Palm Desert, California, is a shining jewel in the heart of the desert. It's a popular snowbird getaway, with incredibly temperate winters but some pretty toasty summers! If you're looking to heat up your winter with some bright desert sun, take a Palm Desert vacation and see why the rich and famous choose to make their homes (or second homes) here. Pamper yourself in luxurious Palm Desert vacation rentals and live it up, whether you want to check out the eye-popping landscapes or enjoy some of the upscale Palm Desert shopping to be found here.

What to Do on Palm Desert Vacations

Palm Desert VacationsThe very best Palm Desert vacations make the most of the area's unique climate, especially if you're escaping cold winters from farther north. Seize the opportunity to learn more about the desert and check out some of the fourteen area parks. Enjoy hike and bike trails, picnic areas (you can pack your own food in the kitchen of your Palm Desert rental home) and natural flora and fauna you won't see anywhere else. If you do decide you want to go cruising and exploring firsthand, read our tips on traveling across the desert safely, because the desert is one thing you don't want to mess with. Know what you're getting in for and you'll survive your Palm Desert vacation unscathed!

The warm winter weather in Palm Desert makes it perfect for enjoying swimming pools and tennis courts. The sun is always bright, but the Palm Desert weather can't be beaten for outdoor play in the winter!

While you're in town, don't miss the great Palm Desert entertainment options available:

  • Living Desert Zoo and Garden – A perfect opportunity to learn about the ecosystem of the desert (which is home to a surprising amount of life), this desert zoo is an absolute must on any Palm Desert vacation. Kids and adults alike will be fascinated. Parking is free.
  • Desert Willow Golf Resort – This upscale resort features two of the best Palm Desert golfing options, the Firecliff and Mountain View courses. Both are championship award-winning courses any golf-lover will enjoy playing. You can even check tee times online.
  • McCallum Theatre of the Performing Arts – This renowned, state-of-the-art facility covers the full range of artistic entertainment in Palm Desert. Catch a play or listen to a concert, whether you like jazz, pop, classical, or opera performances. You can even catch ballets, musicals and comedy acts if you time your visit right.

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What to See in Palm Desert

Don't miss the art displays around the front of El Paseo, Palm Desert's shopping mecca. These unique modern art pieces stand out colorfully among the desert beauty of the city.

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Palm Desert Shopping and Dining

As a popular upscale destination, it should come as no surprise that Palm Desert shopping is one of the city's biggest draws! Most of the good shopping in the area centers around El Paseo, a huge hub where you'll find everything from big chain retail stores to one-of-a-kind local shops. It doesn't end with shopping, though, because you'll also find nightlife and dining options, including intimate wine bars and piano lounges. After dark, join in on a hiking or jeep tour, and don't miss the monthly art walks!

Palm Desert dining doesn't have any particular trend or reputation, but you'll find a lot of classy (and pricey!) restaurants. If you want to save your money, rent a Palm Desert condo and cook at home in your own kitchen instead of dining out for every meal. But if you do want to splurge, or you're out on the town when hunger strikes, you've got plenty of other options.

  • Pacifica Seafood Restaurant – As you might expect from a fancy seafood restaurant that flies fresh fish into the middle of the desert every day, Pacifica costs a pretty penny. But if you can afford it, the quality of the meals is outstanding, and the wine list and vodka bar have won local awards.
  • Fusion One 11 – A locally-owned fusion restaurant that is inspired by the Spanish concept of "tapas" or "small plate" dining, Fusion One 11 lets you sample a wide range of exciting dishes from all over the world. For the full "small plate" experience, order multiple small dishes instead of a single entree.
  • Churrascaria – This South American-themed steakhouse serves up all-you-can-eat meat alongside a soup and salad bar. If you've never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before, prepare to be stuffed. Kids under 10 are half off full price.

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Palm Desert Weather

Palm Desert weather means warm winters and hot, hot summers. With an average of 350 days of sun, you won't have to worry about being stuck in the rain. But unless you like temperatures over a hundred degrees, you might want to skip out on taking Palm Desert vacations in the summer. Instead, stick to the winter months when it's cold everywhere else but nice and warm in Palm Desert.

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What to Know About Palm Desert

Residents of Palm Desert come from all over the world, so don't be surprised to find yourself rubbing shoulders with someone from Australia, Europe or Asia!

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What to Bring on a Palm Desert Vacation

Palm Desert is one of the sunniest places you can visit – it's almost never cloudy or rainy here, winter or summer. Bear that in mind and pack lots of sunscreen when preparing for Palm Desert vacations, since you don't want to wind up looking (and feeling!) like a boiled lobster thanks to the desert sun. Pack very light clothing, even in wintertime, because you may want to wear short sleeves and even shorts during some of the cooler months. But don't forget a jacket or sweater for the nights – deserts cool down significantly once the sun's gone down, and Palm Desert is no exception! Palm Desert vacation rentals are the perfect escape from the sun and the heat (or the cold!) if you find it's a little too much for you, but plan accordingly.

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Local Services in Palm Desert

Because Palm Desert's population almost doubles thanks to snowbirds, the city is more than equipped to deal with a huge influx of visitors. That means you'll find everything you need here, from childcare services to grocery shoppers to concierge services that can deliver anything you need or just make sure that your Palm Desert vacation rental is ready to be lived in.

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Getting to Palm Desert

Palm Desert neighbors Palm Springs, so your best bet to reach Palm Desert is to fly into Palm Springs International Airport and either rent a car or take an Amtrack train into Palm Desert. If you do take Amtrack, catch a cab to your conveniently-located Palm Desert condo rental and (if you're visiting during the temperate winter) prepare to walk around town!

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Why Choose Palm Desert Vacation Rentals?

Palm Desert is a popular place for the wealthy, which means that its golf resorts can charge top dollar for hotel rooms. Palm Desert vacation rentals are just as luxurious, but they're much more reasonably priced. Plus, rather than having to split up your family or friends into a bunch of overpriced hotel rooms, you can fit everybody into a single Palm Desert rental home – saving money without sacrificing space. One of the nice perks about Palm Desert vacation rentals is that they have separate bedrooms if you need a little privacy, but spacious shared living and dining areas for when the whole group wants to get together. For the best deals and the best accommodations, look through Vacation's Palm Desert rental homes and condos to find the one that's right for you.

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