Summer in Greater Palm Springs is undeniably hot, but it’s also a good time to visit. We’ve always felt like it was our little secret since it’s when we spend the most time at The Biskra House, but now we’re ready to share. These are our top 10 reasons summer in the desert is actually great.
The pool stays nice and warm, even at night, and allows for the unique experience of drifting along on a float, watching the stars and listening to the coyotes howl in the distance.
If you’ve postponed those museum visits when the weather was too perfect to spend the day indoors, now is a great time to visit. Some of our favorites are the Palm Springs Art Museums – there’s one in Palm Springs and one in Palm Desert, the Palm Springs Air Museum and the Palm Springs Architecture Design Center. If you’re traveling with little ones be sure to check out the Children’s Discovery Museum, where kids are supposed to touch stuff.
Low season means a summer trip to Palm Springs is more affordable. Restaurants that stay open often offer enticing deals (some close, be sure to check first), golf courses offer reduced greens fees, and attractions like the Living Desert offer special deals. Check out the CoolPass for a range of deals, the Living Desert for summer specials, and Catalan, one of our favorite restaurants, for special nights.
The summer is a great time to visit Idyllwild-Pine Cove, a charming mountain town in the San Jacinto Mountains. It’s a scenic (and twisty!) hour’s drive from The Biskra House, with higher elevations that mean temps are generally 20 degrees lower than the desert. Idyllwild is a great place to browse galleries, listen to music, and enjoy a decadent ice cream treat. In August, Jazz in the Pines is a fabulous 3-day event full of music, art, and food (we usually opt for single-day tickets)
Word is getting out, and more people are visiting during the summer, but it’s still likely you’ll find a good parking spot almost everywhere you go and get seated almost immediately for popular restaurants. Some restaurants close for the summer, however, so be sure to call first.
It’s no secret that we love the California stars, and the summer is a great time to see them. The Perseid meteor showers peak in August, and April through October is the best time to see the Milky Way. If you’re visiting during a new moon – that is, when the moon is not visible – it’s worth a drive to Joshua Tree to stargaze where the skies are truly dark. For a little celestial education, you can visit either the Rancho Mirage Observatory or the Sky’s the Limit Observatory in Twentynine Palms (open to the public on Saturday nights, unless there is a full moon.
The desert cities host a number of events in the warmer months to keep both locals and visitors alike contributing to local businesses, here are just a few:
- Palm Springs Memorial Day Flower Drop and Art Fair
- Wet N’Wild Palm Springs Dive In Movies
- Idyllwild Jazz In the Pines
- Palm Springs Splash House Parties
- Rancho Mirage Taste of Summer
- Highway 62 Open Studio Art Tours (Joshua Tree Area)
- Palm Springs Modernism Week Fall Preview
Palm Springs is infamous for its killer vintage stores, but the rumor of bargain prices is sadly out of date – after all, online shopping has leveled the playing field everywhere. In the summer, however, you’ll have less competition for the good stuff, and sellers are generally much more willing to negotiate if you’re serious about buying.
High daytime temps mean guilt-free trips to the movie theater. Soak up the air conditioning and enjoy an ice cream or iced coffee at the River Cinemark theater, which offers discount pricing on the first showing of the day before 1 pm and discounts all day on Tuesdays.
One of the singular joys of the desert is beautiful sunsets, and summer is a great time to shake up an icy cocktail and watch the sun go down. The starry skies, warm breeze, and crickets chirping will take you back to your childhood when summer seemed to last forever.