With so many fun things to do in Palm Springs—from outdoor activities to fine dining, shopping and a vibrant live music scene—planning a visit can raise lots of questions. The biggest question is often: When is the best month of the year to visit Palm Springs?
The short answer: No matter what time of year it is, Palm Springs, CA has something extraordinary to offer! But, the best time to visit Palm Springs will depend on your personal preferences and the types of activities you want to enjoy.
Fortunately, year-round sunshine comes standard and you’re not limited to the traditional summer vacation season like many destinations. You can plan a trip to Palm Springs any time of year:
- Early season: November, December, January
- Peak season: February, March, April
- “Shoulder Months”: May & October
- Off-season: June, July, August, September
Whether you are looking for fun-filled nightlife and social activities, quiet relaxation in the desert, an unforgettable few days of live music, a weekend golf retreat, or searching homes for sale, by the end of this handy travel guide, you’ll be ready to plan the greatest Palm Springs vacation ever!
Where is Palm Springs, CA?
Located 107 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a laid-back community featuring a posh resort lifestyle, outdoor recreation, and a variety of nightlife and entertainment options. One of nine cities in the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs is known for sunshine and stunning desert scenery—desirable qualities that have made it a top destination for golfers, retirees, second-home owners, families, young singles, and more. It’s no wonder the population of 50,000 swells to over one million visitors during peak tourism months.
Early Season in Palm Springs (Nov-Jan)
The early tourist season is the best time of year to visit Palm Springs if you don’t mind temperatures staying a little on the cooler side. November, December, and January have highs in 60s and dip into the mid-40s for lows, which is still warm enough to enjoy hiking, golfing, and getting pampered at the spa.
This can be a good time of year to look at houses for sale in the Palm Springs area. However, if you are looking at country club homes for sale, visiting during the early season is not the same as peak season. This is not the time to visit if you want to get an accurate depiction of course waiting times, noise levels and overall privacy.
Fun things to do in Palm Springs during early season:
- NP Palm Desert Open
- Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade (Dec)
- Palm Springs International Film Awards Gala (Jan)
- Palm Springs Power Baseball (Jan-Feb)
Peak Season in Palm Springs (Feb-April)
A pleasant, dry heat makes this the best time to visit Palm Springs for many. February mostly has lows in the 60s, occasionally dipping into the 50s, and highs in the mid-80s. March has lows in the mid-40s and highs in the 80s, occasionally rising to the low-90s. April has lows in the upper 50s and highs in the mid-80s, occasionally reaching the 90s.
The months of February through April are also the best time to visit Palm Springs to get the full experience when looking at country club homes for sale. Golf courses are most active during these months and you’ll get to enjoy the social scene and other amenities in full swing.
Fun things to do in Palm Springs in peak season:
- Living Desert Zoo & Gardens
- Tour de Palm Springs (Feb)
- Palm Springs Chalk Art Festival (March)
- BNP Paribas Open (March)
- Coachella Valley Grand Prix Pickleball at the Springs Country Club
- Annual Zoobilee Gala (March)
- Legacy Hike & 5k Run (March)
- Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (April)
- Stagecoach Country Music Festival (April)
Off-Season in Palm Springs (June-Sept)
Unlike many other cities in California, tourism declines in Palm Springs during the hot summer months. Temperatures can regularly exceed 100 degrees during the day, so if you are planning for a summer vacation in Palm Springs, the best time to visit local hotspots is usually during the evening when everything is a bit cooler. This is not the time to visit Palm Springs for anyone who doesn’t enjoy the heat!
Fun things to do in Palm Springs during the summer:
Shoulder Months in Palm Springs (May & Oct)
The shoulder months in Palm Springs are transitional months that receive fewer visitors. With many golf courses closed in October for annual maintenance, “snowbirds” from across the U.S. and Canada tend to delay their arrivals until November. However, it’s the best time of year to explore the outdoors in the Palm Springs area. The mountains are about 30 degrees cooler than the desert during these months, and it’s especially great weather for early morning hiking.
Fun things to do in Palm Springs during the shoulder months:
- Stagecoach Country Music Festival (May)
- Author Lyons Film Noir Festival (May)
- Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge (Oct)
- Tahquitz & Indian Canyons
- Palm Springs Art Museum
The Best Time to Travel to Palm Springs, CA
So, should you travel to Palm Springs during peak season with the majority of visitors? Or, enjoy the quieter off-season? Most people travel to Palm Springs between January and April for the ideal weather conditions, but there are plenty of reasons to visit in each of the other seasons. This is perhaps the biggest draw for a growing number of visitors who have decided to make a home (or second home) in the Palm Springs area.
There are many options for those in search of the perfect desert lifestyle. Charming communities from Palm Springs to Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and beyond, each have much to offer. Private golf and country clubs provide a host of luxurious amenities to satisfy every need. Homes for sale include everything from traditional desert architecture to mid-century modern to contemporary masterpieces.
With so many choices, it can be hard to differentiate between them all. That’s why we created a new resource to help. Our Membership Discovery Guide isn’t just the best way to learn all about life at The Springs—it’s packed with local highlights, questions to ask about country club memberships, real estate tips, and other helpful information we’ve gained through over 50 years of helping people find their perfect place in the desert. Get your free copy now!