The Most Romantic Getaways in Palm Springs
Looking for a romantic break with your loved one? Head to Palm Springs for some fun in the sun.
Ah, Palm Springs. Cocktails by the pool. Sunsets over the desert landscape. Getting cosy and stargazing. Does it get any more romantic than that? We know how stressful and unromantic planning itineraries can be, which is why the experts at Plum Guide (that’s us) are here to help. We’ve put together a guide to the most romantic getaways in Palm Springs.
Known for its hot springs, spas and mid-century modernism, Palm Springs is a fantastic place for a romantic getaway. Whether you choose to lounge by the pool with a cocktail or get active and explore the outdoors, there’s something for everyone in this desert city.
There’s something about a panoramic view that’s super romantic. Palm Springs isn’t short of stunning vistas, and one of the best ways to see them is a gondola ride aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Step inside a rotating car and enjoy the views of the entire Coachella Valley. Stop at the mountaintop lounge for a drink.
Speaking of, it’s only natural that star-studded Palm Springs is home to some of the best restaurants in California. One of our favourites is Mr Lyons. Seventy five years in and this swanky, retro eatery is still at the top of the food chain. It’s that good that the steakhouse was frequented by stars like Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.
Don’t mind taking on the heat? Head out on a hike to Tahquitz Canyon. The two-mile loop leads to a 50-foot waterfall, a romantic little oasis in the middle of the desert. On your way back into town, go past Palm Canyon Drive and mooch round the dozens of antique shops, boutiques and showrooms. You’ll find plenty of places with designs dedicated to the midcentury aesthetic that’s so classically Palm Springs.
Indio is home to that little-known music festival called Coachella. But there’s more to this small city than just that - you’ll find that when it comes to romantic getaways in Palm Springs, it has everything you need from art and music, to food and outdoor fun.
If you happen to be visiting in February, you’ll be there for the annual County Fair. Go on one of those classic dates you see in romcoms, complete with cotton candy, stuffed toy prizes and ferris wheels (if you’re lucky you might even get stuck up there with your other half). Prefer something a little more grown up? Head to Big Rock Pub, a classic-rock themed restaurant and bar which also hosts live music. Rock fans will geek out at the collection of rock memorabilia, including one of Jimi Hendrix’s ensembles.
A date at a date farm? We bet you’ve never been on one of those before. The Shields Date Garden is a 17-acre date farm where you can wander down the lush garden paths dotted with romantic sculptures. When you’ve finished exploring, stop for a meal at the restaurant and soda fountain (we recommend the date ice cream).
If you’re looking for a day trip, an adventure in Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve in the Indio Hills is the perfect place to explore. The preserve is quite a large area, and there are over 25 hiking trails to choose from. Marvel at the canyons, dunes and other features that make up the desert landscape.
No list of romantic getaways in Palm Springs would be complete without Joshua Tree. This beloved natural gem near Palm Springs is located in both the Mojave and Sonoran desert, making it a unique place with a diverse landscape.
Joshua Tree is perfect for couples looking to escape from it all. If you’re into outdoor activities, there is plenty to do here. Hiking is the best way to explore, and there are numerous trails which wind through breathtaking desert landscapes. The Ryan Mountain Trail is short but strenuous, with 10/10 views at the top. If you’re a keen climber, you can’t miss a trip to Hidden Valley.
One of the most romantic spots in Joshua Tree is Keys View, the highest point in the park. It’s best at sunset, where you get bright oranges and reds saturating the sky. It’s the perfect place for a proposal (we’re just saying). Stay until dark to watch the stars come out. Joshua Tree is International Dark Sky Park, and stargazing is one of the must-dos on your romantic getaway itinerary. On the way down, catch a film at Smith’s Ranch, an old-school drive-in cinema experience.
To round off our list of romantic getaways in Palm Springs, we just had to include Palm Desert. This neighbouring city is a mecca for shopping, entertainment and recreation. It’s physically impossible to visit Palm Desert and not buy at least one thing. El Paseo is the best place to shop, as this tree-lined boulevard has upscale boutiques, designer stores, galleries and world-class restaurants.
If it’s culture you’re after, Palm Desert doesn’t disappoint. Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is one of the most fascinating places to put on your itinerary. Built by explorer and activist Cabot Yerxa, the four-story house was constructed from things he found in the desert. Explore the 35 rooms filled with artifacts and personal items.
For an evening of entertainment, head to the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts. This state of the art venue showcases musicals, concerts, dance, opera, orchestra and more. Want to go all out to impress your loved one? How about a hot air balloon tour with Balloons Above? Admire the panoramic views as you ride off into the sunset together. Just check that they’re not afraid of heights first...