In the nine cities that make up Greater Palm Springs, there are infinite combinations for an ideal vacation — each city offering its own attitude and blend of excitement. Whether you’re into arts and culture, health and wellness, or fun adventures in the great outdoors, it’s easy to make this desert oasis your favourite getaway.

For the wellness-focused

Average daily springtime temperature in Greater Palm Springs is 28°C. / Photo by Bikram Yoga

Greater Palm Springs, known as a place of healing since the early 19th century, is the ultimate destination for those who prioritize wellness and relaxation. With unparalleled spa amenities, natural hot springs, peaceful landscapes and a health industry that is always ahead of the trends, this oasis in the desert has it all.

What to see: Breathe in the clean, invigorating air of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains while ascending the Cross Trail Loop, a gentle hike near Palm Desert. At the hike’s mid-point stands its notable namesake, a 600-foot-tall cross that lights up at night, but the real draw is the unbeatable views of the Coachella Valley below and the rolling hills of Joshua Tree National Park beyond. Take in both while enjoying a moment of Zen.

Where to play: Cultivate mindfulness and a healthier body with an indoor or outdoor yoga class at one of the many yoga studios to be found across Greater Palm Springs. Consider one of Bikram Yoga Palm Desert’s classes, which are held in a heated studio, or head outside with Power Yoga Palm Springs, which leads a morning class each Saturday in the serene setting of Wellness Park in Palm Springs.

What to eat: Tuck into an entirely plant-based meal from Native Foods restaurant in Palm Springs. Native Foods offers all vegetarian and vegan options, and provides the body nourishing and necessary fuel. If you’re in Palm Desert, Wildest Greens offers plenty of vegan, paleo (all free-range and grass-fed) and gluten-free options.

Where to stay: The expansive Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells features a central courtyard cradling an aquamarine pool, all against the backdrop of the dusky Santa Rosa Mountains. Linger in the resort’s lush rose garden in between sumptuous spa treatments like their essential-oil infused Rain full body massage or Ultra-Nourishing Body Wrap.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Canadian visitors to Greater Palm Springs can receive excellent health care at special rates at the Eisenhower Medical Center, the area’s leading nonprofit hospital, located  in Rancho Mirage. Eisenhower simplifies cross-border medical pricing and servicing, covering the scope of urgent care to primary care, including elective procedures and imaging.

 

For the outdoor enthusiast

It’s sunny more than 300 days of the year in Greater Palm Springs. / Photo by barberstock.com/collection/palmsprings/photo

Epic desert playgrounds, lush golf courses, first-rate sports facilities and unlimited hiking and biking trails are just some of the draws in Greater Palm Springs for those who love the great outdoors.

What to see: Pedal the Goat Trails path at the bottom of the San Jacinto Mountains, adjusting the experience to your endurance level. There are several tracks to ride on this trail, but no matter which physical challenge you decide on, you’ll enjoy catching sight of the local flora and fauna as you feel like you’re flying through the valley on your bike.

Where to play: Greater Palm Springs is home to more than 100 golf courses, which means there’s no shortage of well-maintained greens from which to choose. Golf fanatics should stay at the La Quinta Resort & Club, where they’ll receive access to the famed Stadium Course — a notable stop on the PGA golf tour. Or, opt to visit the Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, which offers public access to its two championship courses.

What to eat: The Coachella Valley is a vital farming region in Southern California, and you can taste some of its local, organic produce at one of the three Certified Farmers’ Markets in Palm Springs, La Quinta and Palm Desert. Open rain or shine, these markets have offerings like organic coffee, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy desserts and locally made oils.

Where to stay: An easy distance between the wonders of Joshua Tree National Park and delights of downtown Palm Springs, Sparrows Lodge is a stylish space to rest up. Built in the 1950s, this upscale retro lodge has no TV, instead offering spaces like community fire pits, a courtyard pool and an open-to-the-air onsite restaurant to connect.

 

LOOKING TO SETTLE IN GPS?

Those who are considering a permanent address in Greater Palm Springs with direct access to luxury amenities and premier sport facilities should look no further than the Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells. A private residential community, Toscana was modeled after Old World Italian architecture and has two scenic Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, tennis and pickleball courts, multiple pools, an Italian restaurant and an onsite spa.

 

For the arts and culture buff

Adam Enrique Rodriguez, a talented young artist from Indio. / Photo by Scott Baxter

Artsy Greater Palm Springs is a mecca for creative types. Here, innovative restaurants, masterfully curated museums, world-famous music festivals and incredible midcentury modern architecture are all at your doorstep.

What to see: Art galleries and museums abound in all of GPS, but the Palm Springs Art Museum’s main location in Palm Springs is a standout spot. There are 150,000 square feet of museum exhibits to explore, including work by Helen Frankenthaler, Dale Chihuly and Diego Rivera. For music-lovers and celebrity-seekers, springtime also signals the start of the star-studded Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival.

Where to play: El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert, sometimes called “the Rodeo Drive of the Desert,” is dotted with swaying palm trees and numerous high-end shops to explore. There, you can find Gail Jewelers, one of only two locations in the world, which features fine jewelry made to stand out and last a lifetime.

What to eat: For Scandinavian-style decor and a fresh take on sushi, visit Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey in Palm Springs. Classic dishes like the California Dreamin roll (their take on a California roll) and their Sandfish Roll (featuring tuna, crab and avocado) can be found alongside new spins like the spicy tuna tostada. As the name suggests, the drink menu’s most extensive options focus on whiskeys from around the globe.

Where to stay: Be transported to 1960s mod with a stay at the stylish Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs. Fresh, bright and colourful, this boutique hotel was designed by famous Desert Modernist Albert Frey, and a stay here will feel like living in an art gallery. Snap a poolside selfie beside their saltwater swimming pool, or spend time rejuvenating in their traditional Scandinavian-style water circuit.