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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Preparing for a Winter Visit to Palm Springs

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

You are looking forward to getting out of rain and snow, so you book your reservation for a flight into our beautiful international airport. It is not often you can get off your airplane and immediately find yourself outside. Then an escalator takes you down on the path to retrieve your luggage.

When you were packing, you pictured yourself sitting poolside sipping cocktails. Evening attire for dinner will most certainly be tropical so you dig deep for those summer clothes or your wardrobe from your last warm-weather retreat.

Now the Reality

As much as we would like to say, the weather will be a constant temperature, we cannot.

What you must be figured into your travel needs is the fact we live in a desert. All those things you have read and heard about how cool or even cold the desert can get at night is true. Granted, we Palm Springs residents have become a bit wimps in terms of the cold weather. However, way too many people from other parts of the world and States come here wishing they had packed a warmer clothing for activities.

Really? I Need Winter Clothes?

One of our “must-see” attractions is the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway. Here you go to the 8, 500 foot above the Coachella Valley floor. In the winter, you will most likely experience snow and certainly much colder temperatures. Many a visitor has wished she had remembered to pack a warm coat, hat, and gloves. There are paths to hike. If there happens to be a fresh snowfall, you can plan on being part of a snowball fight.

Tramway at bTwilight
Photo by Mike Barngrower

To enhance your experience, go up about 3:00 p.m. and hike some of the trails at the top. Have a bite to eat or a drink, and then wait until it gets dark. Your experience coming down will enable you to see Coachella Valley lights in its full glory.

This year, Joshua Tree National Park experienced a usual amount of snow. So if you headed up there, you would have appreciated the above list for winter warmth.

Daytime Wear

To plan your wardrobe, think fall attire in most areas of the country. Layering is a great way to think of what you may need. Our temperatures can start out in the mid-50s, and by the end of the day; we are basking in mid-70s temperatures. Sunscreen and sunglasses remain a must for all your outings since even our winter sun can be intense.

Do not assume the pool will be heated at the place you are staying. Rental homes and condos often do not heat their pools during the winter season. So make sure you ask. Then negotiate when you want the heat to be turned on for your arrival. Be prepared to pay $50 plus extra per day for toasty, heavenly water temperature.

Evening attire

Gentlemen, you are going to want to have long-sleeved shirts with you. Many a man has been glad he brought a down vest to wear over it when heading out to one of our restaurants. Some high-end restaurants require a sports jacket, so think of it as being another jacket for our lower night-time temperatures.

Ladies, think about what you would wear if you were going to a restaurant with a very cold air conditioning system. A warm shawl will be extremely welcome as you step outside after a delectable dinner at one of amazing restaurants. Pack a couple of sweaters, just in case the sun doesn’t come out early enough for you to start your shopping excursions.

Of course, if you have forgotten a piece of clothing you now feel be essential to make your visit even more special, shopkeepers will be more than willing to help you.

Just saying, it is great fun sending photos of you basking in the sun while friends experience yet another snowstorm. You don’t have to fill guilty about doing it; you were the ones smart enough to plan and book your reservations so you can experience this winter paradise.

Kathy Condon is a freelance travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guide Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News

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