Canyon features water all year long.  Stream side are the remnants of mortars used thousands of years ago for grinding grain.  A careful eye could reveal stone tools, an eagle eye may see petroglyphs carved into the rock faces.  A treasure trove of history as well as being a lovely spot for relaxing after a long hike.  Use hours from 8am-5pm gives ample time to accomplish any skill level of hiking you wish to do while ensuring arrival back at the car by sunset.

+ vintage vibes +

Design has been a long-standing part of the Palm Springs culture.  When the valley first burst onto the scene it was through Hollywood.  In the 20’s and 30’s studios locked their stars into very strict contracts which would dictate almost every aspect of their lives.  What movies actors were allowed to perform in, what style their hair was, ladies had make-up chosen by studio artists, and certainly clothes were selected by the wardrobe department.  Our very location served to make Palm Springs the ultimate getaway, 115 miles from Los Angeles was within the 125 mile travel boundary set by studio executives.  Through the years our style was shaped by what was en vogue at the time.  As years passed en vogue matured into vintage.  Palm Springs is the Mid Century Modern capitol of the world, we have more homes in this style than anywhere else on the globe.  With so much emphasis placed on the vintage aesthetic it’s a natural extension to have shopping which reflects this trend.  Downtown Palm Springs has an enormous selection of shops offering furnishings and clothing with this vintage flavor. A few of our favorites are…

  • Iconic Atomic Clothing

1103 N Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, Ca

  • Gypsyland Clothing

2775 N Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, Ca

  • Dazzles Clothing

1035 N Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, Ca

  • Revivals Furnishings – Desert AIDS Project

611 S Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, Ca

  • Antique Gallery of Palm Springs

505 E Industrial Place

Palm Springs, Ca

  • Flow Modern Furnishings

768 N Palm Canyon

Palm Springs, Ca

  • Victoria’s Attic Antique Mall

798 N Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, Ca

  • Palm Springs Vinyl Records

220 N Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, Ca

  • The Estate Sale Company

4185 E Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, Ca


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