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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Sites to See on a One Day Visit to Palm Springs

Downtown Palm Springs

Let’s assume you are staying downtown Palm Springs. Read my blog Plan Your Visit to Palm Springs so you will understand why I am starting out with this point. I am assuming you have a car for this day’s adventure.

The mornings are glorious here. So if you are a hiker, you will want to put on your hiking clothes and head out about 7:00 a.m. There are plenty of trails. Check out All Trails for a detail list of trails in the area. First-time visitors find Tahquitz Canyon Loop an easy one to maneuver without taking up a significant portion of your day.

Be sure to wear a hat, comfortable hiking shoes, flip-flops won’t work. Take more water than you think you will need. You will be surprised once the sun comes up, how warm it gets.


Don’t want to go back to the hotel just yet? Then head down to Pinocchio’s It is in the

middle of downtown and where we locals hang out. You can expect hearty breakfast. You earned it after your hike to see Tahquitz Falls.

Breakfast at Pinnochio's

Back to your hotel

It’s time to shower and dress in your casual clothes. Anything goes in Palm Springs, though it appreciated if men wear shirts downtown. Otherwise, just dress in your hip summer clothes, and you will fit right in.

Plan ahead and make a reservation for dinner at Spencer’s for the evening. When you call, mention you would like to sit on the patio. While they say they can't promise you a table there, it is good to ask for when you come in there is a better chance you will be seated in this magnificent setting.

Exploring Begins

Sunglasses and water in hand, I suggest you head out to the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert for two reasons:

1. The drive down Hwy 111 from Palm Springs, will take you through the communities of Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and Palm Desert. You will start to see all the cities have their own personalities.

2. The Living Desert is like no other place you have been. Just stay on Hwy 111, and you will see signs for the Living Desert. Park in their vast parking lot (it’s free) Remember to grab those hats and water.

While the entrance fee seems a bit steep, I can assure you all the members of your family will have a delightful time. It is educational, relaxing, and exposes all to the plants and animals that live in the deserts throughout the world. It was my first exposure to a desert oasis, for example.

Feeding Giraffes at Living Desert

This is a place to relax, learn, and marvel at a world, most likely, you have been unfamiliar.

It is totally handicap accessible. For a small fee, you can get a ticket to ride a golf-cart-like vehicle, throughout the park. You can get off and on whenever you want. There are strollers available for the little ones.

Time to Head back to Palm Springs

By now folks are probably getting a bit hungry. The plethora of places for snacks downtown Palm Springs is a bit overwhelming. I’d recommend you try one of our famous date shakes. Be prepared, after eating one you will be more than full. If you want lighter fare, there are lots of choices.

If shopping is on your agenda, here’ the place to browse and get your souvenirs.

Pool Time

We, locals, tend to forget people come to Palm Springs to relax around the pool since we do it practically year round here. Thus, I have built it into this schedule. While some will say the afternoon is the hottest time of day, I have found, this when I need to be refreshed. Besides, with suntan lotion and umbrellas, you’ll be just fine.

Dinner Time

As the sun sets, you'll be reminded it is time for dinner. Business, casual clothes are

Spencer's Patio

perfect attire for dinner at Spencer’s.

No matter what you order, you cannot go wrong. Food is superb, ambiance beautiful and service impeccable. This is also our go-to place for special celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries.

Please note when I mention a place, I have provided a website link. I want to make sure you have current information. It is my goal to support you on your brief visit to Palm Springs, located in the north end of Coachella Valley.

Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News 760-902-3094

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