Destinations

The Best Time to Visit Palm Springs, California

July 3, 2018

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With 350+ days of sunshine each year, an international airport served by over 10 major airlines, and enough activities to keep you busy all winter long, it’s hard to pinpoint the very best time to visit Palm Springs.  Put simply, Palm Springs is always a good idea.

However, there are a few annual events you may want to plan your trip around, and believe it or not, temperatures can get a little chilly in the desert in the winter months! Below I have summarized annual events, average temperatures and a few key notes you may want to be aware of before booking your trip. I have decided to start with my two favourite months, and what I consider to be the best time to visit Palm Springs. November and February.

Palm Springs Stagette

November

There is something in the desert air in November. That scorching summer heat has subsided, the golf courses have finished over-seeding, and the buzz of the approaching holiday season is infectious. American football is in full swing, and the snowbirds and locals alike are out on the town filling up bars and restaurants serving up happy hour so cheap you wonder how they could possibly turn a profit. I love Palm Springs in November and try to get there every year around this time.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in November:

  • Celsius: High 26/ Low 11
  • Fahrenheit: High 78/ Low 50
  • Average Rainfall: 0 Days

It is the perfect temperature. Not too hot, but still pool and golf weather. If the hot desert heat is what you’re after though, consider visiting in the spring (March-May).

Palm Springs Events in November:

  • Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival
  • Black Friday Sales at the Outlets
  • Palm Springs Vintage Market, VillageFest, and Farmer’s Markets in full swing
  • Greater Palm Springs Pride, SoCals’ longest-running LGBT festival in the Coachella Valley
  • The Desert Arts Festival (3rd weekend of each month in Peak Season)
  • McCormick’s Classic Car Show and Auction

February

February is another great month to visit Palm Springs as temperatures begin to climb. It is a particularly popular month as it is when the famous Modernism Week takes place. Modernism Week is a must see event for any design, architecture or vintage Hollywood lovers. If you’re planning to go, book events EARLY as most sell out fast!

Average temperature in Palm Springs in February:

  • Celsius: High 24/ Low 9
  • Fahrenheit: High 74/ Low 48
  • Average Rainfall: 2 Days

Palm Springs Events in February:

  • Tour de Palm Springs
  • Modernism Week

Palm Springs Mid Century Home

January

January is one of the coolest months in the desert, and although it rarely rains, the temperatures aren’t necessarily conducive to laying out and suntanning. Many travellers enjoy the month of January however as the climate is great for outdoor activities like golf and tennis.

Keep in mind, the first week of January is usually crazy busy with families soaking up the last few days of winter vacation.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in January:

  • Celsius: High 21/ Low 7
  • Fahrenheit: High 71/ Low 45
  • Average Rainfall: 2 Days

Palm Springs Events in January:

  • Palm Springs International Film Festival
  • Desert Arts Festival (3rd weekend)
  • Career Builder Challenge Golf Tournament (formerly Humana)

February – See above

March

I love Palm Springs in March, but it can be overwhelming with all the spring breakers in town. The temperature is perfect, and the BNP Paribas tennis tournament is one of my favourite things to do in Palm Springs. The tournament organizers really know how to put on an event, and it’s so much fun to take in a tennis match and explore Indian Wells. March is definitely near the top of my list for the best time to visit Palm Springs!

As mentioned, Spring Break is one of the busiest times in the desert, so prepare to wait in line for dinners out, and to share the pool with a few kiddo’s doing cannonballs

Average temperature in Palm Springs in March:

  • Celsius: High 27/ Low 11
  • Fahrenheit: High 80/ Low 52
  • Average Rainfall: 1 Days

Palm Springs Events in March:

  • Spring Break
  • BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament
  • The Dinah Presented by Club Skirts (music festival catered to the lesbian community)

April

April is music festival month in Palm Springs. Many locals either get out of town or get their cars tuned up and their Uber meters running. It is one of the busiest months in the city, and a great support to local businesses. Expect a much younger (and rowdier) crowd in April than you’d find any other month. It does make for some great people watching. If you are planning to go to the festivals, stay in La Quinta and ride bikes to the grounds each day.

Even if you aren’t attending the festivals, it can be fun to visit Palm Springs in April to take in the various celebrity studded pool parties and concerts.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in April:

  • Celsius: High 31/ Low 14
  • Fahrenheit: High 88/ Low 57
  • Average Rainfall: 0 Days

Palm Springs Events in April:

  • Coachella Music Festival
  • Stagecoach Music Festival
  • White Party

Coachella Ferris Wheel - April in Palm Springs

May

May is when you’ll notice those notorious desert temperatures really start to heat up. This is usually the time locals pack up and make their way to cooler areas of the country like the beach or East Coast. Memorial Day long weekend is always a good time in Palm Springs.

May is a nice time to visit Palm Springs before elementary and high school students are out of school for the summer.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in May:

  • Celsius: High 35/ Low 17
  • Fahrenheit: High 96/ Low 64
  • Average Rainfall: 0 Days

Palm Springs Events in May:

  • Memorial Day Weekend (usually parties or events at the various hotels)

June

Things are cookin’ now. I tend to avoid the desert this time of year because it’s too hot to do much outside.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in June:

  • Celsius: High 40/ Low 21
  • Fahrenheit: High 104/ Low 71
  • Average Rainfall: 0 Days

Palm Springs Events in June:

  • Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week
  • Splash House (A multi-venue music festival hosted at 3 different hotels (did I mention poolside?!) (One weekend in June, one in August)
  • Palm Springs International Short Film Festival (Shortfest)

July

Like June, there is not a ton going on. It’s usually scorchin’ hot by this point so many locals use it as an excuse to travel elsewhere. It can be a bit of a ghost town. If laying poolside and shopping in A/C is what you’re after, then go for it! You can usually find hotels at super discounted rates, and you won’t have to fight line-ups at In-N-Out or Cheeky’s.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in July:

  • Celsius: High 42/ Low 25
  • Fahrenheit: High 108/ Low 78
  • Average Rainfall: 0 Days

Palm Springs Events in July: 

  • No major events in July

Palm Springs Ritz Pool

August

August is the hottest month in Palm Springs. Many LA weekenders make the trek for Splash House, but other than that, the city is only populated with a few brave summer vacationers.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in August:

  • Celsius: High 42/ Low 25
  • Fahrenheit: High 107/ Low 78
  • Average Rainfall: 0 Days

Palm Springs Events in August:

  • Splash House 2

September

Fall has arrived….kinda. September is a nice time to visit Palm Springs because the weather is slowly starting to cool down (emphasis on slowly, it’s still HOT this time of year). The kids have gone back to school, and the influx of snowbirds haven’t marched into the city scoopin’ up your precious tee times or flooding Trader Joe’s quite yet.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in September:

  • Celsius: High 39/ Low 22
  • Fahrenheit: High 102/ Low 72
  • Average Rainfall: 0 Days

Palm Springs Events in September: 

  • No major events in September

October

October is another great month to visit the desert as it is still super warm, but not terribly hot. It’s the perfect time of year for a weekend away to just relax. Canadians tend to flock to the desert for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (second weekend in October).

Note: October is when many golf courses close for overseeding, so if you are planning a golf trip, avoid October and check the course websites for updates!

Average temperature in Palm Springs in October:

  • Celsius: High 33/ Low 16
  • Fahrenheit: High 91/ Low 62
  • Average Rainfall: 0 Days

Palm Springs Events in October:

  • Modernism Week Fall Preview

Palm Springs California When to Visit

November – see above

December

The holidays are in full swing at this point. You’ll find the desert gets insanely busy right after Christmas until the first week of January with families. I was there at that time last year and I couldn’t believe the number of cars parked in the driveways of the neighbourhood I stay in. It was BUMPIN’. If you plan on going around that time, buy your flights early as it can be one of the most expensive times of the year for flights into Palm Springs.

Average temperature in Palm Springs in December:

  • Celsius: High 21/ Low 6
  • Fahrenheit: High 69/ Low 44
  • Average Rainfall: 1 Days

Palm Springs Events in December:

  • Festival of Lights Parade
  • Desert Arts Festival

Average Palm Springs Weather for the year:

  • Celsius: High 32/ Low 16
  • Fahrenheit: High 89/ Low 60

The desert is an ideal vacation spot for those that may not have the flexibility of choosing their time off. It is a great destination all year long. As mentioned above, February and November are my two favourite months to be there, but choose based on the type of vacation you want to have, and if any annual events catch your eye.

Palm Springs Itinerary

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Best time to Visit Palm Springs

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