When is the best time to visit Palm Springs?

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Deep in the California desert, Palm Springs is a unique city surrounded by dramatic landscapes. With desert landscapes comes desert weather, and Palm Springs certainly experiences some extreme temperatures throughout the year. This, coupled with an annual calendar of unmissable events, makes planning the best time to visit Palm Springs essential to having a fantastic vacation.

To discover our top tips for planning a fantastic vacation, take a look at our guide to the best time to go to Palm Springs.

Weather in Palm Springs

Palm Springs weather is warm, dry, and sunny, typical of an arid desert environment. The year-round weather in Palm Springs boasts very little rainfall, on average 2 inches in total annually. With over 350 days of sunshine each year, you’ll have plenty of chances to find a sunny time to go. Most people choose to visit Palm Springs in the winter, when daytime temperatures are comfortably warm, as opposed to the summer when extreme heat takes over.

When was the last time it snowed in Palm Springs?

The last time it snowed significantly in Palm Springs was way back in 1979, so it’s unlikely that you’ll need to pack your winter coats and wellies for your vacation!

The best time to visit Palm Springs golf courses

If there is one thing this destination is most famous for, it’s golf. There are more than 130 world-class golf courses in Palm Springs, several of which are open for public use. For the best conditions for golfing in Palm Springs, you’ll want to head to the region during winter. January is a particularly good month to tee off, with mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

A golf buggy park on a Palm Springs golf course in front of moutains and palm trees

Palm Springs in springtime

Spring is a beautiful time to visit Palm Springs. Temperatures are pleasant and comfortable, generally in the high 70s (24-26C) to mid-80s (29-30C). The weather is generally dry and sunny, perfect for getting out and about and exploring the beautiful wilderness. Spring is the best time to visit Palm Springs if you want to enjoy the colorful carpets of California wildflowers that bloom at this time of the year. The vast sandy landscape looks glorious with splashes of pinks, purples, and greens from California poppies, dandelions, and lilies. 

Palm Springs summer weather

Things are certainly hot during a Palm Springs summer. It is the quietest season in the area because most people avoid it due to soaring temperatures that often reach triple digits. Even nighttime temperatures only fall as low as the high 70s (around 26C), so temperatures during this time are uncomfortably warm for many. If you’re planning on visiting Palm Springs in the summer, it is not recommended to venture too far into the desert (so explorations of places like nearby Joshua Tree National Park are best saved for winter or fall). Relaxing by the pool and starry nights spent gathered around a BBQ in your Palm Springs vacation rental are the best things to do during this season.

Fall in Palm Springs

Fall in Palm Springs is much like summer in other parts of America. Temperatures frequently fall between the 70s and 90s, with nighttime temperatures a little lower. This is much more comfortable (and safer) for doing activities and excursions in and around Palm Springs, and late fall is a wonderful time to venture into the wilderness and see the splendor of Joshua Tree National Park. Fall is also a time of events and festivals in Palm Springs and is arguably the best time to visit to experience a peaceful, uncrowded Palm Springs with pleasant temperatures.

Palm Springs winter weather

Palm Springs in winter is the most popular time to visit. Sunseekers flock to the city to experience almost-guaranteed winter heat, with guaranteed sunshine and perfect daytime temperatures for exploring. It is a fantastic place to celebrate the holiday season in a different way; instead of winter coats and snowfall, you can spend Christmas in t-shirts, shorts, and sunglasses. Winter is also the best time to visit Palm Springs if you want to enjoy a lot of outdoor activities such as golf, hiking, or cycling.

A month-by-month guide to visiting Palm Springs

Palm Springs in January

January in Palm Springs is a very popular time to visit. The middle of winter anywhere else might put people off, but in Palm Springs, daytime temperatures will be around 60F (15.5C). These pleasantly mild conditions make January the ideal time to visit Palm Springs for golf vacations, visit outdoor attractions, and explore the city. In the evenings once the sun goes down, the temperature drops, so a jumper for nighttime will help keep the chill at bay.

There are many things to do in Palm Springs in January. One of the highlights of the city’s annual calendar is the Palm Springs International Film Festival when the biggest and brightest stars of Hollywood visit the desert for screenings, Q&As, and awards. January is also the start of polo season in Palm Springs. Every Sunday at noon and 2 in the afternoon, polo games are held at Empire Polo Club, and spectators are welcome to watch the action.

Entrance to Palm Springs sign with blooming flowers, palm trees, and mountains

February in Palm Springs

Palm Springs in February continues the trend of the previous two months. The weather is mild and usually dry, and crowds descend on Palm Springs for long, lazy days in the sunshine. The average temperature in Palm Springs in February is 73.4F (23C) during the day, making it one of the best times to visit this destination to enjoy outdoor activities. Nighttime temperatures drop back to around 43.2F (9C), so a light jumper or jacket might be needed if you’re heading out after dark. 

February is also officially the wettest month in Palm Springs, but don’t let that put you off; wettest in this context means around 4 days of rain over the month with a total of 1.2 inches falling. So even in its wettest month, no vacation to Palm Springs is going to be a washout!

The mild and moderate weather conditions in February mean that it is also a great time for events in Palm Springs. One of the most popular events is Modernism Week, an event highlighting and celebrating the mid-century architecture, design, and vehicles that make Palm Springs famous internationally. There are more than 350 events throughout the week, including architectural bus tours, open homes, film screenings, parties, and walking tours of neighborhoods.

Palm Springs in March

The temperature in Palm Springs in March starts to creep up. Days are getting steadily warmer, with average daytime temperatures of 80F (26C), and evening lows of 51.8F (11C). March is also a dry month, with an average of 2 rainy days.  Although the average temperature in Palm Springs has not yet reached the uncomfortable heights of summer, if you are visiting in March it’s worth bearing in mind that there is little shade in and around the city’s outdoor attractions, so early morning or late afternoon is likely to be the best time to venture out if you’re doing something active.

March is one of the best times to visit Palm Springs to see the landscape at its most beautiful. The Palm Springs wildflowers are in full bloom and are a stunning sight to see. The Wildflower Festival takes place throughout the month and is a particularly good opportunity for photographers and nature lovers to see a uniquely colorful version of the California desert.

April in Palm Springs

For heat lovers, the weather in Palm Springs in April is just about perfect. During the day, temperatures hover around 86.9F (30C), dipping to 57.2F (14C) at night. With very little rainfall throughout the month, April is perfect for almost everything this destination offers, whether it’s exploring the desert, checking out the museums, restaurants, and nightlife, or simply relaxing by the pool in your Palm Springs vacation rental.

April is the month of big-ticket events in Palms Springs. The biggest and most famous festival of the year takes place in April. Coachella Music Festival draws revelers from all over the world and headline acts representing the creme de la creme of the music industry. Early in April, the famed White Party happens, which is one of the biggest LGBTQ+ events in the Palm Springs calendar.

An ariel shot of downtown Palm Springs at sunset

Palm Springs in May

May is the driest month in Palm Springs, with an average of 0 rainy days over the month. It is also the month when the warm desert summers really start to make themselves known. The daytime average temperature in Palm Springs in May is 95F (35C), while at nighttime, the average is 64F (18C).

Early in May, a rather special event occurs at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Every Memorial Day, in honor and memory of American war veterans, thousands of white and red carnations are dropped from a B-52 Mitchell bomber. This spectacular and moving display marks a moment of reflection on a day packed with attractions including aircraft exhibitions and flypasts. Elsewhere in Palm Springs in May, the festival season continues with the Joshua Tree Music Festival. Despite the name, this family-friendly event in the Mojave Desert does not only focus on musical acts, but also on wellness and a holistic lifestyle. The Joshua Tree Music Festival takes place twice a year, once in May and again in October.

Palm Springs in June

The weather in Palm Springs in June is scorching, with average daytime temperatures of 103F (39.8C). It remains sweltering at night, with temperatures averaging 71F (21.7C). With no relief from rainfall for the entire month, June is not a popular time to visit Palm Springs. 

Due to the high heat, there are few events in Palm Springs in June. However, the dry heat does work wonders on one particularly fragrant crop; lavender. The Lavender Festival at 123 Farm in June makes the most of the beautiful rows of purple blooms, with tours on horse-drawn wagons, winding pathways through manicured rows of flowers, lavender-infused dishes, and opportunities to learn about these remarkable flowers.

Palm Springs in July

Things are still hot, hot, hot in Palm Springs in July. Daytime temperatures are often in triple digits, with 107F being the average for the month. Even at nighttime, temperatures are still very warm, approximately 77F (25.4C). There is on average one day of rain in July, but it brings only a small amount of relief with around 0.2 inches falling.

July is one of the quietest months in Palm Springs, with few people vacationing in the region due to the extreme temperatures. Unsurprisingly, there are very few events happening during the month outside of the annual Independence Day fireworks displays and parties. There are a few indoor events, particularly in Palm Springs’ comedy clubs, where laughs are accompanied by welcome bursts of air conditioning. 

Palm Springs in August

The weather in August in Palm Springs continues on the trajectory of the previous summer months, extremely hot and very dry. With temperatures in the triple digits for the third month in a row, August is not a busy month in Palm Springs.

For those that brave the heat, there are a few events on the calendar in Palm Springs in August. Most events and attractions head inside to beat the desert heat. Museums, comedy shows, live music venues, and movie theaters all put on events throughout the month, whether you fancy a cultural experience or a sing-along to your favorite movie musical.

Palm Springs in September

After months of climbing, the temperature begins to lower during September. That said, it is still a very hot month in Palm Springs, with average daytime temperatures of 101F (38.5C). There is on average one day of rain in September.

The heat does make for the perfect excuse to have a pool party, and one of the biggest takes place in Palm Springs in September over several days. The Dinah is a world-famous LGBTQ+ event consisting of pool parties and an entertainment program that in past years has featured the likes of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

Palm Springs landscape reflected in srtill water

October in Palm Springs

Things start to feel a bit more comfortable in October in Palm Springs. The weather remains dry and bright, but the temperature has dropped to more comfortable highs of 90.32F (32.4C).

October is of course Halloween month, and there is all manner of spooky happenings in Palm Springs towards the end of the month. From costumed car parades to family-friendly festivals and scary movie screenings, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Palm Springs at Halloween. October is also the month of the mini Modernist Week preview, a warm-up of sorts for the main event held in February each year.

Palm Springs in November

Winter is just around the corner by the time November rolls around, but in Palm Springs, that means that things are getting busy. November weather in Palm Springs is like late spring or early summer elsewhere; warm, dry, and bright, with very little rainfall and pleasant average highs of 78.26F (25C). 

There are lots of things to do in Palm Springs in November. The Armenian Cultural Festival is a popular event, with Armenian food, drink, and culture enjoying a spotlight in the California desert. November is also the month of Palm Springs Pride events, with the big Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival taking place during the month, with parades, parties, and events throughout the week.

December in Palm Springs

December is one of the best times to visit Palm Springs. If you want to enjoy the holiday season with the feeling of the sun on your face, then you can enjoy plenty of dry, warm days and average high temperatures of 69.08F (20.6C). December is a very popular month to visit Palm Springs, so expect attractions and events to be pretty busy during this period.

Many December events have got a festive theme. Throughout the month, many gear up to celebrate Christmas, and there are festivals, markets, and parades from as early as late November, all through December. A particularly magical event is the Festival Of Lights Parade. You may have seen festive light attractions before, but seeing one in the landscape of a desert city is certainly a unique and unforgettable experience. A popular attraction is another of the Palm Springs Air Museum events. Alongside a winter lights show, the museum hosts an annual Santa fly-in. Being Palm Springs, the event has a little twist; instead of arriving by reindeer-pulled sleigh, Santa flies in aboard a helicopter! This December event in Palm Springs is always a hit with families.

Joshua Tree National Park

So, when is the best time to visit Palm Springs?

Palm Springs is a beautiful vacation destination, but its desert location does present some challenges for travel during certain times of the year. For this reason, winter is the best time to visit Palm Springs. If you want to avoid the crowds that come with the peak season from December through February, we also recommend late fall and early Spring as great times to visit.

Our Palm Springs vacation rentals

We have a fantastic selection of Palm Springs vacation homes, including many of the stunning mid-century villas that the city is famous for. You can even find the famous home with that pink door on our site. Our Palm Springs villas are perfect for families and groups, with fabulous facilities including private pools and games rooms.