Palm Springs is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California. On average, over 14 million travelers visit this area each year. This popular resort city is known for its balmy weather and is the home of a number of celebrities’ vacation homes. If you’re interested in visiting Palm Springs, you may be wondering when the best time to go is.
Between October and December is the best time to visit Palm Springs. On average, temperatures will stick around 75 F, and it rarely ever drops below 70F. This is also a great time to avoid crowds. However, September is the best time to save money, as resort rates can drop to under $80 per night.
Palm Springs is the perfect destination when you want to spend your days soaking up the sun. Today, we’re going to discuss what time of year you should visit this popular tourist destination, along with what you can expect each month of the year.
When Not To Visit Palm Springs
The worst time of year to book a trip to Palm Springs is in July and August because of how hot the temperature gets. Most summer days have a high that exceeds 100 F/ 38 C. Even though the temperature can get hot, one good thing is that there is no humidity.
The peak tourist season is from January to March. Even though summer vacation doesn’t bring in as high of a number of tourists as the winter season, many places can still be busy because school is out.
If you visit Palm Springs over the summer, you’ll want to plan your trip out so it includes poolside days and indoor activities to beat the heat. While an early morning walk may be comfortable, most outdoor activities in July and August that don’t involve water are very uncomfortable.
When Is The Cheapest Time To Visit Palm Springs?
The cheapest time to book a trip to Palm Springs is in September. This is when you can get the best rates on accommodation. Rates for hotels and resorts in the area are determined by how busy the destinations are. Peak season in the winter and dates around events and festivals have higher accommodation rates than shoulder seasons.
Most hotels and resorts in the area will offer their lowest rates throughout September. When looking at prices for the Palm Mountain Resort & Spa, the highest rates are in April and May, when festivals are on. During peak times, rates at this resort can go up to $523 a night. However, in September the rates drop to as low as $67 per night.
Best Time To Visit Palm Springs: Monthly Breakdown
January: Best Month For Hiking
January in Palm Springs usually brings a temperature range of 68 to 71 F/ 20 to 22 C. While it’s nice and warm, it’s not too hot to spend the day outdoors. This makes January one of the best months to go hiking and explore the trails in Palm Springs. There are many trails worth exploring in this area, including Andreas Canyon Trail and Araby Trail.
The International Film Festival also takes place in Palm Springs in January. There are hundreds of films to choose from at this event. You may even recognize some celebrities in attendance as well.
- Palm Springs Art Festival
- The Amex Tournament
- Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival
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February: Best Time For Arts & Culture
There are a lot of talented artists in the Palm Springs area. If you want to experience more of the art scene in Palm Springs, February is one of the best months to visit. There are several art festivals and events throughout February, including Art on Main Street, Desert Art Festival, and Retrograde Art Opening.
Modernism Week also takes place in February. This event celebrates architecture across Palm Springs with tours of historical homes and buildings. There are over 350 events on the agenda for Modernism Week, including luxury parties and tour buses.
- Taste of Jalisco Festival
- Palm Springs Vintage Market
- McCormicks Palm Springs Exotic Car Auction
March: Best Month To Try Food
For one of the best culinary experiences in Palm Springs, you should travel in March. The Palm Desert Food and Wine Festival takes place in March. This event features a variety of dishes prepared by professional and celebrity chefs. There is also an impressive list of premium wines to try.
Palm Springs also has an excellent food and beverage scene. If you’re not able to make it to the festival, there are many local restaurants you can try to experience food made by the top local chefs in the area. Some of the best restaurants in Palm Springs include Rythym Cafe, Havana, and Darbster.
- Tejano Music Festival
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
- Ice cream at Great Shakes
April: All About Coachella
April in Palm Springs is a very busy month because this is when the Coachella Festival is held. If you haven’t heard of Coachella, it’s one of the biggest and most anticipated music festivals in the world. It features music artists from all genres, unique art exhibits, and exclusive parties. You may even spot some famous Coachella guests in the audience.
Another reason that April is a popular month in Palm Spring is that the weather is ideal. Mid-day temperatures are usually around 80 to 88 F/ 26 to 31 C. In the evening, it cools off to an average of 72 F/ 22 C. Mornings can be a little chillier, around 56 F/ 13 C, until the sun starts shining.
- Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
- Indian Wells Arts Festival
- Annual White Party
May: Best Month To Stay At A Resort
May is the beginning of the long and hot summer season in Palm Springs, with the daily temperature usually exceeding 90 F/ 32 C. With such high temperatures, one of the best ways to spend the day is by the poolside with refreshing drinks.
This is a good time of year to check out what events are being hosted by resorts. Many of the resorts in Palms Springs will host daytime pool parties with live DJs. There’s also a selection of after-hours events to keep the fun going for your entire trip.
- Joshua Tree Music Festival
- Smooth Jazz Festival
- Morning hikes
June: Dinner And A Movie
June is another hot month, with temperatures soaring above 100 F/ 38 C on a daily basis. A great way to beat the heat is to stop by a local restaurant to grab a cold beverage and enjoy a meal out of the sun. What makes it even better is that restaurant week is in June. This is when over 100 participating restaurants have fixed-price specials.
Another way to get out of the sun is to go watch a movie. There are a couple of film festivals that take place in June. Shortfest is a week-long event that shows short films from all genres. Film Noir Festivals show classic black and white films.
- Watch jam sessions at Melvin’s
- Cool off in the pool
- Enjoy a frozen beverage
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July: Best Month Dive-In Movies
Throughout July, dive-in movies become one of the most popular events in the evening in Palm Springs. You’ve likely been to a drive-in movie before, but a dive-in movie is an even better way to spend a hot summer evening. The Saguaro is one of the most popular places to catch a dive-in movie in the summer
A movie gets screened while the guests cool off by the poolside. There’s a selection of movie-themed snacks available and adults can enjoy cocktails. Dive-in movies are fun for all ages.
Since July is the hottest month in Palms Springs, you’ll likely want to book your days with water activities. Any activities that require you to be active in the sun, like golfing or hiking, should be planned for the early morning before it gets too hot.
- Dropzone Water Park
- Desert Classic Dancesport Championships
August: Best Month For The Poolside
While every month in Palm Springs seems like good poolside weather, August is the most exciting. This is because most hotels and resorts will keep the pools open 24 hours a day during this month. It’s the perfect time of year to take a midnight dip in the pool before going to bed.
Splash House is one of the biggest events in Palm Springs throughout August. This event takes over 3 resorts and takes place twice in August. Each festival is a weekend-long event with live music and poolside parties.
- Palm Springs Desert Museum (guided tours)
- Margaritas by the pool
- Jazz in the Pines
September: Best Month For Evenings Out
September still brings really hot days to Palm Springs, but evening temperatures cool off to 86 F/ 30 C. This is a lot more tolerable for spending time outdoors after the sun sets. It’s a great time of year to take a stroll and see what nightlife in Palm Springs is like.
Just because summer vacation has come to an end doesn’t mean the festivals in Palms Springs are over. There are still a lot of fun things going on. Club Skirts at The Dinah takes place, which is an event dedicated to female music artists. Cinema Diverse is also held in September, which is a film festival celebrating LGBTQ films and filmmakers.
- Dinner on the patio
- Mall walks
Related Read: 15 Best Joshua Tree Hiking Trails
October: Most Comfortable Weather
One of the great things about traveling to Palm Springs in October is that the heat has finally broken and the weather is more comfortable. Mid-day temperatures are now around 85 F/ 29.5 C. It’s a lot more comfortable for spending the day on the golf course, enjoying an afternoon hike, or going sightseeing.
Palm Springs is a fun place to celebrate Halloween. There are several parties and every year there are different Halloween-themed events. If you stay over Halloween weekend, you can view (and enter) the annual costume contest.
- World Team Tennis
- Joshua Tree Music Festival
- Halloween events
November: Thanksgiving In Palm Springs
November in Palm Springs is still balmy with average mid-day temperatures of 78 F/ 25.5 C. If you don’t want to deal with the stress of hosting, cooking, and cleaning up on Thanksgiving, skip it and head to Palm Springs. On top of all the fun activities, there are several restaurants where you can get a professionally cooked Thanksgiving dinner, like Trio and Grand Central Palm Springs.
The Props and Hops Craft Beer Festival is also held in November. At this festival, you can sample beer from over 25 different craft breweries. There is also live music and plane rides. Another cool event in November is Hot Air Balloon Festival & Food Truck Fiesta. Guests can enjoy live music and a selection of delicious food while watching colorful balloons.
- Greater Palm Springs Pride
- Golf Cart Parade
- Art Affaire
December: Christmas Holidays In Palm Springs
Don’t let the lack of snow fool you, Palm Springs is a beautiful spot to spend your Christmas vacation. Instead of snow-covered pine and birch trees, you’ll get to see tall palm trees decorated with bright Christmas lights.
One of the most festive activities is Wildlights at the Desert, which features decorations, animals, crafts, music, and an appearance from Santa. During December, visitors can enjoy holiday concerts and parades.
- International Tamale Festivale
- Tree lightings
- Christmas shopping
When Is Palm Springs The Most Crowded?
Palm Springs will be most crowded between the months of January and April. The winter season is a popular time to travel to Palm Springs because people want to escape the cold weather. You can expect many travelers in January and February to soak up the sun.
April is another crowded month in Palm Springs because of Coachella and other events. You can expect more crowds in the area whenever there is a major event or festival that people look forward to.
Related Read: Best Time to Visit Joshua Tree
When Is The Best Time For A Family-Friendly Trip To Palm Springs?
We recommend planning a family-friendly trip to Palm Springs between October and December. There are a few reasons why this time of year is good for families. Palm Springs has kid-approved events all year round. When you choose to bring the kid at the end of the year, you can avoid the high-season rates. This way, you can have fun without giving up your life savings.
The weather is also more kid-friendly during this time. While the days are still nice and warm, the blistering hot season is over. This allows you to take your kids out and about without them getting uncomfortable from the heat.
When Is The Rainy Season In Palm Springs?
February brings the most rain to Palm Springs, with an average of 1.5 inches. The rainy season only lasts for 4.5 months, from mid-November until the end of March. Palm Springs doesn’t get a lot of rain throughout the year and it only averages 5 inches of rain annually.
One of the reasons why Palm Springs is such a hot tourist destination is because visitors know they can book a trip without rain interfering. During the summer months, it’s very rare for there to be rainy days in Palm Springs. Visitors can enjoy more outdoor activities without getting rained out.