No lie: Palm Springs is hot in summer. But the locals make it work, and you will, too, if you plan your visit right. Pace yourself, drink plenty of fluids, and embrace a routine with early mornings and afternoon downtime to make the most of the season. Plus, consider season passes for some attractions—they often pay for themselves in two or three visits.

Here are four things to do on a summer getaway.

Gain altitude on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway takes you on a 10-minute ride up to Mt. San Jacinto State Park at 2,596 metres. There, not only will you find much cooler temperatures, but also restaurants, a natural history museum, a gift shop and more than 80 kilometres of hiking trails to explore.

Get cultured at Sunnylands Historic Estate 

Sunnylands Historic Estate has evolved from the one-time seasonal home of philanthropists Leonore and Walter Annenberg to a retreat centre that hosts major global meetings. Book a house tour (tickets are limited) to explore this mid-century modern classic designed by A. Quincy Jones.

Cool off at the Wet ’n’ Wild water park

Pool time is a daily must in Palm Springs, especially in the heat of summer. Take it up a notch with a day at Wet ’n’ Wild water park—its offerings range from a splash pool and tiny slide for little ones to a simulated surfing machine and a Dive-In Movies program that presents family-friendly films.

Catch a flick at the Palm Springs International ShortFest

Each June, the Palm Springs International ShortFest gathers short films from more than 100 countries into a series of 90-minute themed programs that attract large audiences. Screenings are at the Camelot Theatre, known for its year-round selection of art, foreign and independent movies.

Read more: The Best Shoulder-Season Destinations 


[This story appears in the October 2017 issue of WestJet Magazine]