I’m so excited to share this Palm Springs mini travel guide with you! We just got back from an amazing weekend in Palm Springs for Coachella and to enjoy the warm desert weather. I’m always looking for amazing photo spots when I travel and I definitely lucked out this trip with some total gems! Check out my photo diary and recommendations below!
PALM SPRINGS GUIDE: PALM SPRINGS AIR MUSEUM
745 N Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA
We flew into Palm Springs from San Francisco on Alaska Airlines and it was such an amazing trip! I used to regularly fly from San Francisco to Seattle on Alaska Airlines so it’s definitely my preferred airline. Travel up and down the California coast is really easy so I’m thankful Alaska Airlines now features the SFO – PSP route with their Virgin America integration!
After our quick hour flight from San Francisco, we immediately popped over to the Palm Springs Air Museum to check out the over 40 vintage aircraft for our first photo location. And bonus that the museum was located right next door to the airport so it was easy to hop over.
The air museum has a number of different war time aircraft and was definitely interesting to check out. I have a general interest in airplanes and it was cool to go inside of them and experience them first hand! My favorite was the big silver Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar because we could actually go inside.
Tickets for entry can be purchased upon arrival at the giftshop.
PALM SPRINGS GUIDE: DOWNTOWN PALM SPRINGS
Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA
The main downtown strip of Palm Springs is Palm Canyon Drive and it has tons of restaurants, cafes, shops, and a general vibrance that makes it a cool place to hang out in the city. I particularly like the assorted retro architecture and paint colors in this area so it makes for great photo backdrops in Palm Springs.
If you’re heading to downtown Palm Springs to shoot, I recommend starting early in the morning to get a soft light with less foot traffic. You can pop into a local coffee shop, grab your morning cup, and have full run of the downtown to yourself.
PALM SPRINGS GUIDE: MOORTEN BOTANICAL GARDEN
1701 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA
Moorten Botanical Garden has been on my photo list for YEARS! I’ve always run across photos of this place and it looked absolutely magical. Upon entry the garden follows a winding path of various cacti and succulent plants and rugs, carpets, and benches along the way that make perfect photo settings.
As you keep winding through this beautiful garden you’ll stumble upon their “cactarium”–a greenhouse filled with the most incredible cacti I’ve ever seen. This space is truly unlike anything else I’ve ever seen so make sure to take your time in here. The greenhouse blocks out any bright sun rays so the photo lighting is perfect.
When visiting the Moorten I recommend arriving early when they open–again to reduce the amount of other foot traffic in your photos and have the place to yourself. They also have some really cute turtle residents at the property too!
PALM SPRINGS GUIDE: THE WINDMILLS
Along Interstate 10, Palm Springs CA
The windmill farms are one of the most iconic photo locations in Palm Springs because they represent the vastness of the valley and serve a great purpose in harnessing wind energy for the region. Fun fact: these are technically wind turbines, not windmills!
There are plenty of places to pull over and hop out of the car to snap some photos here so any spot is a good one. I recommend shooting here last if you’re doing multiple locations though–as the name suggests it’s crazy windy here. So be prepared for your hair to be looking like a hot mess by the time you’re done–ha!
These part of the desert has a great beauty to it so it’s best to enjoy the vast location and get creative with your shots!